‘Endumeni is in a crisis – we cannot fold our arms’

Sir
The IFP/DA/EFF Coalition inherited the relatively stable and well-functioning Endumeni Municipality from the ANC during 2016 Local Government Elections.
More than seven Endumeni employees were suspended with full pay from January 1, 2017 to April 30, 2018. All suspended employees returned back in May 2018. High drama ensued when acting Municipality Manager, Mr Padayachee, allegedly presented an ‘anonymous letter’ to the full council meeting in January 2017. The anonymous letter contained serious allegations of financial misconduct against Mrs Mkhize, the Chief Finance Officer. IFP/DA/EFF Councillors resolved to suspend the CFO and a meeting descended into turmoil as all six ANC Councillors walked out. Council later abandoned the disciplinary process against Ms Mkhize, the CFO, and Council and CFO attorneys began settlement negotiations. On top of the settlement amount, the CFO was also paid a performance bonus for leading the team that enabled Endumeni Municipality to obtain a clean audit.
The Court ordered Council to remove Mr Padayachee as acting Municipality Manager and in April 2017, IFP/DA/EFF led council made a surprise move to bring back suspended MM, Mr TP Biyela.
Mr Biyela had been on suspension since 2013. The reason for bringing him back, according to Mayor Mbatha, was “a bid to cut down on fruitless and wasteful expenditure, which was the hallmark of ANC-led Council”. The Mayor was quoted as saying: “we are here to make decisions in the best interest of the community, not to further personal agendas against certain individuals”. When MrBiyela returned to Endumeni Municipality, influential Mr Padayachee had to vacate the Municipal Manager position and revert back to his position. Mr Padayachee was dismissed towards the end of 2017.
A long-awaited full council meeting descended into chaos in June 2017 after the IFP announced that their Ward 3 Councillor, T Zitha had been expelled from the party. Councillor Zitha’s expulsion was because he signed a motion with ANC Councillors calling the Speaker to urgently call a full Council Meeting. Council had not met since February 2017. The ANC wanted to table several motions during a full council meeting. One of the motions was a vote of no confidence in Mayor Richard Mbatha. The full Council meeting descended into chaos and motions were never tabled and discussed.

If we fold our arms and do nothing, the youth will continue to cause havoc when protesting. 

While Endumeni Residents protested over lack of houses, poor service delivery, higher property rates, lack of job opportunities, alleged corruptions in awarding of municipality tenders etc. Mayor Richard Mbatha and two others are in Court for allegedly plotting to kill the Speaker.
Our town is filthy, there is a total disregard for municipal bylaws as some people drink alcohol in public and parks and urinate in corners. I sometimes spot the private mayoral vehicle being driven around in town without registration number plates. Our roads are in terrible state and need urgent refurbishment – strange enough IFP/DA/EFF Council decided to spend over R25 million to turn Macphail Drive into a tar road which residents never wanted. The same funds should have been used to refurbish roads, tar roads in Craigside and construct walkways in the townships. Walkways are also needed in Stratford farm (Sithole area).
We have witnessed violent and destructive protests by youth in recent weeks which will further damage Dundee’s reputation. If we fold our arms and do nothing, the youth will continue to cause havoc when protesting.
The IFP/DA/EFF led Council and the MEC for KZN Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs have failed Endumeni residents.
Working together we can still save our town from further melting down. We should form an Endumeni Crisis Committee – respected community leaders such as Mr Bester and Mr Sithebe etc should be elected to lead the Endumeni Crisis Committee (ECC).
Concerned Endumeni Resident

  AUTHOR
Concerned Endumeni Resident

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