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Mhlathuze Water board office term ends next month, minister says there will be no vacuum

Mhlathuze Water board office term ends next month, minister says there will be no vacuum

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Durban – The tenure for the current board of directors for the Mhlathuze Water board in Richards Bay in northern KwaZulu-Natal is coming to an end early next month.

The 11-member board chaired by Thabi Shange came to office in December 2018.

That was after the Pietermaritzburg High Court had ruled that the decision by the then minister of water and sanitation, Nomvula Mokonyane, to first extend the tenure of Dudu Myeni by six months and later indefinitely, was unlawful.

It set it aside, thus ending Myeni’s tenure.

The challenge was brought by the former chief executive Sibusiso Makhanya who was at loggerheads with Myeni who had dragged him before a disciplinary hearing for alleged misconduct.

When the Shange-led board took over after former minister Gugile Nkwinti announced it, it said it was eyeing expansion beyond the borders of KwaZulu-Natal.

However, that has become a pipe dream as it is about to be dissolved and merged with the bigger Umgeni Water board.

With its term of office coming to an end next month and current minister Senzo Mchunu not having said anything, there are fears by some within the organisation that corruption could creep in.

“All the current corruption cases in court happen when there was no board and all powers were given to the CEO.

“By the way that is what the law says when there is no board. However, that leaves room for a CEO to account to himself,” one concerned figure told IOL.

Despite those fears, Mchunu’s department spokesperson, Sputnik Ratau said there won’t be a vacuum as he is applying his mind to the matter.

“The tenure of the current Board of Mhlathuze Water ends on 3 December 2022. The minister is currently considering options available to him in terms of the Water Services Act, 1997 (Act No. 108 of 1997)(WSA) to ensure that there is no leadership vacuum at the end of the term of the current board.

“There will not be a leadership vacuum at the end of the term of the current Board of Mhlathuze as indicated above,” Ratau said when asked by IOL about preparations for a new board.

Mhlathuze Water directly supplies bulk water to the City of Umhlathuze (Mpangeni-Richards Bay) and big industries like South32, Foskor and Richards Bay Minerals (RBM).

sihle.mavuso@inl.co.za

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