Umdoni appoints Planning and Development Acting GM

Umdoni Municipality, Scottburgh

At a Special Council meeting of the Umdoni Municipality, held on Wednesday, February 14, Mr Raymond Ntombela was appointed Acting General Manager of the Planning and Development Department.

Mr Ntombela is currently the senior town planner. The Democratic Alliance and some other opposition councillors voted against the appointment.

Councillor Baptie said that the DA did not support the recommendation to place the town planner in that capacity and advanced the following reasons: The town planner is on a fixed-term contract that will end soon and is therefore not a permanent employee.

It makes more sense to employ, and provide experience for, a permanent incumbent.

Moreover there is also a conflict of interests.

The town planner is the authorised officer for town planning applications and in this regard he will effectively be adjudicating the conduct of his own work, without any checks and balances.

Currently there are numerous town planning approvals that are under the spotlight as the town planner did not have the authority to approve these applications.

This could place the municipality and the developers at risk as a violation of the rights of other residents could have occurred.

That additional capacity that the planning and development department requires, could easily be achieved by means of a secondment from COGTA. This could assist in preventing a possible conflict of interests.

“Unfortunately the Acting MM did not see fit to pursue this option,” said Cllr Baptie.

MSCRS Reporter

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