Bitou mayor Peter Lobese has survived a motion of no confidence brought by the ANC.

Plettenberg Bay - The leadership in Bitou on Tuesday, slated a failed motion of no confidence against Plettenberg Bay Mayor, Peter Lobese, as a “cheap political” publicity stunt.

The African National Congress (ANC) brought a motion of no confidence against Lobese -- whose party, the Active United Front (AUF) are in a coalition with the Democratic Alliance (DA) -- at a special council meeting on Tuesday, claiming “exorbitant spending’, the lack of service delivery, and failed leadership as the reasons for the action.

The ANC criticised Lobese for allegedly spending about R60,000 a month on a short-term rental of a luxury Volvo SUV. This, while an insurance investigation was underway after his official vehicle was involved in an accident in Port Elizabeth earlier this year.

Lobese further came under fire when it came to light that taxpayers were allegedly forking out more than R100,000 a month for security at the mayor’s Kwanokuthula residence.

ANC sub-regional coordinator Putco Mapitiza said they had asked several questions relating to these issues in council, but had not received a clear reply and therefore decided to move ahead with the motion of no confidence.

Bitou’s municipal manager Thabo Ndlovu denied these claims and said that motion was a “political publicity stunt” by the ANC.

“These three allegations of exorbitant spending, of lack of service delivery and lack of leadership are too vague and lack substantiation. We have decided to respond, however, we deny all of them and further reject them with the contempt they deserve. These are nothing, but a cheap political publicity stance by the ANC which remain bitter of losing power and control of Bitou,” Ndlovu said in a statement.

He said that they called on the ANC  to provide more details and substantiate the allegations with concrete evidence.

Following the last local government elections Bitou became a hung council. The ANC and the DA secured six seats in council each and the AUF received the final seat.

The AUF and the ANC then formed a coalition to govern Bitou, but seven months later, Lobese announced that the party was ending the agreement after a series of issues. The AUF and the DA then formed a coalition. 

African News Agency