ANC representatives walked out of the meeting, refusing to accept the “delayed” 2018/19 Integrated Development Plans (IDP) amid claims the DA-led council had “misled” councillors.
The DA tabled its plans, which involve the start of the public participation process with communities to listen to what they want for their areas for the forthcoming year, but the ANC said the plans were supposed to have been approved 10 months before the 2018/19 budget, which should have been in August.
The city’s member of the mayoral committee (MMC) for development planning, Funzela Ngobeni admitted that the IDP plans had been delayed, but blamed the ANC for walking out during a previous meeting when they were supposed to have been approved.
Ngobeni said there had been no quorum and that was the cause of the delay. He said he had submitted a motivational letter both to the department of co-operative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) and the province motivating the delay.
The ANC then called for a 10-minute recess for the MMC to produce this motivational letter as proof, which the DA could not produce.
Ngobeni said the letter to Cogta had been written on September 8, but had “accidentally” not been sent.
ANC councillor Ruby Mathang accused the DA of not telling the truth and of misleading councillors. “We note with concern that this does not appear to capture the truth. It is quite clear that this was an after-thought after we, the ANC called for proof. You have undermined us as the ANC for long enough.”
This was a matter of law not being adhered to, he said, adding there was no reason for the ANC to continue with the meeting, before they walked out.
The DA’s coalition partners, the EFF, were not present at the meeting as they were supporting Cosatu in their protest action.
City mayor Herman Mashaba accused the ANC of “turning its back” on residents by collapsing the council meeting and not allowing the IDPs to be approved.
“Today, the ANC showed its distaste for residents by deliberately collapsing the sitting. The IDP consultations are an extensive public engagement aimed at ensuring that the city’s spending and priorities best reflect what residents want, particularly the poor.
“This is nothing more than the ANC attempting to “desperately grasp” that the High Court earlier this week refused to hear the matter of the motion of no confidence lodged by the ANC against the mayor and speaker, Vasco da Gama. The court found the matter was not urgent.
The matter was rescheduled to be heard at a council meeting this morning.