DURBAN – The ANC in eThekwini Municipality is facing pressure from opposition parties to fill the post of deputy mayor of the town which has been vacant for nearly two months.
Opposition parties yesterday warned the ANC-controlled council to make the long-awaited nomination, saying the party should remember this is a critical municipal position essential for service delivery. The post of Deputy Mayor has become vacant following the resignation of Belinda Scott.
Former deputy mayor Fawzia Peer and Themba Shelembe, vice-chairman of the finance committee, are apparently among the names mentioned as preferred candidates for the post. Attempts to reach them yesterday failed.
ANC caucus sources said filling the post of deputy mayor was the responsibility of the provincial leadership, which kept an eye on potential candidates. They said that filling the position was also a delicate balancing act as there were many competing interests and many people wanted the job.
At a council meeting last week, DA adviser Thabani Mthethwa pressed President Weziwe Thusi to explain why the post had been vacant for two months.
“Why didn’t you drop the deputy mayor’s point?” … The DA’s position is that we are deeply concerned that we have not served as Deputy Mayor for 60 days now.
“The post of deputy mayor does not belong to the ANC, it belongs to this municipality which is a public entity. For two months now, there has not been a finance president to play this role of monitoring the city’s finances. This is a very serious issue that we should not take lightly, ”he said.
IFP caucus leader Mdu Nkosi said he was concerned that the ANC, which holds the majority on the board, did not fill the vacant post.
“What is more critical is that if the mayor is not available and there is no deputy mayor, it could compromise the ability of some exco meetings to sit. If the mayor is not available, the deputy mayor is supposed to be there to continue the work, ”he said.
An ANC adviser, who asked not to be named because he was not authorized to speak to the media, said the Gumede faction (those in the ANC eThekwini caucus who support former mayor Zandile Gumede) do not no one approved but preferred the next deputy mayor. be appointed from among the current advisers.
“We do not support a situation that prevailed when Scott was parachuted from the province to become the city’s deputy mayor. Look at the Metro Police issues Scott failed to resolve. We want someone who will take the lead, not someone who will have to learn how local government works.
He said town councilors had no objection to Scott’s vice-chairman on the finance committee (Shelembe) or former deputy mayor Peer taking over the post.
Another counselor expressed the same feelings, saying he would prefer someone who is an exercise counselor.
Another adviser said the region was playing its cards near the safe.
“It would have been pointless for the councilors to suggest a name because the decision ultimately lies with the provincial leadership. The region is divided and there will be elections soon, so the post could be used as a bargaining chip, ”the source said.
The source added that sending Peer back to the position would also be reckless.
“The whole exco was fired due to poor performance, but they made a mistake and left Sipho Kaunda there, so if they bring someone back now from the old exco, it will raise a lot of questions, ”he said.
ANC spokesman Nhlakanipho Ntombela said the issue was still being discussed by officials and once the party made a decision it would be released to the public.
He dismissed concerns that the delays were the result of ANC factions scrambling for the post.
“There are only four months left in this post. Why were so many people jostling each other over this? “
Ntombela said it would not make sense for people to claim the post because even if the person was appointed to complete that term, there was no guarantee that he would continue in that post after the election.
Deputy Mayor of Durban void
SourceDeputy Mayor of Durban void