Johannesburg - Gauteng Human Settlements, Urban Planning and Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Lebogang Maile’s recent visit to the troubled Emfuleni Municipality has received mixed reactions from opposition parties in the district.
Maile, along with the municipality’s mayor, Gift Morane, and senior inter-departmental officials, undertook a service delivery site inspection intended to unlock bottlenecks and accelerate of service delivery.
In 2018, the Gauteng Executive Council (exco) placed the municipality under Section 139 (1) (b) and 139 (5) (a) of the Constitution, as a result of total collapse of governance and service delivery.
A team of administrators appointed by the exco to normalise and stabilise the municipality has been working tirelessly over the past couple of months.
“The visits afford us an opportunity to see first-hand whether we are making any progress or strides in terms of the intervention. We can see some progress, but we could have done better by now,” the MEC said.
During the visit, he received a detailed report from the political leadership of the municipality, including from the team of administrators.
Maile said: “Emfuleni has been a catastrophic challenge. We all need to take responsibility for the municipality’s current state of affairs. We want to restore the municipality’s glittering horizon of pride and a destination choice for the manufacturing investment.”
A significant number of resources have been injected to give the exco intervention visible and tangible evidence of delivery, such as R53 million for waste and fleet management, R173m for resurfacing of roads, repairing of traffics lights, the Municipal Infrastructure Support Agent is to provide human capacity and support, water, sanitation fixing and repairing of sewage systems.
“We have no luxury of pointing fingers now. We want to see service delivery taking place at a high scale and improving the lives of the residents of Emfuleni for the better.”
The DA’s central constituency leader in Emfuleni, Daddy Mollo, described Maile’s visit as a political tactic.
“There are regular reports that show no progress and no consequence management in place at that municipality. We are still seeing the irregular fruitless and wasteful expenditure to date irrespective of how many teams of the administrations from the office of MEC, the situation continues to worsen instead of improving.”
Mollo lambasted the municipality for failing to provide regular refuse removal and its lack of maintenance of roads and infrastructure.
Mollo emphasised that the residents have suffered enough under the current administration.
The EFF’s Sedibeng regional chairperson Isaac Khithika said the ANC-led provincial government is currently engaged in a PR exercise “seeing that we might be heading to local government elections in seven months time”.
“This PR exercise is informed by the realisation the EFF has been conscientising the community on what they really deserve and as a consequence the ANC-led Emfuleni Local Municipality might be lost to the EFF.”