Task team to assist ailing Ekurhuleni municipality

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Johannesburg - A specialised team has been deployed in Ekurhuleni to assist the metropolitan municipality accelerate the provision of services, infrastructure development and to deal with outstanding disputes.

The municipality has been facing challenges in its finances; infrastructure and planning as well as outstanding investigations emanating from the risk management company Pasco. It has also lagged behind in providing key services and dealing with outstanding disputes

The municipality requested that the Gauteng Provincial Government step in and deploy a team to assist in the short term, isolating and resolving issues that may be impeding proper service delivery in specific areas.

On Wednesday, the Ekurhuleni municipality took the decision to terminate the contract of the City Manager Patrick Flusk.

"It has become necessary as part of this turn-around plan, following a process of engagement with Mr Flusk to terminate his current contract of employment as City Manager of Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality with immediate effect," said the municipality in a joint statement issued by the Gauteng Provincial Government and the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality.

The former City Manager of Tshwane Metro and the current CEO of the Gauteng Development Agency
Blake Mosley-Lefatola was appointed the acting City Manager with effect from 23 March.

The specialised team comprises four specialists with extensive experience in local government and is led by the former City Manager of Johannesburg Pascal Moloi. They are expected to develop a short and medium term strategy to ensure the municipality discharges its mandate.

The short-term interventions, implemented over the next three months, will comprise general management and governance. This includes ensuring that basic institutional arrangements, governance, systems, processes and procedures are in place and support the objectives of the council.

The team will also have to ensure proper financial management systems are put in place and implemented.

The medium-term interventions include organisation diagnosis and review, development of a case for change report and the implementation of a turn-around plan.

The Gauteng Provincial Government said it was ready to assist the municipality in unlocking its potential to ensure the sustainable development of its area.

"The capacity for analysis and the potential for investigating alternative and innovative ways of delivering services is lacking. The province is, therefore, also requested to support the EMM by deploying resources and specialists who can develop a bold turnaround plan," said the provincial government.

It also said that that the ideas contained in the city's stated vision and long-term plans were often not supported by clear and bold strategies and operational plans.