In a letter dated March 20 and addressed to senior officials in the municipality, Cogta Minister Dr. Zweli Mkhize gave an assurance that he has asked MEC Nomusa Dube- Ncube to conduct such an investigation to alleged irregularities at the troubled municipality.
“I have requested for her to ensure that appropriate action is taken against any responsible party or parties, if the investigation finds that any of your allegations are true,” read the letter.
DA MP and former Msunduzi councillor Mergan Chetty said they welcomed the minister’s commitment for an investigation,but stressed that they
wanted a wider scope in the investigation.”It is now time for Minister Mkhize to act without fear or favour and act decisively on these errant cadres,” said Chetty. The DA has seen its calls for the municipality to be put under administration defeated in council sittings since the municipality got a disclaimer.
He said they would like to see, among other things, an investigation into the irregular appointment of city manager, Sizwe Hadebe; the employment of
former DA councillor Clive Lotz KSA Security Companyby the municipality; the alleged over-payment to KSA Security Company and the non-payment of service providers.Appearing before the finance committee in the KZN Legislature last week Dube-Ncube admitted that the department was battling to provide support to municipalities, citing budgetary constraints as the main reason for such a setback.
In addition to this, the MEC stressed that municipalities were autonomous and any intervention was guided by the law.
Municipal spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha said they would abide by any decisions from government. “The municipality respects and welcomes
decisions of the national government and welcomes any evaluation and trusts that due processes will be followed throughout the course of the investigation, ” she told Maritzburg Sun.
There have been concerns over the past two years about the declining standards of governance that have resulted in the municipality getting a disclaimer audit for the 2016/17 financial year. Eyebrows have also been raised following recent revelations that the municipality had less than R300 million in its coffers.