DA committed to fight against corruption despite MEC Dube-Ncube’s veiled threats to portfolio committee
3 September 2018
Last week KwaZulu-Natal’s CoGTA portfolio committee finally adopted a report emanating from a meeting with Msunduzi Municipality earlier this year which saw senior officials, including the Deputy Mayor, threaten committee members with violence and further questioning the oversight work of the Legislature.
The earlier meeting, requested by the portfolio committee to get to the heart of the reasons for the collapse of the municipality, was met with the worst kind of disdain and thuggery by the political leadership of Msunduzi. While last week’s report details many aspects presented by Departmental and Municipal officials, it is concerning that, to date, the portfolio committee still has not received answers to the questions posed by all its members.
Equally concerning is the news that the portfolio committee has received legal advice from the MEC and her Department that the committee’s oversight work within municipalities is “interfering” with their work. The DA regards this as a veiled threat to stop the portfolio committee from performing its oversight responsibilities on municipalities that have failed, and been failed by the MEC herself.
It is increasingly clear that the MEC has her priorities wrong. The portfolio committee has agreed to seek advice from its own legal representative and will be guided by that decision.
The MEC also appears more concerned with fighting legal battles than focusing on fixing municipalities so they deliver services and create jobs. This is further evidenced by her intent to take DA KZN Provincial Leader Zwakele Mncwango to court following the DA’s expose of alleged corruption and a conflict of interest in terms of lucrative municipal contracts awarded to her husband.
The province’s CoGTA portfolio committee has an oversight responsibility in terms of both the department and municipalities. For as long as municipalities have to be supported by CoGTA through grant funding, setting of minimum standards and any other constitutional requirements, the DA will ensure that such an oversight role is played.
To date, this MEC and her Department have consistently shown that they are trying to avoid accountability at every level. The DA will not tolerate this. We will continue to fight corruption within the province’s CoGTA Department and across every other Department in KwaZulu-Natal.
We will not be threatened or bullied by MEC Dube-Ncube. We will continue to visit any and all municipalities in order to fulfil our oversight role until such time as municipalities deliver services to the satisfaction of our people. The DA is the only party that can deliver change and a government that remains accountable to the people.
Issued by Hlanganani Gumbi, DA KZN Spokesperson on Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA), 3 September 2018