Mayors in the firing line

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IOL pic may30 anc flag file Independent Newspapers File picture: Independent Newspapers

Cape Town - South Africans can expect more mayors and municipal officials to get the boot for non-performance, the ANC has promised.

The party also issued a warning to members that losing just a single ward in the 2016 local government elections “is not an option”.

This follows the removal of three more Limpopo mayors from office by the party this week.

This, according to the party’s treasurer-general, Zweli Mkhize, and spokesman, Zizi Kodwa, will happen throughout the country as it prepares for the 2016 local government elections.

This removal of the latest batch of Limpopo mayors follows the recall of another four mayors in the province last week.

The mayors fired this week were Musina mayor Carol Phiri, Bela-Bela mayor Freddy Hlungwane, and Mutale mayor Josephine Mukwevho.

The ANC has already appointed new mayors in their places.

These are Mohloti Ramoyada in Musina, Lucas Nhlapo at Bela-Bela and Sarah Rammbuda in Mutale.

The party in Limpopo said the removal of the mayors was in accordance with the decision of the provincial executive committee to restructure the political management team of certain municipalities.

ANC spokesman Zizi Kodwa said Mkhize spoke at length about the removal of non-performing officials during an address at the inaugural Alfred Nzo Memorial Lecture in Mount Ayliff at the weekend.

“He says boldly that we must expect more (recalls) throughout the country,” said Kodwa.

In the the Alfred Nzo lecture, Mkhize said the number of municipalities in the Eastern Cape that were mentioned for attention by President Zuma in his State of the Nation address “indicates that the ANC is serious about ensuring improvement in service delivery and rural development”.

“We have heard all the concerns from you and all communities. The focus of local government interventions is to deliver electricity, roads and all municipal services in this and other provinces as we have been listening. Our communities can expect stricter monitoring, supervision and swifter action and tougher action on transgression,” said Mkhize.

He said a number of mayors and municipal managers had recently been forced to step down. “We must expect more of this comrades, as the ANC is not prepared to suffer reputational damage through actions by people who believe they can undermine the interest of our people with impunity.”

Buffalo City councillors, including mayor Zukiswa Ncitha, her deputy and council Speaker, have also been asked to vacate their positions following their arrests in connection with the Nelson Mandela memorial scandal.

“ANC councillors and leaders at all levels must realise that losing any ward in 2016 is not an option.

“No structure will be expected to explain the loss of any votes. The ANC will act decisively long before there is any threat to lose voter support. Kuzomele siphakamise amakawosi (we must pull up our socks),” said Mkhize.

He said the ANC appreciated and was humbled by the “overwhelming voter support” in the last election.

“We do not take it lightly. We shall work hard to make our people realise that democracy works and their votes count. We therefore wish you to go out and thank each and every voter in the name of the African National Congress,” said Mkhize.

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