Johannesburg executive mayor Herman Mashaba has dismissed the motion as “frivolous”, but the ANC Johannesburg region says “the financial status of the City of Johannesburg has reached a state of paralysis” and is consequently on the “brink of collapse”.
The Citizen understands that the programming committee of the council is currently debating whether to schedule a motion of no confidence submitted by the ANC in terms of Rule 94(1) of the standing rules and orders of council read alongside Section 58 of the Municipal Structures Act.
The Citizen has seen the motion, submitted on November 8, that states “the municipality and its own municipal-owned entities, especially City Power, are operating on negative financial cash flow”.
The statement also asserts that in the first month of its financial year, July 2017, the municipality borrowed R3 billion for its operational expenses.
It also questions how, if the municipality had to resort to the R3-billion loan in the first month of the financial year due to under-collection by almost R1.8 billion in the first four months of the financial year, it would still require more money for the next quarter.
“The largest contributor to the City’s revenue, City Power, is R1.3 billion in the red with no prospect of a turnaround strategy in the near future, thereby collapsing the financial model base of the city. The ANC in council has lost confidence in the executive mayor, Herman Mashaba,” the motion proposed by councillor Geoffrey Makhubo, seconded by councillor Oupa Tolo, said.
In response, Mashaba did not hold back. He wrote in a press statement earlier today that “the ANC has once again decided to table motions of no confidence against the speaker of council, Cllr Vasco da Gama, and myself”.
Mashaba said since ANC first tabled its motions, “we have welcomed the opportunity to defend our record in cleaning up the corrupt mess that we inherited from the ANC”.
He also wrote the last motion was “deemed inadmissible by the city’s programming committee as the call for a secret ballot was in direct conflict with the Standing Rules of Council”.
Mashaba believes the ANC fumbled by failing to amend the motion to bring them in line with the Standing Rules of Council by electing to take the matter to court on an urgent basis.
In that case, the court ruled there was no basis for the ANC’s application and struck the case off its roll and awarded punitive costs in favour of the city.
The mayor argued the motions had nothing to do with protecting good governance and ensuring service delivery to residents, but rather were the actions of a party only interested in self-gratification and continuing the corruption that allowed them to rob residents blind.
This is a developing story. The Citizen will bring an update once the debate has been concluded by close of business today.
You can follow the author @Gosebo_Mathope.