DA Calls on MEC Hlomuka to invoke section 139(1) in uMgungundlovu District

Issued by Cllr Bongumusa Nhlabathi – DA uMgungundlovu District Caucus Leader
15 Oct 2020 in Press Statements

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in UMgungundlovu District has written to KwaZulu-Natal Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) MEC, Sipho Hlomuka, requesting him to place UMgungundlovu District under Administration under section 139(1) (b) of the Constitution.

This follows a series of events that proves that those who are in power are failing this municipality and its people on a daily basis. Amongst these include:

• The unlawful appointment of the District’s Budget and Treasury Executive Manager, Sipho Ndabandaba. The said appointment was not in line with the “Local Government: Regulations on Appointment and Conditions of Employment of Senior Managers, Government Notice No 21 Gazetted on the 17th of January 2014,” as Minutes of the Selection Panel, copies of Curriculum Vitae for Candidates, recommendations from Executive Committees, proof of qualifications, to mention a few, were omitted in the final report for this process. The Democratic Alliance voted against the process of this appointment.

• The District held a Special Full Council Meeting on the 12th of October 2020 using virtual facilities to deal with one item “Consolidated Adjustment Medium Term Expenditure and Revenue Budget Report 2020/21.” The Democratic Alliance voted against the procedure followed in tabling this report on the basis that the said report was sent to Councilors 14 hours prior to the meeting, a contravention of the rules. Neither the Finance committee nor the Executive Committee deliberated on it as prescribed in our rules. Therefore, the approval of this report was illegal.

• The Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA) Section 71 report indicates that the Municipality is technically insolvent and the cash flow is not enough to pay for operational costs. The management has failed dismally to turn things around in this regard and our inputs are ignored.

• On the 30th of September UMgungundlovu District Municipality Mayor, Cllr Thobekile Maphumulo, the Office of Premier and KZN CoGTA office received the letter from the Special Investigative Unit with Reference: UMGR58LOC2KZN, which came with serious findings against senior managers. Until today, no actions have been taken regarding the findings.

• Last but not least, in July this year, the Auditor General flagged uMgungundlovu as the worst-performing District Municipality in the Province. This has been the case for almost 2 years now, and there has been no intervention. We received negative opinions due to irregular expenditure, Supply Chain Management processes not being followed in most cases and the lack of Consequence Management.

It is in this regard that we have requested Hlomuka to invoke Section 139(1) (b), which requires the provincial government to assume responsibility because the municipality has failed dismally to fulfil an obligation.

The ANC-leadership in the municipality has made it clear that they are incapable of governing. This municipality needs a complete overhaul and leadership whose only interest is serving residents.

It is proven where we govern, the DA is the only chance this municipality has to turn its finances and poor service delivery around for the better.