The Democratic Alliance has written to KwaZulu-Natal Co-operative Governance (CoGTA) MEC, Nomusa Dube-Ncube to request that she take immediate steps to place Umdoni Municipality under administration after the borough failed to pass its Annual 2018/19 budget.
The situation comes after an attempt to adopt the budget during the May Council meeting failed after only 26 out of a total of 37 councillors were in attendance.
While the voting outcome showed 18 in favour of the budget, six against and two abstentions, in terms of Section 160(3)(b) of the Constitution a majority of the members of the Council is required for the approval of budgets.
Since 18 votes is not representative of the majority of the council the budget could not be adopted.
Despite some four months having passed since this budget debacle, there has been no intervention by the MEC and her Department. In terms of the Local Government Municipal Finance Management Act (LGMFMA), in the event that a municipality fails to approve its budget, the provincial executive must intervene in terms of Section 139 (4) of the Constitution.
Not only have the MEC and her Department violated the Constitution, they have also failed to act in the interests of the Umdoni community. A municipality without a budget cannot deliver services, ultimately affecting the day-to-day lives of thousands of people.
The MEC needs to show that she is impartial.
She must also show that she is prepared to take a hard line against KZN’s ANC-led municipalities, particularly when it comes to an issue which has such a massive knock-on effect.
The DA is committed to working tirelessly to ensure that this issue is resolved so that a budget which represents the will of the people can be passed without any further delays.
We remain committed to ensuring that our province’s municipalities are efficiently run – and where budgets are passed on time – and that they operate within the bounds of the law.
Where they are not, we will continue to hold them to account.
The people of our province should not have to put up with officials who break the law.
The DA expects MEC Dube-Ncube to immediately prioritize this untenable situation.
The people of Umdoni cannot be left to suffer as a result of a dysfunctional municipality.