Stevens Mokgalapa. Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA)
Stevens Mokgalapa. Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA)

DA fights to keep City of Tshwane

By Baldwin Ndaba Time of article published Jan 14, 2020

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Pretoria - The DA in Gauteng has vowed to retain control of the City of Tshwane despite facing multi-pronged attacks internally and from the Gauteng provincial government under Premier David Makhura to relinquish power.

In December and again last week, the ANC and EFF failed in their bid to oust head of the DA-led coalition government and incumbent mayor Stevens Mokgalapa as well as speaker of council Katlego Mathebe through a motion of no-confidence.

Following the pair’s controversial axing at a December 5 council sitting, the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, ruled the process to pass a vote of no-confidence against them was flawed and the court set it aside. Now, the Gauteng government has joined the fray.

Gauteng Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Lebogang Maile last week tabled the provincial cabinet intervention report for the City of Tshwane to provincial legislature speaker Ntombi Mekgwe.

In the report Maile listed a number of reasons why the provincial cabinet wants the City of Tshwane to be placed under administration in terms of Section 139 (1), read together with section 154 of the Constitution of the country.

Maile wants to appoint an administrator to run the affairs of the City of Tshwane, saying the DA-led coalition government failed to bring stability and the municipality suffered financial losses amounting to billions due to lack of sound financial management since it took over in August 2016.

Maile said the City had failed to provide basic services such as “quality” water to residents in Hammanskraal and neighbouring villages. “The area has also experienced water interruptions and had been without water for some months due to a damaged substation which led to leakage of effluent into the water supply.”

Maile said schools and healthcare facilities such as Jubilee Hospital had to be closed down and patients transferred to neighbouring hospitals for their safety.

“There have also been several ‘votes of no-confidence’ motions in the previous (Solly Msimanga) and the current (Stevens Mokgalapa) executive mayor. By their very nature, the motions are an indication that there are serious leadership challenges in the municipality.

“There is a lack of leadership coherence and integrity in the governing coalition partners of the municipality. This is often demonstrated by public statements that impugn the integrity of the political relationship of governing coalition partners,” Maile said.

He claimed the DA-led administration illegally reappointed Peu to implement smart meters. As a result the City suffered losses of more than R1.6bn.

“Irregular expenditure accounts for 73% of the total unauthorised, irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure. The Municipal Public Accounts Committee report indicated the City investigated at least R1.7bn of the total R6.9bn of such expenditure. But the report does not indicate if any monies were recovered. The City must expedite the process of investigation, implement consequence management and recover the misused funds where possible,” Maile said.

But DA leader in Gauteng John Moody said Maile had failed to table his report to a full council meeting for it to comment on its contents. “They did not comply with the Constitution. They should have tabled the intervention report to the municipality to afford it an opportunity to respond but failed to do so,” he said. “We will go to court and seek a personal costs order against MEC Lebogang Maile.”

Pretoria News

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