Municipality gets its powers back

Eric Naki

Eric Naki

The Mpumalanga government has ended its intervention in the Mbombela municipality and given executive powers back to the council after progress was made to improve governance, administration and service delivery.

The provincial executive council announced yesterday that it had ended its intervention, which was implemented in terms of section 139 of the Constitution.

The decision will have to be ratified by Provincial and Local Government Minister Sydney Mufamadi and the National Council of Provinces (NCOP).

Local government MEC Candith Mashego-Dlamini took over the running of the council after it was plagued by instability, poor service delivery and administrative and governance problems.

At the time the municipality had a high number of vacant posts and consumer debt had increased from R203 million to R276 million in six months.

The council also received a qualified audit for the financial years 2004-05 and 2005-06.

This situation prompted the provincial government to invoke section 139 in February last year, It also appointed Khayo Mpungose as interim administrator to run the municipality on MEC MashegoDlamini's behalf.

Ntime Skhosana, the spokesman for Premier Thabang Makwetla, yesterday said in terms of the decision executive powers would revert to the executive mayor and council, pending the ratification of the decision by Mufamadi and the NCOP.

A new mayor, Lassy Chiwayo, has since been elected to replace Justice Nsibande, who resigned in May last year.

Chiwayo's presence, together with Mpungose's stewardship, helped turn the situation around in Mbombela.

"The municipality has improved since these interventions were effected," Skhosana said.

"Key managers and a new chief financial officer have been appointed and their contracts signed."