Ab­sence of mu­nic­i­pal manager causes up­roar

MEC yet to ap­prove Lukhanji ap­point­ment

The Rep - - FRONT PAGE - By Zo­lile Men­zelwa

LUKHANJI Mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s State of the Mu­nic­i­pal­ity Ad­dress (Soma) got off to a rocky start last Thurs­day as op­po­si­tion par­ties de­manded to know why a mu­nic­i­pal manager (MM) had not started work at the be­gin­ning of May as re­solved in a pre­vi­ous coun­cil meet­ing.

The Rep re­ported (“Act­ing MM sec­onded to Qtn,” March 6) that co­op­er­a­tive gov­er­nance and tra­di­tional af­fairs MEC Fik­ile Xasa had sec­onded se­nior manager for in­fra­struc­ture sup­port Mvuy­isi Nofemela to Lukhanji.

Speak­ing dur­ing the Soma in Ilinge, ex­ec­u­tive mayor Nozi Makanda said Nofemela’s act­ing con­tract had ended the pre­vi­ous day and the mu­nic­i­pal­ity was thus with­out a MM. She re­quested coun­cil to al­low chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer Nomthandazo Nt­shanga to act for the day, say­ing cor­po­rate ser­vices direc­tor Siyabonga Nkonki, who had been in­volved in a car ac­ci­dent ear­lier in the year while act­ing as the MM, had gone to see a doc­tor.

“We want to re­quest coun­cil to al­low Mr Nkonki to act as mu­nic­i­pal manager for a pe­riod of three months or un­til a per­ma­nent MM has been ap­pointed – whichever comes first,” Makanda said.

Mthuthuzeli Hokolo of UDM asked why the MM ap­pointed by coun­cil had not started on May 2 as pre­vi­ously re­solved.

The PAC’s Mfundo Siyo said the act­ing MM should not start un­til an ex­pla­na­tion was given about what hap­pened to the res­o­lu­tion to have a MM by May.

Lo­cals at­tend­ing the meet­ing started howl­ing, with Hokolo ap­peal­ing to coun­cil speaker Mar­garet Sny­ders to use her pow­ers to pro­tect coun­cil­lors and stop the howl­ing.

Spe­cial pro­grammes unit head Neli Pambo said coun­cil could not pro­ceed with its busi­ness un­til there was some­one in the va­cant seat.

Nt­shanga took the seat and the coun­cil meet­ing pro­ceeded. Makanda said the ap­pointed MM, whose iden­tity has not been re­vealed but whose name is known to The Rep, had not started as she was still await­ing con­cur­rence from Xasa.

Vet­eran coun­cil­lor Siyabulela Gaju sup­ported Nkonki tak­ing over as the act­ing MM, adding that Makanda should re­quest that Xasa sec­ond Nofemela to the tech­ni­cal ser­vices di­rec­torate as it had some chal­lenges.

Ac­cord­ing to a CV given to me­dia houses by Lukhanji, Nofemela’s qual­i­fi­ca­tions in­clude a na­tional di­ploma in civil en­gi­neer­ing from Wal­ter Sisulu Univer- sity and a BTech de­gree in civil en­gi­neer­ing from Nel­son Man­dela Metropoli­tan Uni­ver­sity.

Coun­cil then re­solved for Nkonki to act as MM upon his re­turn and for Nofemela to be sec­onded to the tech­ni­cal ser­vices di­rec­torate.

Pic­ture: ZO­LILE MEN­ZELWA

EMPTY HOT SEAT: Lukhanji Mu­nic­i­pal­ity has been with­out a per­ma­nent mu­nic­i­pal manager (MM) since for­mer MM Gre­gory Brown re­ceived a golden hand­shake af­ter his sus­pen­sion in De­cem­ber 2013. Pic­tured, from left, ex­ec­u­tive mayor Nozi Makanda and coun­cil speaker Mar­garet Sny­ders

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