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Message from the Acting Mayor of KwaDukuza Municipality, Cllr. Dolly Govender

For immediate release

Wednesday, 08 July 2020

Message from the Acting Mayor of KwaDukuza Municipality, Cllr. Dolly Govender, on the passing away of former Mayor, Mr Njabulo Ricardo Mthembu

Dear residents and stakeholders of the KwaDukuza Municipality,

The municipality has learnt with regret of the untimely passing of comrade Ricardo Mthembu, the former Mayor of KwaDukuza Municipality this morning, who had been ill for the past few weeks. His departure leaves a void to us his former colleagues in the Council and to the staff of KwaDukuza Municipality. As it was our desire as a collective to continue to champion ideals he held close to heart, in his lifetime, including the opening of the District NYDA Office.

We pass our deepest condolences to the Mthembu Family, the African National Congress, his current and past colleagues and all his friends. We thank the Mthembu family for having borrowed us comrade Ricardo for the past three decades.

Through Ricardo Mthembu’s stewardship:

  • we remain the only municipality in the country with an autonomous youth directorate/business unit.

  • KwaDukuza was regarded amongst the best-run municipalities in South Africa as declared by the National Council of Provinces as well as the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs.

  • the Municipality received above six national and international accolades that included the Govan Mbeki Awards for providing dignified homes, unqualified Audit Opinions, from the Auditor General of South Africa for running effective controls and Blue Flag status for the Municipality’s Blythedale Beach. 

  • KwaDukuza led the way in attracting both Direct Investment and Foreign Direct Investment opportunities. The town saw the establishment of Regional Malls (namely the Ballito Junction Mall and the upcoming KwaDukuza Regional Mall), as well as the town’s right to host internationally acclaimed events such as the Ballito Pro surfing competition. 

Accountability and good governance was a trademark of his tenures, with the Municipality achieving healthy audits and holding the fairest possible credit rating for local government. To ensure that the Municipality realises its vision 2030, to participate in the global village, Mthembu has ensured that KwaDukuza was part of the SMART Africa Manifesto and ICLEI Local Government for Sustainability - the first global coalition of local leaders pledging to reduce and track greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Mthembu became involved with the ANC during the struggle for freedom at the young age of 16 years and has served his party and its youth wing, the ANC Youth League in various positions including being involved with uMkhonto Wesizwe pre-1994.

His formal career in politics began in the year 2000 when he became the Councillor of (then) Ward 9 in KwaDukuza. He went on to become a PR councillor since 2006 serving in various portfolio committees.

In 2018, He founded The Njabulo Ricardo Charity Foundation. Due to his desire for building a sustainable future together. His mission was to confront and address social ills within vulnerable and disadvantaged communities, as well as unlocking economic empowerment opportunities for the youth. His vision was to strive towards the realization of improved and sustainable living conditions within communities.

Mthembu firmly believed that KwaDukuza Municipality had the potential to grow and hoped to see the Municipality being number one in terms of financial viability and good governance.

Mthembu was elected to the KZN legislature in May 2019 and subsequently elected to be the Chairperson of the Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Committee.


  • He joined ANC Youth League (ANCYL) whilst he was a young man attending high school and became actively involved in the struggle for the liberation of South Africa.  He has served in four spheres of the ANCYL, that is at Branch level, Zonal/Sub-Regional level, Regional level (as the Greater KwaDukuza Regional Chairperson) and as an additional member in KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Executive Committee;

  • In the year 2000, Ricardo Mthembu was elected as Ward Councillor of Ward 09 in Gledhow, KwaDukuza. Representing the African National Congress (ANC);

  • In the year 2006 he was elected to serve as the ANC’s PR Councillor in the KwaDukuza Municipal Council;

  • Subsequent to his election as PR Councillor in 2006, He was tasked with the responsibility of Executive Councillor in the KwaDukuza Municipal Council and was the Chairperson of Infrastructure and Technical Portfolio Committee.

  • In 2008, he was elected as Regional Secretary of the ANC in the Greater KwaDukuza Region. As the Regional Secretary, he headed deployment.

  • Through his leadership as Head of the ANC’s Regional Election Team (RET) in 2011, the ANC won the Local Government Election and lead all local municipalities under the ILembe District including the ILembe District Municipality;

  • In June 2011, he was elected to be the Executive Mayor of KwaDukuza and Chairperson of the Executive Council.

  • In July 2018, he was elected to the Provincial Executive Committee of the ANC in the KwaZulu-Natal Province where he has been selected to be in the Provincial Working Committee and be the Party Spokesperson.

Ulale ngoxolo Mvelase.

Ends.Issued by the KwaDukuza Municipality Corporate Communications Unit, for enquiries please contact:

Sipho S. Mkhize (CPRP)

Media Liaison Officer

☎  : 032 437 5133

📱 : 063 030 7475

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