Johannesburg - ANC Nelson Mandela Bay councillors must withdraw from a petition against an intervention by the Eastern Cape government, the provincial ANC said on Tuesday.
“The decision to sign this petition was taken in a manner that undermines the ANC and its deployees in the metropolitan,” provincial secretary Lubabalo Mabuyane said in a statement.
“We are of the view that, in order for the metro to regain its strength and capabilities, all role players must support this initiative [the intervention] by government.”
The Herald reported in August that Eastern Cape local government superintendent-general Stanley Khanyile threatened to dissolve the metro council and take over its administration.
Khanyile’s comments came after opposition party councillors and a faction of the ANC lambasted the Section 154 support team sent by the department to assist the municipality.
Local Government MEC Mlibo Qoboshiyane seconded six officials from his department, including acting municipal manager Themba Hani to be part of the team at the end of last year.
Two officials from the national department of co-operative governance were also deployed to the city.
ANC Nelson Mandela Bay secretary Zandisile Qupe said the regional executive committee wanted to review the operations of the Section 154 support team.
He said the team was sent by Qoboshiyane last year, for a period of six months.
Qoboshiyane then recently sent more officials to fill a vacant position for an executive director in the council for a renewed period of six months.
“It is matter of urgency that we appoint a permanent executive director. How can we do so if we have the new officials filling in that position for six months?” he asked.
“This is something that is being raised by the general community of Nelson Mandela Bay. These people are looking to us for answers.”
Mabunyane said the African National Congress faction that opposed the intervention would be subject to disciplinary processes.
“We fully support Section 154 and any other intervention provided by government to the municipality,” he said.
“We distance the ANC from this petition and any ill feeling and plans that may be afoot to destabilize stability in the Nelson Mandela Bay metro.”
Section 154 of the Constitution states: “The national government and provincial governments, by legislative and other measures, must support and strengthen the capacity of municipalities to manage their own affairs, to exercise their powers and to perform their functions.”