by Ezasegagasini Metro

eThekwini boss upbeat

2014 target for clean audits

eThekwini City Manager, Sibusiso Sithole, says the city plans to get clean audits by 2014.
Durban

“It has been an exciting phase in my life and a steep learning curve,” said eThekwini City Manager, Sibusiso Sithole, reflecting on his first year in office.

Sithole told eZasegagasini Metro (the official eThekwini Municipality publication), that the City is on “the right track”. This he attributed to the auditor-general’s recent report, which gave eThekwini an unqualified audit.

“The next steps for the upcoming twelve months will help us to get a clean audit by 2014 and we are in a realm of possibilities,” said Sithole.

 He said some of the highlights of his first year in office include dealing with supply chain management (SCM) issues, housing, the metro police and Durban transport.

“We have set out clear plans and systems that will assist eThekwini to deal with SCM irregularities. These include the reduction of the usage of Section 36 through SCM planning that has clear time frames and timelines,” Sithole says.

He has undertaken to restore order in the metro police unit in a few weeks from now.

“I have been working behind the scenes to find solutions at metro police and drastic actions will be taken to restore the dignity and status of the metro police.

 "We have concluded most labour related legalities which were holding us (back),” Sithole says.

“We have also expedited the R293 project, regularised housing contracts and also taken another major decision to prioritise delivery of housing by opting for an out of court settlement with Zikhulise.

“We have taken a decision to uproot transit camps and clear slums in eThekwini,” he added.

Sithole has also introduced a new organisational structure for the municipality, including the creation of the position of chief information officer.

“Our structure will provide a centre for strategy, policy and direction setting as well as operational mechanisms for co-ordinated and integrated implementation, and specialist support functions which are based on good governance precepts,” Sithole says.

Sithole will announce two people who will be joining his management team soon.

“The two new deputy city managers are women with solid records in their respective fields and this will help in creating stability in the organisation,” he added.

Sithole said one of the major challenges under his watch has been the controversy surrounding the Manase and Associates report.

He is hoping that the report will be released soon so that all the false perceptions surrounding its release could be proven wrong.

“I am optimistic that the report will be released after consultation with all relevant stakeholders,” he assured us.

In a nutshell Sithole has been able to achieve quite a number of things in a short space of time, these include formation of ward committees, creation of a platform for participation through the 'Mayoral Izimbizo', establishment of the Best Practice Commission that will create a positive environment for investment.

Durban has experienced a positive season, with events such as Top Gear, AFCON Draw and AFCON tournament creating positive spin-offs for our City.

“Our working relations with the province are healthy; in fact we are a model of how cities and provinces should co-operate. We have ceased to be competitors to being partners,” he said.

His focus for this year will be on delivery of services. He will prioritise delivery of housing and infrastructure which will have benefits, such as employment, skills transfer and economic opportunities. 

 

 

 

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