Umuziwabantu municipal manager’s contract under scrutiny

Sazi Mbhele has been working as a Municipal Manager for UMuziwabantu Municipality despite his contract not being renewed. Picture: UMuziwabantu Municipality

Opposition parties in the Umuziwabantu municipality will be submitting a memorandum on Wednesday, calling for an urgent council meeting to discuss the municipal manager, whose contract expired in April 2017.

The parties said they would be writing to councillor Mzwandile Nyathi, asking that he schedule a debate.

According to the parties, Sazi Mbhele’s contract with the municipality expired in April 2017 but he remained in his position after council resolved to extend it by three months, pending the finalisation of the recruitment process.

DA councillor Victor Mbatha said it has now been an entire year since the recruitment process was established and has remained in the pending stage.

Mbatha said due to the political instability within the municipality, it was becoming more difficult for the vacancy to be filled on a permanent basis.

“During a council meeting held on 31 January 2018, it was resolved that an urgent council meeting be held to remedy the situation. Yet, on Friday 2 February, an SMS was sent out to all councillors instructing them to attend a workshop at the Ingeli Forest Lodge on Monday 5 February, the same day that the urgent council meeting was scheduled to take place,” Mbatha said.

“Of further concern is that there was no communication on whether the urgent council meeting will in fact convene.”

He said the municipality’s employees disrupted normal operating processes when they received news that Mbhele had reported for duty, even though his contract had lapsed and changes to his conditions of employment had been made.

“The ANC cannot compromise service delivery due to factional politics and divisions. Services to the public must be the council’s only concern.”

“We will not stand on the sidelines and watch an already staggering municipality crumble. We, therefore, call for an urgent council meeting where a long-term solution for this problem will be agreed upon.”

-TNA Reporter