NORTH West Premier Job Mokgoro’s decision to place several local municipalities, including the capital city’s Mahikeng Local Municipality, under administration has sparked mixed reactions.
Mokgoro placed seven local municipalities and one of the biggest district municipalities, Ngaka Modiri Molema District Municipality, under administration on Wednesday, citing lack of governance.
The provincial government is expected to take over the running of these municipalities by September.
The affected municipalities are Kagisano-Molopo, Ramotshere Moiloa, Ditsobotla, Kgetlengrivier, Maquassi Hills, Naledi, Mahikeng, and Ngaka Modiri Molema District Municipality.
However, Mokgoro’s decision was criticised by one of the ANC’s own alliance partners, the SA National Civic Organisation (Sanco).
The DA weighed in, asking the premier to consider firing his MEC of Local Government Fenny Gaolaolwe and Finance MEC Wendy Nelson.
Sanco North West provincia chairperson Paul Sebegoe said placing the municipalities under provincial administration without implementing consequences management would be “a waste of time and resources”.
“The civic organisation called for tougher action against wasteful and fruitless expenditure which had increased from R3.19billion to R4.29bn at municipal level during the 2016/17 financial year,” Sebegoe said.
He said failure by all municipalities in the province to achieve clean audit outcomes was a manifestation of bigger challenges of alleged looting and a collapse of governance.
Sebegoe was concerned that some of the mayors and executive mayors of the affected municipalities were serving the provincial executive committee of the ANC in the province.
“When the centre is corrupt and everyone else below is captured, the result is that service delivery is comprised,” he said.
He said there was an urgent need to review long-term contracts, bid processes, financial system and business models in these municipalities that allegedly “promoted corrupt practices”.
ANC North West spokesperson Gerald Modise was not available for comment.
The provincial ANC under chairperson Supra Mahumapelo was engaged in a provincial executive meeting in Rustenburg which ends today.
North West DA leader Joe Mcgluwa said his party repeatedly called on the ANC government to act against “rampant mismanagement within municipalities” which resulted in billions of rands in wasteful and irregular expenditures.
Mcgluwa claimed the ANC in the North West allegedly allowed it to go unaccounted for and without consequences.
“It was under the leadership of MEC Gaolaolwe and MEC Nelson that the auditor-general’s reports and recommendations were continuously ignored while allowing politicians and municipal officials to get away with not submitting required supporting documents and not following supply chain management procedures,” Mcgluwa said.
The Sunday Independent