New administrator brought in to sort out mess in the 'City of Choice'
YESTERDAY was the first day on the job for the man who has been assigned to bringing order to the embattled Msunduzi municipality.
Johann Mettler rolled up his sleeves just two days after KZN MEC for finance Ina Cronjé announced his appointment.
Mettler said the municipality's top management, which includes mayor Zanele Hlatshwayo, chief financial officer Roy Bridgmohan and municipal manager Rob Haswell, would now report to him and the South African Local Government Association team.
"The present administration will now work under our direction. They will take direction from me as the administrator and from four other people who work on the team," Mettler said.
"All powers are now vested in us and they must give us access to any documents.
"We will also finalise the budget and in all probability we will have to revise it."
Mettler stressed that his team of administrators would not take over the political running of the cash-strapped municipality.
In February it emerged that the municipality was close to bankruptcy, with just enough funds to see it through a few weeks.
Mettler said that as administrators they would not wait for the findings of the forensic audit into the municipality, finalised last year, to be made public.
He said their focus would be on rescuing the ailing municipality.
"We will have to see what the forensic audit turns up and act on their findings," Mettler said.
He said the initial findings of the audit pointed to "non-compliance issues with the previous management and non-compliance with procurement policies".
The municipality's budget and Integrated Development Plan will also be finalised by Mettler and his team.
"The present management and their team will contribute to the budget and the IDP but under our direction," Mettler said.
Speaking at Mettler's appointment on Friday, Cronjé said: "We are sure that we will once again make this a City of Choice."