Cape Town - Opposition parties have called on Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis to suspend Mayco member Grant Twigg amid an explosive investigation into the collapse of the waste removal services in the city.
Speaking to the Cape Argus just days after the report was leaked to the media, political parties have accused Hill-Lewis of taking selective action against DA politicians fingered in alleged wrongdoing.
The shocking report, leaked to the Cape Argus, states that the formation of a new “in-house” model was undertaken with no delegated authority by Twigg and his executive director Luzuko Mdunyelwa.
According to the internal report given to councillors at the last council meeting in December, the new model has resulted in high court action against the municipality and a staggering budget of more than R500 million in a cost comparison.
At the end of the extensive report the investigators blame both Twigg and Mdunyelwa for the collapse of the service in more than 300 townships.
Dawayne Jacobs, of the National Coloured Congress, said while serving on the urban waste management services portfolio committee there had often been questions about the roll-out of services.
“We questioned many things linked to this, such as if the service providers were not fulfilling their contractual obligations why were the 220 trucks manned by the City not being used?
“We asked and asked about why the model was changed and if there was no proper in-house system in place, but we got no answers as they (the DA) are the majority and they just steam-rollered us.”
Cheslyn Steenberg of the Patriotic Alliance said they were angry that vulnerable residents living in the poorest communities across Cape Town were hard hit by the failed plans and accused Hill-Lewis of cadre deployment.
“As the PA we are calling for the suspension of Twigg and a complete investigation into all politicians and officials who are allegedly involved. This should extend into a criminal investigation to establish who was getting what here.
“The report is clear. The outcomes state that both Twigg and the executive director were responsible. The mayor has formerly suspended Mayco members, like Zahid Badroodien, even before investigations started, but not Twigg?
“If the DA wants to slam the ANC for cadre deployment, they should look internally first. In the interest of clean transparent governance, he should suspend Twigg while the investigation continues. What is good for the goose is good for the gander.”
GOOD Party caucus leader Suzette Little said the contents of the report, which have been made public, were enough to warrant a suspension.
“We are questioning why Twigg is being kept in his position despite what has been revealed in public. Zahid was suspended for alleged tampering and then later reinstated when the investigation was completed. The same rules should apply to Twigg.”
However, Hill-Lewis says there was “no suggestion of any impropriety”.
He did not respond to any direct questions on whether or not Twigg would be suspended, but said: “The Mayco member did the right thing in expressing his concern about the quality of delivery from private contractors in informal settlements.
“It must be noted that there is no suggestion of any impropriety. The desired outcome was, and remains, cleaner informal settlements and better service for residents living there. Where services are to be in-sourced, more preparation is needed.”