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Wednesday Jun 12, 2013

Durban wins housing delivery award

The eThekwini municipality has won its second consecutive Govan Mbeki Award for an "unparalleled record for housing delivery" in South Africa, the city announced yesterday.

The municipality won in the category of "best metropolitan" in the country.

Mayor James Nxumalo presented the R1 million cheque, certificate, and a gold coloured brick trophy to the executive committee at yesterday's meeting. The awards ceremony was held at the weekend in Joburg by the Human Settlements Ministry.

"Once again we have been vindicated. We are the best metro in the country despite the resources constraint, not having enough land and a huge backlog. Those are the challenges we face," he said.

Nxumalo heaped praise on human settlements and infrastructure committee chairman Nigel Gumede, adding that the housing department was doing "exceptionally well" although the city had not filled two critical posts in that department.

The department is without a head or a deputy city manager.

Former human settlements head Cogi Pather, who was accused of irregular expenditure in the Manase investigation into fraud and corruption in the city, resigned last year.

Deputy city manager Derek Naidoo, who was responsible for infrastructure and procurement, was also accused of irregular expenditure, and left the municipality when his contract was not renewed.

Their alleged transgressions are the subject of a criminal investigation by the AntiCorruption Task Team.

DA caucus leader Zwakele Mncwango said eThekwini's achievements meant there was "something seriously wrong" in the country if eThekwini received a housing award under such circumstances.

But deputy mayor Nomvuzo Shabalala hit back, saying that the city was the best-run municipality and would continue to deliver after the next elections.

Minority Front councillor Patrick Pillay said the award was national recognition for eThekwini and would inspire officials and councillors to work even harder.

The Mercury


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