The DA in Johannesburg says it is opposed to the City of Joburg’s extraordinary council sitting scheduled for later this morning.
Last week, the party called for the entire City of Johannesburg council to be dissolved because of instability following the axing of the former speaker, Colleen Makhubele, by her party, Cope.
Makhubele was fired after she appeared on the posters of a multiparty coalition called the South African Rainbow Alliance (Sara) without her party’s endorsement of the coalition.
The DA caucus leader Belinda Kayser-Echeozonjoku said it was concerned about the costs of this sitting to the city’s ratepayers.
“The DA notes with grave concern the extraordinary council sitting called by the city manager to elect a new council speaker at the expense of residents and ratepayers.
“The DA will not be complicit in such a waste of money and will therefore not be attending the meeting. Our position remains clear, the Johannesburg council must be dissolved and we will not give legitimacy to the doomsday coalition while they are being frivolous with the taxpayers’ money,” Kayser-Echeozonjoku said ahead of the meeting.
City of Joburg manager Floyd Brink has called the meeting at the Connie Bapela building, in Braamfontein, to elect a new speaker, with Kayser-Echeozonjoku saying the city manager’s fate still hangs in the balance following a recent court ruling challenging his appointment.
According to the DA, the council cannot afford to have a sitting now when there is one scheduled for later this month.
“This, whilst we are waiting for the city manager’s appeal to be heard on the 22nd of November 2023. Residents of Johannesburg are already paying for the city’s appeal on the ruling on the city manager. Now ratepayers must pay for an extraordinary meeting that can cost up to R600 000.
“There is an ordinary council sitting scheduled for 29 and 30 November – in one week’s time. There is no reason the speaker's election should not take place the morning of that meeting. In a cash-strapped metro, spending R600 000 is no laughing matter,” she said.
She said the DA had in the past been clear on the real reasons behind the city’s service delivery challenges.
“We have been clear – the revolving door of mayors and speakers will not change Johannesburg’s dire situation. Both the executive and legislative arms of the council have failed the residents of Johannesburg – the only solution is the dissolution of the council. Residents of Johannesburg deserve a chance to take back their city from the corruption and ineptness that has come to be the order of the day,” she said.