Mayor’s axing ‘long overdue’

Mxolisi Kaunda has been removed as eThekwini Municipality mayor. Picture: Facebook

Mxolisi Kaunda has been removed as eThekwini Municipality mayor. Picture: Facebook

Published Jun 13, 2024


Durban — Opposition parties in eThekwini Municipality said mayor Mxolisi Kaunda’s removal from the post on Wednesday had been long overdue.

They were reacting to the ANC KwaZulu-Natal’s announcement that it had redeployed Kaunda from eThekwini Municipality to the National Council of Provinces.

“We recall that Cde Mxolisi Kaunda served as the MEC for Transport, Community, and Liaison until his redeployment to eThekwini Municipality in August 2019. As we usher in a new era following the national and provincial elections, we are identifying key areas that require urgent focus,” the ANC said in a statement.

The party thanked Kaunda for serving eThekwini with dedication.

“As we start a new chapter, we extended a hand of co-operation to all the people of eThekwini across all political lines. We need to pull together behind a common goal of making our city a liveable place.”

The party also encouraged leaders of different political parties to play an oversight role to ensure clean governance and speed in the delivery of services.

Reacting to the news, EFF caucus leader in eThekwini Themba Mvubu said he welcomed Kaunda’s removal, saying it was long overdue since the EFF has been saying the City was collapsing because of his poor leadership. He said everyone knew that the EFF had long wanted Kaunda out, which was evident by its support for several motions of no confidence against him. In the last motion, which was filed by the IFP, Kaunda was saved by small parties.

IFP leader in eThekwini, Mdu Nkosi said if news about Kaunda’s redeployment was true, why did it take so long.

“We had discussions with residents and ratepayers as they protested and complained about service. Despite the lack of service, ratepayers found themselves receiving higher bills.”

Nkosi said that he previously spoke on Kaunda’s arrival in 2019 – when he was elected as mayor of eThekwini – and said that Kaunda had promised change.

“It seems we have taken five steps back because there’s been no change. The auditor-general revealed from 2019, irregular expenditure has increased astronomically,” Nkosi said.

He said when that kind of information was revealed, Kaunda would deny it.

“When one speaks of state-of-the-city address, it’s going to be a cut-and-paste job because nothing new will be revealed. You will hear repetition on challenges and ways to combat them.”

Nkosi said the major issue in the city was water security and that even residents in affluent areas were experiencing such issues. He repeated the point that Kaunda should have been removed at the same time that opposition parties raised their issues.

DA eThekwini Caucus Leader Thabani Mthethwa said the DA had long been calling for the removal of Kaunda and welcomed the action that was to finally remove him.

Kaunda was elected Mayor of eThekwini on September 5, 2019, replacing Zandile Gumede.

He was re-elected after the 2021 local government elections. He survived motions of no-confidence, which were brought by opposition parties including the EFF – an ally of the ANC in KZN.

WhatsApp your views on this story to 071 485 7995.

Daily News