Deputy Speaker, at its recent manifesto launch, the ANC made much of its commitment to fielding only competent and accountable candidates. Speculation is now rife in the local press in Pietermaritzburg, capital city of KwaZulu-Natal, that the ANC is ready to bring back into council in the forthcoming elections its former mayor, former deputy mayor and a former executive council member, all of whom were dismissed from office just a few short months ago. [Interjections.]
The Msunduzi Municipality was comprehensively run into the ground during the term of office of the previous ANC leadership. Last year, the MEC for Local Government and Traditional Affairs in KwaZulu-Natal was forced to intervene and appoint an administrator to clean up the mess. Those who had presided over this period of rampant financial mismanagement were rightly dismissed.
Restoring the municipality to financial health will take years. Residents are suffering a double whammy of potholed streets and uncollected garbage while, at the same time, rates and tariffs are being pushed up just to balance the books.
The ANC needs to move swiftly to kill off these rumours by stating unequivocally that no plan exists to bring the former leadership back into council. If the words "accountability" and "competence" mean anything at all to the ANC, then now is the time to show it. I thank you. [Applause.]