Former Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at the Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality and Democratic Alliance (DA) councillor, Hanz Britz, said news that the current CFO, Ernest Mohlahlo, has resigned is simply confirmation that the metro is on a downward spiral.
“It’s a tragedy. It is very bad news. I worked with him. I was a CFO at the municipality for 19 years and I trusted him when he came in. He understands the work that CFOs must do and because of his knowledge of his work, everyone has respect for him,” Britz said.
He further stated that he believes in letting Mohlahlo go, the municipality is losing a valuable employee. “If the municipality decides to make a qualified appointment, finding Mohlahlo’s replacement may take a while. However, if they decide to make a political appointment, it may be easier to replace him, however, a political appointment may spell disaster for the metro,” Britz said.
He added that in every municipality, the City Manager and the CFO must be strong individuals. He believes that metro officials placed Mohlahlo under pressure to resign as he was a strong, competent figure in the metro and would often not authorise Mangaung to spend money it does not have. “It’s just a question of time before Mangaung closes down. If the metro continues to spend money it does not have, it will find itself there,” Britz said.
He concluded by saying that Mohlahlo was a part of a dying breed of people in the metro who were committed to solving its problems and were competent to do so.
Meanwhile, Mohlahlo confirmed that he has indeed resigned. “I can confirm that I have resigned, however, I would like to state that for the time being, I cannot provide my reasons for my resignation and I would like to refer you to the municipal spokesperson, Qondile Khedama, who is handling all questions in that regard,” Mohlahlo said. It is not yet known when Mohlahlo resigned as well as how long his notice period will be and who the metro will place in the position to act while a suitable replacement for Mohlahlo is sought.
Courant sent Khedama an email with a set of questions in this regard and also tried to contact him, with no avail. Khedama had not responded by the time this article went to print.