KWAZULU-NATAL Premier Zweli Mkhize has called on uMsunduzi administrator Johann Mettler to "act swiftly and suspend all those implicated in impropriety and fire those who deserve it".

Mkhize was updating members of the legislature in Pietermaritzburg yesterday about developments at uMsunduzi, which is experiencing cash flow challenges and is unable to meet its monthly commitments.

The councillors are allegedly incompetent and corrupt. The municipality has since been placed under administration.

Mkhize further called on Mettler to speedily prepare charges and initiate disciplinary steps against implicated officials.

He said MECs for finance and cooperative governance and traditional affairs Ina Cronjé and Nomusa Dube, respectively, had presented to the provincial executive council a status report on interventions in terms of Section 139 of the Constitution.

"I have subsequently received further briefings from mayor Mike Tarr and the administrator about the state of affairs at the municipality.

"Like many municipalities, we worked with this municipality for a few years, nursing the hope that things would improve. The council was dysfunctional and financially compromised," Mkhize said.

The premier said the province intervened six weeks ago and various financial management challenges have been reported to the administrator.

Mkhize said the municipality's collection rate between March and April 2010 was reduced by half, and that the projected deficit continued to increase monthly.

"There is incontrovertible evidence that the rules of public administration have been flouted and supply chain provisions undermined.

"It is now clear that we cannot expect the current executive directors or strategic management in the form of deputy managers to guide the council out of this predicament. In fact, mounting evidence indicates that several of them are implicated in maladministration by omission or commission.

"The most honourable thing for them is to resign. But, their resignation will not save them from arrest if implicated in criminal activity," he said.