IFP Councillors Walk Out of Nongoma Municipality Council Sitting

29 November 2013    


The IFP councillors staged a walk out of Nongoma Municipality council sitting on 25 November 2013.  The reason for the walkout was the continued abuse of council by the NFP leadership including the Manager and Senior Managers of the Municipality, who are acting in a biased manner favouring only the National Freedom Party.


The Municipal Manager decided on his own accord, without any reasonable explanation to the council, to change the date of the Full council meeting which had been scheduled and resolved in the Municipalityís Calendar to be the 28th November 2013, and he changed it to 25th November 2013 without consulting anybody, even the Whippery. This clearly proves that the Municipality belongs to the NFP alone and the MM.  In the notices there was no formal apology and / or explanation.


Then again in the same agenda, we were to deal with the financial crisis which the CFO, Mr Mthembu, clearly explained as a Municipal crisis which affected even the whole operation of the Municipality. The CFO had recommended that the municipality go for an overdraft to cover the salary bill for November, as we had only R236 000. The Mayor called a Finance portfolio committee meeting and councillors went to the portfolio committee. The Mayor Hon BJ Mavundla was nowhere to be found. The Finance portfolio did not sit to discuss the financial crisis as per Finance Portfolio Agenda. 


A motion of No Confidence to the Mayor and another one of No Confidence to the Speaker was also handed over to the Municipality. This was inline with our Standing Rules (22) that the motion must be put 7 clear days prior to the sitting of council. On receipt of the Motion the Municipal Manager Mr Ntanzi immediately rescheduled the meeting of the council to sit on 25th November 2013 so that the motion will not be discussed in this calendar year. This then deprived the IFP of an opportunity to raise its concerns with the way the Mayor and the Speaker are running the municipality, which is run as a charity arm of the NFP.


Early this year the Hon Mayor JB Mavundla encouraged all the councillors to go out and identify community organisations who need to be supported by the Municipality through its LED projects. All councillors were given forms to do this beautiful task. Little did councillors of other parties know that the NFP needed them to do this identification on behalf of the NFP not of the Nongoma Municipality. After these projects were identified the municipality was going to procure whatever the community needed and the councillor would be able to deliver that. The manager committed himself to this project and was going to have a committee which will evaluate these projects and give feedback to all stakeholders.


The reason for the walkout is that the NFP leadership is now going to all the wards with these projects even in areas that were identified by IFP councillors. They are excluding even IFP ward councillors when they deliver these projects.


The Mayor never even informs the Exco councillors of these project deliveries. They are known only to NFP EXCO and NFP shadow councillors and leadership. The manager had on the agenda an item requiring R150 000 for an end of the year party for both councillors and staff. The IFP raised a query that how can we go and rejoice and have a party when as a municipality we donít have money according to the CFO, and secondly we have not as a municipality delivered on LED projects.


The response from the Mayor was that we as the IFP are not aware that the projects have already been delivered to the community and some are still being delivered as he spoke. He then said councillors can go to the LED dept to request a schedule of the dates of these projects. This angered the councillors as the municipal manager had deviated from his own protocols of this project.


As the NFP wanted the party to go on seeing that they had been able to deliver these projects and the ANC also objected to the closing year party. These were put to vote to check who is for the party and who is against. Again the HOD for Community services Mr Barnes did count and counted in a biased manner and said there was a tie giving the Speaker an opportunity to have a casting vote. Other councillors did the count and found that the people opposed to the waste of money are more than the NFP then it was clear the management of the municipality is not prepared to work in an unbiased manner. They want the NFP to win at all costs regardless of who gets hurt in the process. That being the status quo coupled with all  the above it was clear that the IFP was only needed in the municipality to rubber stamp the NFP wishes. 


This is the second time we have put a motion in the municipality and the Speaker, Mayor and the Municipal Manager have colluded in making sure the Motion does not get delivered. We have even written to the MEC Dube, MEC Ina Cronje and even to the Public Protector but as the IFP we have been given a cold shoulder.

The municipality has been run to the ground. The employment of NFP leadership and activists has been so bad that even the basic requirements of any position are changed to suit the NFP cadres. These cadres have been employed even though the salary budget has been overspent by over R1.5M but even as I write now the municipality still has more positions on advert, shortlisting and they are even now requesting for some positions to be made in the organogram.  It looks as if as soon as anybody approaches them they will open the position and use their marriage to the ANC to approve anything they want to do.


Councillors cannot be party to the Supply Chain Management system yet the manager misleads councillors and wants them to take part in Supply management issues. He had on the agenda an item about terminating the services of a security company and re-contracting them. He wanted the blessing of the councillors to do that. In EXCO the IFP made its stance known that we cannot be party to the Supply Chain Management issues of hiring and firing contractors. The MM must himself ensure that the municipality abides by all laws as he knows them. Eventually through being misled by the MM the NFP councillors voted in favour of the termination and rehiring of the company on a month to month basis (clearly violating supply chain management) and the ANC wanted documents to see what is happening. The IFP abstained from voting in this item. 


These were the reasons for our Walkout in the Nongoma Municipal council held on 25th November 2013.


Submitted by.


Rev. Sithembiso Mataba

District Secretary for IFP Zululand.