Durban – A KwaZulu-Natal municipality that has been operating without a mayor for more than two months has sparked fears that it may soon collapse.
The Richmond Local Municipality, which falls under the Umgungundlovu District Municipality, has been without a mayor following the departure of Samora Ndlovu.
Ndlovu left to take up his full-time position as the regional secretary of the ANC’s Moses Mabhida region (uMgungundlovu).
Since then the ANC, which is the governing party, failed to appoint a replacement or even an acting mayor.
NEWS:The ANC in KZN has failed to appoint a mayor or an acting mayor in the Richmond local municipality (it has been vacant for 2 months). This follows the departure of Samora Ndlovu to take up his full-time position as regional secretary of the ANC's Moses Mabhida region. @IOL
— Sihle Mavuso (@ZANewsFlash) November 18, 2022
Insiders said that had sparked an administrative crisis as the lines of political reporting were not clear.
The insiders cited a recent incident where officials had to conduct IDP (integrated development plan) roadshows without a mayor or an acting mayor.
That was deemed to be risky as when people demanded answers, no one would be held accountable for promises made to people after receiving their input.
“At least they should have appointed an acting mayor. But no, they left everything hanging just like that.
“The only thing that happened was that the provincial secretary (Bheki Mtolo) requested the CVs of all councillors so that they could choose the best among them.
“From there nothing happened, hence the municipality is on autopilot and no one is providing political direction,” an insider said.
One insider said the longer it took the ANC to fill up the vacancy, the more there would be political instability and possibly political killings.
“This is a politically volatile area, we come from a recent past where there were several incidents of political killings.
“These people may start killing one another with the aim of eliminating those who could be appointed to the position,” another insider said.
There are allegations that the delay in appointing the mayor was because the region and provincial leadership are at odds over who should take over, hence the crippling stalemate.
Mtolo refused to answer questions regarding the delay, accusing this reporter of meddling and taking part in the ANC’s internal politics.
“First disclose which politician gave you these questions to speak on his behalf that is now speaking through you.
“It is them you (sic) gave you this false information using you for it to presurise (sic) us to rush the process without applying any of our principles,” Mtolo said in his response via WhatsApp.