KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Finance, Nomusa Dube-Ncube, has emphasised the importance of good governance and delivery of municipal services to the newly elected Msunduzi Municipal Council.
“To individual councillors, new and old, you will, with effect from today, occupy seats in this council because of the communities who placed their confidence in your ability to deliver. They have charged you with a clear mandate to continue to deliver essential services,” the MEC said on Monday.
Message to new councillors
Addressing the inaugural meeting of the Msunduzi Municipal Council, she encouraged the councillors to use every cent bearing in mind that accountability is the ultimate goal.
“There has been a clear message from our electorate that anyone serving in this council ought to do the right thing, and the right thing is to take decisions that continue to position Msunduzi as a model municipality.
“Councillors, as you walk into that Municipal Chamber, bear in mind that it is now your turn to usher in a period of unparalleled development and fundamentally transform people’s lives for the better.
“If there is one lesson that can be gleaned from the elections we have just emerged from is that our people yearn for good governance, delivery of municipal services, opportunities and assurance that their safety at home, work and on the road is guaranteed,” the MEC said.
Collapse of good governance
Dube-Ncube noted the many challenges that continue to beset the Msunduzi municipality.
“In this province, Treasury and Cogta have joined forces and we are putting in place measures to ensure speed in detecting early signs of administrative or financial distress.
“As guided by the Constitution, the provincial government has acted in the past where we identified the collapse of good governance in some municipalities. It is, however, true that our interventions have been rather too late in some instances. There are instances wherein councillors were removed from the positions of authority,” the MEC said.
Dysfunctional municipal councils
She said the provincial government has previously acted in cases of poor governance, irregularities or dysfunctional municipal councils.
“We have intervened and took away certain powers from municipalities when they transgressed, criminal investigations have been conducted and those suspected of wrongdoing have been charged.
“Unfortunately, service delivery never improved in some, despite our interventions. To date, infrastructure is collapsing; service delivery is affected, with communities denied access to basic services such as water, sanitation and electricity. These are the realities we are facing and these are realities that I know Msunduzi will change for the better,” the MEC said.
Municipal Finance Programme
Through the Municipal Finance Programme, the provincial government will support the municipality in its endeavour to turn the tide.
“We shall help you to understand and perform your oversight function within the portfolio committees to which you will be assigned to serve.
“This past week, we have just emerged from the International Fraud Awareness Week and as the province, we remain committed to working with local government to fight fraud, corruption and maladministration wherever they rear their ugly head. During this term, we will continue to support anti-fraud and anti-corruption drives in all municipalities,” the MEC said.