A four-hour delay in announcing the new mayor for the eThekwini metro and Msunduzi Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal came about because of consultation and not infighting, the ANC’s provincial leader, Sihle Zikalala, said on Thursday.
“There was no difficulty in debating and processing issues. The delay is not about internal debate. I know you want to be sensational and create something out of nothing.
“The reason we were delayed was because of engagement with the alliance and consulting individuals so they are taken on board.”
Zikalala and the top tier of the provincial leadership had addressed a large media contingent after announcing it would relay the outcome of its recent provincial working committee (PWC).
The PWC meeting came after the provincial executive committee (PEC) held a special two-day meeting to assess a report on the state of local government in KZN.
It announced the much-anticipated replacement for beleaguered outgoing eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede would be Transport MEC Mxolisi Kaunda, with former finance MEC Belinda Scott being named his deputy. Weziwe Thusi will be nominated as speaker.
Elsewhere in the province, the new Msunduzi executive mayor-elect is Mzimkhulu Thobela, who is an MPL in the provincial legislature. The deputy mayor will be Manilal Inderjit and the new Msunduzi speaker will be Eunice Majola.
Zikalala said the ANC had great expectations for its leaders who were deployed to eThekwini and Msunduzi.
“That is why we are not announcing one mayor. We are announcing a team because we want a team that will come in and work together and ensure they will deal with administration issues.
“The collective we have assigned to represent the ANC, it is a collective of senior leaders in the province. Most of them we know will hit the ground running. They have experience in government and some of them also served in local government.”
Zikalala said the elected leaders would “be able to adapt quickly and provide services”.
Gumede was suspended and subsequently fired from her position following a previous two-day special meeting of the ANC’s PEC, which enacted the recommendations of the PWC.
She was placed on special leave in June after she was arrested on charges of fraud and corruption relating to a multimillion-rand Durban Solid Waste tender in the metro.
The ANC, however, claimed Gumede’s axing, along with the rest of the eThekwini and Msunduzi executive councils, was not about pending court cases, but about service delivery.