Media Statement
 
19 June 2017
 
For immediate release
 
EThekwini Mayor Sets the Record Straight on Postponement of Social Cohesion Conference
 
EThekwini Municipality Mayor, Councillor Zandile Gumede, is extremely concerned about the late postponement of the Social Cohesion Conference that was scheduled to start today, 19 June at Umhlanga Coastlands Hotel, north of Durban.
 
It is unfortunate and regrettable that stakeholders and guests had to be told on the eleventh hour of the decision that was taken and communicated to the event organisers, the Department of Parks, Recreation and Culture. The decision to postpone the conference was taken last week on Thursday, 15 June and communicated to the organisers by the Chairperson of the Community Services Cluster Councillor Zama Sokhabase.
 
The reasons for postponement are as follows:
 
1. Following the provincial social cohesion conference held in KwaMashu Christian Centre, at the beginning of this month, a decision was taken that municipalities should take a cue from the provincial conference resolutions.
 
2. The City had to relook at its pre-planned conference to accommodate the resolutions and make changes accordingly.
 
3. Once the provincial resolutions had been factored in, the venue, programme, including guest speakers and stakeholders had to be revisited. The chairperson was also clear that the committee had preferred a different venue that could accommodate more people and it had to be closer to the people instead of a hotel.
 
Despite the reasons advanced by the Chairperson of the Cluster which were communicated to the Head of Parks, Recreation and Culture, Mr Thembinkosi Ngcobo by Councillor Sokhabase and later by City Manager Sipho Nzuza and Deputy City Manager, Dr Musa Gumede. Unfortunately, we had to suffer the embarrassment for the cancellation and this created an impression that such a decision was taken haphazardly.
 
Mayor Gumede has requested Mr Nzuza to conduct an investigation into this matter and institute disciplinary measures if necessary.
Issued by eThekwini Municipality, the Mayoral Parlour, Durban City Hall.
 
For more information contact Mthunzi Gumede- Mayoral Spokesperson on 0714127701 or email mthunzi.gumede@durban.gov.za
 
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