Opposition parties have welcomed the resignation of African National Congress (ANC) office bearers in both the eThekwini Metro and uMsunduzi municipalities. Both municipalities will hold council meetings on Thursday, when new office bearers, including mayors, will be elected.

KwaZulu-Natal Transport MEC Mxolisi Kaunda is expected to replace Zandile Gumede as mayor of the eThekwini Metro, while in uMsunduzi Municipality the ANC wants Mzimkhulu Thobela to replace Themba Njilo.

However, Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) KZN Provincial Chairperson Thamsanqa Ntuli believes other senior municipal officials must also be removed.

“We welcome the new leadership announced for uMsunduzi and eThekwini. However, we are concerned that they are introduced to a toxic environment. Since the administration, senior managers are still there, who led to the collapse of the two municipalities. We are not certain whether they will be able to make it under the circumstances. However, we expect to restore good governance and ensure quality service delivery,” says Ntuli.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the province has raised concerns about the ANC’s decision to remove all office bearers in eThekwini Metro.

DA leader in KwaZulu-Natal, Zwakele Mncwango believes the ANC ought to have removed Mayor Zandile Gumede but retained others.

“If we look at eThekwini for example, the elephant in the room was the mayor. It is then a concern that the ANC then decided to beat around the bush by removing everyone on the Executive committee. That is why we are saying we are concerned about the overhaul change. For example, the Speaker is not a member of Exco. He is just an ex-officio. The Speaker doesn’t even vote on the Exco. Why then you remove the speaker (sic)?,” asks Mncwango.