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WATCH: Dunga responds to surprise sacking as city’s finance MMC

The sacked MMC pointed out that they adhered to all the legislated processes to put together the draft budget.

EFF Clr Nkululeko Dunga’s tenure as Ekurhuleni MMC for Finance came to an abrupt end when he was sacked by Mayor Dr Nkosindiphile Xhakaza last week.

Dunga had been at the helm for just over a year, during which he launched operation Siyacima Manje-Namhlanje (We are Switching off Now/Today), a campaign aimed at recovering over R24b owed to the city, in a bid to boost its coffers.

The campaign targeted hundreds of large private and public entities owing the city significant amounts of money.

Dunga was initially appointed into the position when the ANC/EFF-led coalition government took over from the DA in March last year, and replaced the then mayor Tania Campbell with Sivuyile Ngodwana of the AIC party.

Following a motion of no confidence against Ngodwana on March 28, a new mayor, Xhakaza, was appointed on April 11.

Dunga then retained his position as MMC for Finance under the new mayor.

However, almost two months after his appointment, the mayor decided to fire him and cited ‘unforeseen misalignments’ as the reason for his decision.

Xhakaza described his decision to remove the MMC as being in the best interests of the city.

“We had to act because there was a slow movement in finalising the budget and we are happy that the interim finance MMC, Nomadlozi Nkosi, has been able to make an effort to ensure that what we had put forward in the SOCA is subsequently integrated into the budget.”

Dishonesty

On the other hand, Dunga said there is no honesty with what Xhakaza stated as the reasons for removing him. He described the mayor as a leader with narcissistic tendencies.

Dunga said the mayor didn’t want the EFF to table the budget as he felt that he was being outshone.

“He stood up and said ‘I’m being undermined as a mayor, officials of the city don’t listen to me, but they listen to you. For that reason, I’m going to remove you’.

“He is someone who is obsessed with the sound of his own voice and he won’t listen to others. He is a narcissist, who spends much of the time speaking about himself.”

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Compliance

The sacked MMC pointed out that they adhered to all the legislated processes to put together the draft budget.

“After following all the processes, we tabled the budget, but it was then rejected. However, no reasons were given in terms of the rejection thereof.

“We later learned that the very same mayor who is the custodian of the budget was going around telling political parties that they must not adopt the budget.

“From the inception of the budget being tabled for consideration, the EFF has always said that they support the budget and there was no way that we would have come to a different conclusion when it was again tabled on June 14 to say we don’t support the budget now because the MMC of the EFF has been removed.”

Strategies

Dunga said as part of their immediate measures to stabilise the city and protect its revenue, they have among other things exercised credit control measures.

“Despite many objections from some oppositions, we identified the customers who were owing the city significant amounts of money and implemented the Siyacima Manje-Namhlanje campaign.

“This has done well because we were able to raise a significant amount of money that would then be directed towards the payment of service providers, particularly those that were being owed beyond the 30 days.

“When we came in, our debt books were sitting at R7b or so, but we managed to take that down to about R4b.

The majority of the R4b is current debt, which means it is within the 30 days for us to pay.

“We also amended the indigents policy where the threshold of houses has moved from R250 000 to R500 000 as a minimum threshold for households to be able to be deemed as indigents and equally be able to get the social relief packages of the city.

“By the way, the very same mayor withdrew an item that we wanted to table before council that asked of council to consider the prospect of us having independent power producers forming part of the grid and giving us energy because Eskom is not giving us energy.

“Forty percent of our budget is reliant on the sale of electricity; so if we can get electricity outside of Eskom it’s a bonus for us because it then means that we can protect our revenue, but the mayor withdrew that item because he had a personal problem with it.”

The office of the mayor has not yet commented on some of the allegations made.

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