DA calls for Umdoni to be placed under administration

Umdoni Municipality (Stock Image)

FIRST there were rumours of Umdoni Municipality being placed under administration.

Now the Democratic Alliance has requested that the KwaZulu-Natal Co-operative Governance (Cogta) MEC, Nomusa Dube-Ncube take immediate steps to place Umdoni under administration after it failed to pass its 2018/2019 budget.

This follows an attempt to adopt the budget during an earlier council meeting in May, during which the adoption of the budget failed when only 26 out of the 27 councillors were present.

ALSO READ: Umdoni Municipality on the brink of bankruptcy: Ratepayers should ‘pay more efficiently,’ says MM

Voting to adopt the budget proceeded however, with only 18 in favour and six against, with two abstentions. Section 160(3)(b) of the Constitution requires that the majority of members of council vote in favour.

“Since 18 votes is not representative of the majority of the council, the budget could not be adopted,” said Democratic Alliance KwaZulu-Natal spokesman on Cogta, Hlanganani Gumbi MPL.

ALSO READ: Amandawe protests: Umdoni Municipality speaks out

One could expect some form of intervention by the MEC and her department, especially since the failure to adopt the budget had taken place months ago. However, nothing has as yet been done, resulting in the DA’s request.

“In terms of the Local Government Municipal Finance Management Act (LGMFMA), in the event that a municipality fails to approve its budget, the provincial executive must intervene in terms of Section 139 (4) of the Constitution. Not only have the MEC and her Department violated the Constitution, they have also failed to act in the interests of the Umdoni community. A municipality without a budget cannot deliver services, ultimately affecting the day-to-day lives of thousands of people,” Mr Gumbi explained.

ALSO READ: Umdoni Municipality Exco meeting: Umzinto licensing office still under scrutiny

The DA are now calling on the MEC to prove that she is impartial and show that she is prepared to take a hard line against KZN’s ANC-led municipalities – particularly when it comes to an issue which has such a massive knock-on effect.

“The DA expects MEC Dube-Ncube to prioritise this untenable situation immediately. The people of Umdoni cannot be left to suffer as a result of a dysfunctional municipality,” said Mr Gumbi.

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  AUTHOR
Juan Venter
Reporter

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