On Wednesday, April 20, the Independent Electoral Commission will host a debate on the future of leadership at the eThekwini Municipality. It’s from 5pm until 7pm. It’s something Durbanites should go to and involve themselves in.
Here’s a little context.
The ANC in eThekwini currently has an overwhelming majority in council. It’s well above the 60% mark. Of the 200 seats, they have more than 120. As I said, it’s an overwhelming majority. At the moment, Obed Mlaba is the mayor – and he has been for a long time. However, according to legislation, he has to vacate this post having served two terms. His deputy is Logie Naidoo, who also has to step down because he, too, has served the maximum period of time.
Herein lies the debate. One would think that the natural progression would be for the deputy to take the helm. But this doesn’t seem likely. In fact, there are several other names being branded about ahead of Logie’s for the top spot. Among these are current council speaker James Nxumalo (the favourute), current chief whip Fawzia Peer (outside bet, being strongly tipped for deputy mayor), current local government MEC Nomusa Dube (a real long-shot, but she does apparently harbour a desire to don the mayoral chains), party stalwart Nomvuso Tshabalala (a hot-head, but steeped in political knowledge) and ANC eThekwini region chairman Stanley Xulu (a friendly enough bloke whose name is being mentioned more and more frequently).
Also, the DA appears to making some strides in the region amid a climate of decline for the MF and the IFP which the party hopes to capitalise on. There’s also the unknown entitiy – the New Freedom Party fronted by former IFP national chair Zanela kaMagwaza-Msibi – that might have a role to play.
It is in this context that the eThekwini Municipality Mayoral Debate comes. It comes at a time of unavoidable change for the council. It comes at a time when question marks are being asked of the mayor’s role in a council run primarily from the city manager’s office.
It’s something that Durbanites really should go to, comment on and get involved in. I’ll certainly be there.
Date: April 20, 2011
Time: 5pm – 7pm (doors open at 4pm, and audience to be seated at 4.35pm because the debate is being broadcast live)
Venue: Durban City Hall, Dr Pixley kaSeme (West) Street
RSVP: Thabani Ngwira on firstname.lastname@example.org or fax 0867343536 BEFORE noon on April 19.