The Eastern Cape provincial government has invoked Section 139(1)(b) of the Constitution with regards to the troubled Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality.
This after the municipality missed a deadline to appoint credible executive directors, including a CFO and city manager.
At a provincial meeting last week, executive committee members received a report from Cooperative Governance MEC Xolile Nqatha about the status of the notice of the intention to invoke Section 139(1)(A) of the Constitution in the affairs of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan municipal council.
As a result, an acting municipal manager and CFO will now be sent to the province to help stabilise matters.
The provincial government also announced it would send a “multi-disciplinary task team to support the acting municipal manager”.
“The non-appointment of executive directors also paralyses the financial administration of the municipality envisaged by Section 77 of the Local Government Municipal Finance Management Act,” Nqatha said in his letter – dated October 25 – to Mayor Mongameli Bobani.
He said his intention to intervene was due to the “persistent failure of the municipality to fulfill its obligations”.
These include the failure to appoint executive directors and accounting managers.
Currently, the metro only has one executive director.
Premier Oscar Mabuyane’s spokesperson, Mvusiwekhaya Sicwetsha, said: “It should be noted that the secondment of officials to the metro does not put on hold the constitutional responsibilities of the municipality and the directives given to them by the cooperative governance MEC to implement.
“The secondment of officials is a mechanism to help rescue the metro from the difficulty it is further sinking into owing to this current impasse.”
Sicwetsha said the provincial government’s legal team would ensure that its actions were legally sound.
“In playing its constitutional role, the provincial government will explore options in the Constitution to ensure that the Nelson Mandela Bay metro implements its constitutional responsibilities to the people of the metro.”