Ethekwini Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda has been given another lifeline in office as he survived yet another vote of no confidence yesterday. The motion was filed by IFP in November last year and it was supported by the Democratic Alliance, citing service delivery issues and damning findings by the auditor-general, including the R9 billion which was sent back to treasury in the 2022/23 financial year.
The motion was raised by IFP caucus leader Mduduzi Nkosi, who said the city had been subjected to a number of 'embarrassments'. "His leadership is weak, residents endure the highest increases in tariffs, the city has written off billions in unauthorised, irregular or fruitless and wasteful expenditure. The municipality has experienced the most unstable investor interest and most erratic cash flow patterns," Nkosi said. The IFP said it will support another motion to have Kaunda removed from the mayoral office.
Announcing the results, Speaker Thabani Nyawose said the council voted in favour of Kaunda to remain in office. "Those who are in support of the notice of motion are 98. Those who are against the notice of motion are 109, and those who abstained are two. Therefore, the notice of motion has been rejected by the majority," said Nyawose. DA's eThekwini caucus leader Thabani Mthethwa said his party was utterly appalled by political parties that chose to vote against an opportunity to fire an incompetent ANC mayor, through a vote of no confidence. Mthethwa blamed their failure on minority parties who abstained from voting. "These political parties have shown again that they do not care about the people of this city who are suffering under the dismissal performance of what can only be described as an absent mayor. Following the 2021 local government elections, these same parties were responsible for supporting the ANC when the voters rejected both Kaunda and the ANC for their failures," Mthethwa said.
Mthethwa went on to say that the motion to remove Kaunda came as a result of his poor performance since his election in 2019. "The ANC's Kaunda has ensured that eThekwini does not provide services to the people of this city. He continues to oversee the municipality that is failing to provide water to desperate residents in Phoenix, Ntuzuma, Verulam, Kwanyuswa, Kwamakhutha, Cornubia, Umhlanga and other areas," he said. Mthethwa added that the failures have been accompanied by a lack of accountability and consequence management by those responsible for this mess, including the mayor himself. He further claimed that the Auditor-General confirmed that in 2019 when the mayor took over from the corruption accused Zandile Gumede, the city had lost R1.1 billion in irregular expenditure and in 2023 it doubled to a staggering R2.4 billion. In February last year, Kaunda survived another urgent motion to remove him from council.