eThekwini DA councillor says he is prevented from doing his job

DA councillor in eThekwini Municipality, Mzamo Billy.

DA councillor in eThekwini Municipality, Mzamo Billy.

Published Nov 30, 2023


eThekwini DA councillor Mzamo Billy says councillors are being prevented from carrying out oversight visits at municipal properties following a directive from Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda.

Billy has written to the mayor after he was blocked from visiting the Durban Solid Waste premises to inspect several machines that were bought at a cost of millions of rand and have allegedly been sitting idle.

The DA councillor said a visibly upset Kaunda had confronted him about his intended visit.

Kaunda had recently said visits by councillors to municipal sites should be controlled, adding there had been many breaches by councillors who took photographs of the municipal infrastructure they visited and posted them online.

Billy said as a councillor he had every right to visit the site for oversight reasons and to ask municipal staff questions.

“My visit to the Cleansing and Solid Waste (CSW) depot was a result of a lack of co-operation from your officials on a question I had raised with CSW and City Fleet management. It was a question to give them an opportunity to shed light on the purchase of three street sweeper scooters at a cost of almost R3 million but the equipment remains unused,” said the DA councillor in his letter.

He urged the mayor to get City officials to co-operate with councillors.

“Mayor, instead of trying to illegally block DA councillors from doing their oversight duties, as tempting as it might be, get your officials to co-operate, answer questions honestly and take the public into your confidence on matters affecting us all.

“I am urging you to publicly distance yourself from this unconstitutional behaviour of blocking DA councillors from doing their oversight work and encourage officials to cooperate with councillors on matters of service delivery,” he said.

Kaunda said his problem was mainly with councillors showing up at sites without the senior manager being informed or present for oversight visits.

“The senior manager must be informed, you cannot just go in when the junior officials are working there.We have 200 councillors in eThekwini if all of them did that it would be chaos.”

The Mercury