East London - The Eastern Cape's Mnquma local municipality could be put under administration due to instability and infighting, the province's local government department said on Thursday.
The department had handed a notice to the municipality informing it of the intention to invoke Section 139 (1)(b) of the Constitution, superintendent general Stanley Khanyile said in a statement.
This authorises the provincial executive to intervene if a municipality “cannot or does not fulfil an executive obligation in terms of legislation”.
Khanyile said the municipality, in the south-eastern part of the Eastern Cape, was failing to deliver services as a result of instability and infighting.
“The first prize for the department is to restore order to Mnquma in the interest of service delivery.”
His visit on Thursday was intended to give notification of the impending step and afford the municipality an opportunity to argue either for or against the move.
The department had discovered that the municipality's mayor, speaker and chief whip repeatedly disagreed on items to be put on the council agenda. Council meetings were, in most cases, adjourned due to disagreements on the adoption of the agenda.
The probe also revealed that there were two factions in the council, one led by the mayor, the other by the speaker and chief whip.
Khanyile said once the municipality had responded to the notice, the department would consider its next step.
He appealed to councillors to consider putting the interests of the municipality and the delivery of services first. - Sapa