22 February 2024 

The South African Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU) in the Mafika Mshengu Region (Greater Pietermaritzburg) notes and welcomes the decision by the Msunduzi Local Municipality to ask the Municipal Manager, Lulamile Mapholoba to provide reasons as to why he should not be suspended as the Accounting Officer. This decision was taken by full Council of the municipality, to which the Municipal Manager is accountable to.  

SAMWU has been calling for Mapholoba’s removal for the past year, and today, our efforts have been vindicated. Although this action comes a bit late, we are pleased that the damage that Mapholoba has been inflicting on municipalities in KZN will finally be arrested. Mapholoba has a concerning track record of failure in his previous deployments, consistently failing to complete his contracted terms.  

At Mzimkhulu Local Municipality, he turned the municipality into an illegal loan shark, wherein he loaned Councillors money directly from the coffers of the municipality. This illegal action violated the Municipal Finance Management Act, which he as the Municipal Manager of Mzimkhulu should have ensured strict compliance with.  

His appointments in Kokstad, Mandeni, and uMhlathuze Local Municipalities all concluded prematurely due to performance issues. Despite these evident red flags and his role as an enabler of governance erosion, Mapholoba Mapholoba was unexpectedly appointed as the Msunduzi Municipal Manager. 

Mapholoba is a tyrant that has a tendency of taking public institutions and turn them into his own stokvel. He has squandered millions of Rands in already depleted municipal coffers, by employing his friends in legal practice to persecute not prosecute workers that are deemed to be his opponents. In one matter, the municipality paid more than R3 million for attorneys, only to lose the matter to SAMWU representatives.  

This Mapholoba has been busy enriching himself at the expense of the residences and ratepayers of the City. He has been forcefully employing his friends from his previous employment, uMhlathuze Municipality, purging Msunduzi workers in the process.  

SAMWU had previously protested against Mapholoba, addressing concerns related to organisational structure, scarce skills allowances, job evaluation and grading, overtime and shift allowances, use of legal external service providers in internal disciplinary matters, and shortages of tools of trade. Despite these concerns, Mapholoba allegedly disregarded the workforce’s grievances, perpetuating corruption. 

As SAMWU we are calling for Mapholoba’s immediate removal from office. This is an individual that dismally failed to turn the municipality around. Administratively, Msunduzi is worse than before. He has proved that he has nothing more to offer the people of Pietermaritzburg.  


Issued by SAMWU KwaZulu-Natal  

Nokubonga Dinga, Provincial Secretary, (065 871 8434) 

 Linda Gcabashe, Mafika Mshengu Regional Secretary, (082 070 4893) 

 Papikie Mohale, National Media Officer, (076 795 8670)