eThekwini's new mayor Kaunda told by ANC to put needs of city first

Newly elected eThekwini mayor Mxolisi Kaunda is expected to hit the ground running to deal with the issues faced by the city.
Newly elected eThekwini mayor Mxolisi Kaunda is expected to hit the ground running to deal with the issues faced by the city.
Image: Sandile NdlovuN

The incoming mayor of eThekwini, Mxolisi Kaunda, will have to hit the ground running after being elected and sworn in today as the ANC wants to see progress within the next three to six months.

Kaunda, who takes over from the embattled Zandile Gumede, received clear instructions from both the ANC national and provincial leadership on how to undo chaos created under the previous administration.

He will have just under six months to turn around the City of eThekwini by ensuring, among others, that the issues of cleaning of streets, waste collection and service delivery are dealt with speedily.

“Well of course within three months we must see turnaround, we must see an impact… within three months, within the six months the municipality must be clear on which direction it takes in terms of moving with speed on service delivery and other issues,” said the provincial spokesperson Ricardo Mthembu.

When announcing its decision to axe Gumede and the executive committee members, the provincial leadership said under Gumeded's leadership some of the City’s townships were rendered uninhabitable and could not provide housing for people regardless of adequate funds being available.

KwaZulu-Natal premier and ANC chairperson Sihle Zikalala did not mince his words when he aired his frustration with Gumede’s administration.

He said the provincial leadership would make decisions but the municipality would not implement them.

“You can't have an institution which has no systems, where people do as they wish, anyone can come in and threaten other people or do things as they want. You can't have employees who do not perform their duties. In some cases, you find that you go to areas and the area is very, very dirty and those are issues,” said Zikalala.

He said that he had faith in Kaunda who is more senior and is not worrying himself about issues of factionalism.

“We then say, let's speed up service delivery, address issue of houses, water, electricity. Let's deal with the issue of the backlog on transit camps. So those are the package of issues. That's why we decided to bring a senior team and a team that will not be held at ransom by factionalism,” said Zikalala.

Kaunda is the current MEC for transport, safety & community liaison in KZN and will be joined by former KZN MEC for finance Belinda Scott as his deputy while former KZN social development MEC, Weziwe Thusi, will take up the role of speaker.