Durban is often regarded as South Africa’s playground for its pristine warm water beaches, its world-class promenade and its fantastic weather all year round.
But the shine has worn off in recent months as beaches had to be closed due to the high levels of E-Coli due to the sewage flowing into the river system and the growing anger of the city centre’s rapid decline as litter and lawlessness take hold.
Durban’s mayor, Mxolisi Kaunda has been under immense pressure from civil society and opposition parties to turn the ship around and was recently forced by the DA to take a swim in one of the beaches to prove that it was safe for the general public.
Now the beleaguered mayor is under scrutiny for something else – his budding music career.
Earlier this year, the mayor released an ampiano song called “Mntomusha ”(Youth) and even performed it at Durban’s Coastlands Hotel in front of international delegates in September.
WATCH: eThekwini Municipality Mayor, Mxolisi Kaunda performs his single track in front of international delegates at the Coastlands Hotel. pic.twitter.com/rqFa6a6hll
— Sboniso Mngadi™ (@sbonisomngadi) September 15, 2022
Recently more videos of the mayor performing his music for an audience have emerged which has caused the ire of ActionSA’s KwaZulu-Natal leader, Zwakele Mncwango who has made Durban’s sewage and sanitation crisis his party’s main rallying call.
Taking to his Facebook account on Thursday after yet another video of the mayor singing and dancing emerged, Mncwango said Kaunda was turning out to be a “full-time musician and part time mayor”.
“It is clear that being a mayor is a casual/part time gig for Kaunda when he isn’t busy with the music. Kaunda is not paying attention to you eThekwini residents, he doesn’t care about you. Maybe he must pursue music?”
In the same Facebook post, Kaunda hit back saying essentially that what he did in his personal time was his business.
“The next thing you will be telling me what should I eat when I take my wife and children out for dinner,” Kaunda said in response to Mncwango.
“This is the traditional ceremony of my nephew which was held after attending to my official duties as a Mayor and I don’t need any authority to do what I like at my own leisure time. I don’t charge anyone for my performance. I wish to appeal to you to leave me alone on what I do with my leisure time as I’m not following you on your personal life engagements. I attend to my official duties 7 days a week. Follow me on our official page to track what I’m doing on daily basis. I urge you and your friends to deal with things concerning my official responsibilities. If you insist I will start following you what you do on daily basis at a personal level,” he said.
Kaunda warned Mncwango that he could also post to social media what Mncwango did in his personal time.
“I subject myself for public scrutiny as a public representative and I respect that. I acknowledge that there are challenges in the municipality on issues of service delivery and we have clear plans to attend to such challenges some are beyond our control. External stakeholders like Umngeni water are working with us closely to attend to water challenges which are as a result of severe damages on Umngeni Water two bulk pipes which affect the supply of water to our municipality as envisaged. Vandalism and theft of our water and electricity infrastructure are also impacting negatively to service delivery. The impact of floods in April and in May is felt in all aspects of life but we are on track with our recovery plans”.