The Mooi Mpofana Municipality in Mooi River has been dissolved and its 7 councillors have been relieved of their duties, KwaZulu-Natal Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) MEC Nomusa Dube Ncube has announced today.
For some time now, the Mooi Mpofana Municipality has been mired in controversy, with allegations of internal bickering, maladministration and poor financial management. The municipality has been plagued by a continuous series of labour unrest incidents, community protests and serious financial difficulties. The chaos at one point led to the disruptions of the N3 highway, which is a major artery that connects KwaZulu-Natal with Gauteng.
“The council was given an opportunity to remedy the situation and had been supported through various interventions but failed to turn things around,” said Dube-Ncube.
In assessing the state of performance, it was discovered that the Mooi Mpofana Municipality scored 47.54 percent for its Integrated Development Planning (IDP) in the 2013/14 financial year, which is well below the provincial average. Its IDP was not credible in that it omitted critical aspects such as an HR strategy, workplace skills plan, integrated waste management plan, status of road networks, human settlements, associated levels of services and backlogs, consumer debt, borrowing and a spatial development framework.
The municipality also regressed to qualified audit opinion. It ignored and disregarded all supply chain management regulations and the lack of financial controls in this regard has given rise to a situation where abuse of public funds is rife.
“Further compounding matters were relentless illegal protests and councillors getting involved in infighting, which has led to council not taking executive decisions. The municipality continues to experience maladministration and disarray and there is an ongoing battle between rival factions. As a result, there has been a complete erosion of public confidence in the municipality. The municipal Council is operating in a state of chaos and order and stability must be restored urgently,” Dube-Ncube added.
The problems have spilled over to staff members of the municipality, some of whom do not regard themselves as being accountable to the public whom they are supposed to serve. High levels of indiscipline and misconduct by some has brought the municipality into disrepute as a result of poor council oversight.
“On the basis of these facts, as the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, we approached the Cabinet and the Executive has resolved to dissolve the Mooi Mpofana Municipal Council in terms of section 139(1)(c) of the Constitution and to appoint an Administrator until a newly elected council is elected,” announced Dube-Ncube. This means that all the political responsibilities of the municipality are now vested with the MEC for Cogta as assigned by the Cabinet and the Constitution.
“Our objective in the provincial government is to ensure that Mooi Mpofana Municipality gets back into good shape and regains a commitment to service delivery. We would also like this intervention to serve as an important lesson to other municipalities where similar tendencies towards anarchy are rearing their ugly head. The message we in the provincial Cabinet wish to impart on such municipalities is clear: we will not condone such behaviour because, in our mind, the purpose of local government is to deliver services to municipal residents, not to be a law unto itself and engage in destructive actions,” Dube-Ncube concluded.
SOURCE: SOUTH AFRICAN OFFICIAL NEWS