DA calls for probe after decision to place AbaQulusi under administration

Durban – The DA has called on Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Minister Zweli Mkhize to investigate the decision by KwaZulu-Natal Cogta MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube to place AbaQulusi Municipality under administration.

The party made the call on Thursday when the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) considered a report on the intervention by the KZN government.

DA leader in the NCOP Cathleen Labuschagne said the Western Cape did not support the intervention, saying legacy reports by the fourth and fifth Parliaments raised serious concerns that municipal interventions were being used to settle political scores, instead of being undertaken due to administrative failings.

She charged that Dube-Ncube had made the decision because AbaQulusi Municipality was run by a coalition of political parties, claiming the municipality had increased its revenue and improved its spending of the Municipal Infrastructure Grant.

Vacant directors’ posts had been filled, and AbaQulusi had reduced its Eskom debt from R86m to R36m.

“We object to this intervention and call on the Cogta minister to investigate the actions of MEC Dube-Ncube,” Labuschagne said.

But the ANC’s Thabiso Wana, an Eastern Cape delegate, dismissed the claims made by Labuschagne.

“I have documentation of how money was abused (in AbaQulusi), and service delivery was not reaching out to the people,” she said.

In his report to the NCOP, co-operative governance and traditional affairs committee chairperson James Mthethwa said the municipality’s major challenges related to the resignation of the municipal manager, negative audit outcomes and the involvement of managers in business, among other things. He recommended that the NCOP approve the intervention in the municipality.

The NCOP approved the report and its recommendation – with the exception of the DA-led Western Cape.

It also approved the termination of interventions at the Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and Emadlangeni municipalities. Interventions underway at the Endumeni, Naledi and Ngaka Modiri Molema municipalities were also given the nod.

Political Bureau

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