uMngeni Municipality has appointed Mzingisi Hloba as its new municipal manager, the municipality said on Wednesday.
Hloba, who has been acting as the municipal manager since December 17, was previously the municipal CFO responsible for the entire financial management of the municipality.
“He comes into the position with vast experience and a good traceable record. He has worked as the CFO in Alfred Duma Municipality where he contributed to audit management that led to a clean audit opinion. His experience also includes Richmond Municipality where he contributed to achieving two clean audits in two financial years during his term,” said municipal spokesperson Philisiwe Memela.
Hloba holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree in Accounting and Post Graduate Certificate in Practical GRAP Implementation with 20 years of experience working as a CFO in different municipalities.
uMngeni and Msunduzi municipalities were the only two of the seven local municipalities under uMgungundlovu that have delayed the appointment process of managers.
After the uMngeni appointment, Msunduzi remains the only municipality without an accounting officer, and it has passed the three months period it should have taken to make the appointment.
On Wednesday, Msunduzi extended the contract of the acting manager, Nelisiwe Ngcobo, for three months in addition to the previous three month process of appointing the manager from April 1, 2022.
Opposition parties have raised concerns about the failure to complete the process. The DA’s Ross Strachan said no mandatory progress reports were being presented on a monthly basis and no response has been received to official requests for updates directly to the mayor on the appointment of the manager.
There are allegations of political interference and this makes this entire process irregular. As the custodian of the process and political head of the institution, the mayor must be held accountable for delaying this process at the expense of the municipality and its recovery.
“We will not support any applications for extensions on acting positions, forms of poor governance, or any forms of irregularities that are clearly being played out due to the mayor’s irresponsibility. The pursuit of further interventions to force the mayor to provide access to all the information in terms of the process, the minutes of the selection panel meetings, the list of candidates which is of public interest and within the confines of the law will be followed by the DA.
“It is of paramount importance that this City is free of instability and the focus on ensuring good governance is prioritised through the appointment of qualified, competent and experienced officials without political interference are secured,” said Strachan.
Mayor Mzimkhulu Thebolla said there was nothing untoward in the appointment of the manager.
“There is transparency. Yes the process is delayed and council is aware of the reasons for the delay. Very soon we shall hold interviews and recommend to council. There is nothing hidden in this process,” said Thebolla.
Asked to give reasons for the delays, he said: “We had to vet all the candidates and do qualification verifications. We use one service provider with Cogta and everybody else for that. It took more time than expected.”