eThekwini Municipality Needs Urgent Change in Leadership

Yesterday, 7 December 2022, the council meeting had to be adjourned because the Executive Committee chaired by City Mayor, Mxolisi Kaunda, delayed the start of full council meeting. The adjournment was evident that the City of eThekwini lacks diligent leadership.

While the meeting was set to commence at 10h00 this morning, the Speaker as the Chairperson of Council allowed for the meeting to begin at 11h00, which is a direct breach of the council rules and orders.

According to the rules of order under Quorum section 3 “If there is no quorum at the expiration of 15 minutes after the time fixed for the meeting, the Speaker or the Chairperson of the committee must allow an extension of time not exceeding 15 minutes for the commencement of the meeting, following which the Speaker must rule that the meeting is cancelled”. 

This prompted ActionSA to question the Speakers decision to allow the meeting to proceed and ignoring the argument made by the Democratic Alliance (DA). The Speaker had no other option but to cancel the meeting and invite party whips to a meeting and discuss a possible way forward.

It is an insult to the residents of eThekwini Municipality that the council meeting took 4 hours debating the application of its own rules. The council had a number of decisions to make on behalf of the residents, but unfortunately had to be adjourned.

It was unfortunate that during this time, the Head of Legal Services was asked to give an opinion on the matter, but ruled in favour of commencing with the meeting, which contravenes council rules. This act by the Head of Legal Services is a demonstration of why officials should not be involved in politics, as he misleads the council by giving the incorrect opinion, which is a concern for ActionSA.

It is unfortunate that while the City of eThekwini is ravaged by a number of issues, such as poor service delivery and dilapidating infrastructure, council fails to make concise decisions during council meetings, leading to the meeting being postponed.

The entire ExCo must take full responsibility for the outcome of today’s meeting as they have failed to prioritise the needs of the City by delaying the meeting.

ActionSA believes that the rule of law must be adhered to at all times, and at no given time should there be preference on which rules and law do we favour over the other.