Madibeng mayor Jostina Mothibe. Picture: African News Agency (ANA)
Madibeng - The DA in the Madibeng Local Municipality in Brits, North West, needs at least five ANC councillors to vote with the opposition parties to oust embattled ANC mayor Jostina Mothibe on Monday.

Opposition parties in the financially troubled municipality will face off against the majority of ANC councillors during a debate on a vote of no confidence against Mothibe, tabled by the DA two weeks ago.

The motion came a few days after the auditor-general Kimi Makwetu released damning findings of financial impropriety against the municipality last week, including citing the failure of the political leadership to deal with all those implicated in financial transgressions.

The ANC in Madibeng, however, has vowed to oppose the motion against its mayor tomorrow.

ANC member of the mayoral committee for economic development, tourism and agriculture Douglas Maimane said his party would win the vote on the motion.

The ANC has 46 councillors and the opposition has 36.

Prior to Makwetu’s report, DA caucus leader Eddie Barlow had appealed to Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Zweli Mkhize to take over control of the municipality.

In his appeal, Barlow said Madibeng had been placed under administration before, but with no success.

“The municipality is billions of rand in the red and owes Eskom millions,” he said. ‘‘National government has intervened on several occasions. In 2011 the municipality was put under general administration, in 2015, services were put under administration and in 2015/2016 the municipality was again put under administration.

“Yet, none of these intervention succeeded and the municipality is worse off that it has ever been before,” Barlow said.

He alleged that during the visit of the inter-ministerial task team headed by Minister in the Presidency Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Mothibe had misrepresented the municipality and misled the task team about several issues.

“This included her claim that the municipal public accounts committee was functioning optimally, while in fact the committee was suppressed so that no action was taken.

“The anti-corruption committee, which she asserted was in place and functioning, has not led to a single case in which an official has been prosecuted, despite evidence and information provided to the managers of the departments concerned.

“In one instance, an official was suspended seven years ago and still received his full salary and has not been prosecuted,” Barlow said.

In his reaction to the widespread concerns, which also affected other municipalities, Mkhize indicated there was an urgent need for intervention.

“Institutional capacity and widespread poverty have undermined the sustainability of the local government project, leading in some instances to a catastrophic breakdown of services,” Mkhize said via his spokesperson, Legadima Leso.

Leso said Mkhize had announced that he would deploy district technical support teams, which are comprised of experts, to municipalities to focus on infrastructure planning, delivery and maintenance; financial management support; governance and administration issues.

“These teams will be supported by the rapid response technical team which will be assisting the financially distressed municipalities to develop financial recovery plans in collaboration with the National Treasury.

“Rapid response technical teams must ensure they are able to access financial management conditional grants offered by National Treasury to promote reforms in financial management and build capacity in municipalities,” Mkhize said.

Sunday Independent