Tshwane speaker Katlego Mathebe addresses the media at Tshwane House. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)
Tshwane speaker Katlego Mathebe addresses the media at Tshwane House. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

EFF pressure sees Tshwane ward committee meetings now to be held public

By Rapula Moatshe Time of article published Jan 14, 2022

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Pretoria - Tshwane council Speaker Katlego Mathebe has eventually caved in to political pressure from the EFF to organise physical public meetings for the purpose of discussing the revised ward committee by-laws.

Mathebe had initially planned to host two virtual public meetings to look into the by-laws, that would pave the way for the election of ward committees.

However, the EFF protested against the decision, saying it would exclude the majority of its constituents, who had no access to the internet.

The party also threatened to pay “a guerrilla visit” to Mathebe should she fail to reconsider her decision.

Since 2016, the metro has been operating without the committees, and Mathebe has often come under fire in council for their absence.

EFF chairperson Obakeng Ramabodu said:  “The City of Tshwane Speaker Katlego Mathebe has conceded that their DA-led administration's view to conduct the above process by virtual process was flawed.”

Mathebe's office said in a statement that a decision was taken to hold regional in-person public participation meetings “after taking into consideration the concerns received from political parties with regards to the virtual public participation meetings”.

“The Office of the Speaker has tentatively secured the date of the February 12 for the in-person meetings, and venues will be communicated to residents once confirmed,” it said.

"When the notice of the public participation meeting was published in newspapers, on the City website and social media pages, South Africa was entering into its fourth wave of the Covid-19 pandemic and before the relaxation of the lockdown restrictions.

“The city manager at the time also issued a moratorium on all in-person meetings.”

Ramabodu said the metro would also publish a summary of the by-laws in a booklet form, to enable residents who did not have access to the internet to receive the information.

Pretoria News

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