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EMLM welcomes new administrator

THE senior management of Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality has welcomed the newly appointed administrator Monwabisi Somana.

The municipality was placed under administration with effect from March 19 in a special council meeting, where the MEC for COGTA in the Eastern Cape, Xolile Nqata, was in attendance to present the terms of reference for placement of the EMLM under administration in terms of Section 139(1) and 139(5) of the Constitution.

Nqata introduced Somana and his team, which will be attached to the finance, corporate services and technical services departments.

In accordance with the terms of reference, the administration and the municipal manager will coexist and clear lines and protocols of operation have been drawn up.

The same principle will apply to all directorates receiving assistance from COGTA.

Executive Mayor, Luleka Gubula, upheld the belief that EMLM was a municipality with a lot of potential.

“We will do our best to ensure that the administrator receives all the support required. Our municipality needs this kind of intervention to be truly self-sufficient. The entire council will ensure cooperation during this period and at the end we want to see positive results which will have an impact on service delivery.”

There is no set date for expiry of the period of being under administration and only the impact of intervention will determine it. The entire team deployed from COGTA comprises the following: Monwabisi Somana (administrator), Monwabisi Belle (corporate services), Pasha Gambuze (finance), and Charles Khumbula (technical services).

Enoch Mgijima has, since the amalgamation of the Tsolwana, Lukhanji and Inkwanca municipalities, faced a wave of difficulties which, among others, have included the inability to pay creditors, lawsuits, employee disputes and protests and poor revenue collection.

Despite the fact that the municipality is still on par with the payment arrangement of about R20 million per month, the Eskom debt remains the main challenge.

Members of the Let’s Talk Komani community forum have expressed their disappointment in the decision to appoint yet another administrator.

“We need our defunct and corrupt council to be immediately dissolved. Any other intervention by the province is simply continuing to play a political chess game,” said LTK chairperson, Ken Clark.

“We continue to pursue our High Court case against all organs of the state for their failure to act, which has brought our municipality into an advanced state of total collapse, affecting the towns of Komani, Tarkastad, Hofmeyr, Whittlesea, Sterkstroom and Molteno,” Clark said.

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