GMM municipal manager’s appointment snuffed out

GK CRONJE

8 September 2020

After the failed submission, Mr. Mndebele, appointed in 2018, was suspended with immediate effect during a virtual council meeting. He was suspended with full salary. The director for community service, Ms. Tshabalala, has been pointed as acting municipal manager.

The embattled Govan Mbeki Municipality (GMM) has once again stepped on toes, and now has even more fires to put out. The municipality has been bent to breaking point due to maladaministration, claims of cadre employment, financial mismanagement and gross negligence of service delivery, coupled with a staggeringly high amount of Eskom debt and failure to honor repayment agreements with electrical giant. This has led to a drastic reduction of the NMD to the municipality, with residents and business suffering the consequences with extended rational load shedding from the municipality. GMM has now missed the deadline for the submission of the Annual Financial Statements (AFS) to the National Treasury and Auditor General. This after it was granted extension to get its affairs in order.

The GMM executive mayor, Ms Ngxonono, had called on the municipal manager at the time, Mr. Mndebele, to intensify service delivery in the area, and has called on the MM and his administration to ensure that the issue of the AFS is sorted out. The Democratic Alliance has expressed its disappointment that Ms. Ngxonono could not give a date when the municipality will finally submit the outstanding 2018/19 AFS to the National Treasury and the Auditor General. After the failed submission, Mr. Mndebele, appointed in 2018, was suspended with immediate effect during a virtual council meeting. He was suspended with full salary. The director for community service, Ms. Tshabalala, has been pointed as acting municipal manager. However, the woes experienced by the failing municipality is far from over, as more institution and residents are rising up and taking a stand against the daily deterioration of service delivery, especially in Bethal and eMbalenhle.

Constant power cuts and waste collection are at the heart of the qualms, and numerous new organizations have started mobilizing against the municipality. Calls for the municipality to be placed under administration have been voiced, coupled with several pending court cases. The GMM Joint Civil Movement is one of the institutions ate the forefront of the rise, claiming that constitutional rights are being viciously attacked by the ineptitude of GMM.

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