Avatar photo

By News24 Wire

Wire Service

Another Tshwane council meeting ends before it starts

The planned meeting was meant to deal with the election of a mayor, the extension of the acting city manager’s period of service and the proposed adjustments budget.

Yet another Tshwane special council meeting ended before it started on Tuesday as the sitting could not quorate due to ANC and EFF members not attending.

The planned meeting called by acting speaker Zweli Khumalo was meant to deal with the election of a mayor, the extension of the acting city manager’s period of service and the proposed adjustments budget.

However, the meeting was postponed without dealing with any business of the day after only 93 of the 214 councillors attended the sitting. There was no quorum because at least 108 councillors are needed for the meeting to proceed.

Not a single member of the ANC’s 89 councillors nor the EFF’s 25 attended the meeting.

The DA had 87 of their 93 councillors pitch for the meeting, together with their coalition partners. The FF Plus had four councillors present, while the ACDP and Cope, each with one councillor, were in attendance.

The ANC and EFF previously told News24 they would not be attending the council sitting as the Gauteng province had announced the City would be placed under administration.

Previous meetings to elect a new mayor, adjust the budget and extend the contract of the acting city manager also failed to materialise, either because council had collapsed or there had not been enough councillors to start the meeting.

Since the resignation of Stevens Mokgalapa as mayor at the start of the month, the City has had no leadership. This automatically dissolved the mayoral committee, while the period of service for acting city manager Augustine Makgata came to an end.

Reacting to the failed council meeting on Tuesday, Gauteng cooperative governance and traditional affairs (CoGTA) MEC, Lebogang Maile, said he was not surprised and felt vindicated by the outcome.

“The DA leaders should hang their heads in shame for abusing public resources by calling this impromptu council sitting intended to delegitimise the Gauteng Exco decision to place the municipality under administration,” Maile said.

“This clearly demonstrates the sad state of affairs in this strategic municipality, which is the administrative home of our democratic state.

“It is clear for all to see that political parties and leaders in Tshwane do not have the best interests of the residents at heart. Everyone can see that governance and service delivery have collapsed, which negatively affects residents.”

The solution to the ongoing impasse is for the residents of Tshwane to use the ballot box as their only viable tool to get out of this leadership rut.”

Maile, along with Gauteng Premier David Makhura, announced last week the City would be placed under administration, council dissolved and that a by-election would be held within 90 days.

“The municipality is currently incapable of carrying out its constitutional obligations. The municipality does not have a mayor and there is no municipal manager. The council has failed to meet and consider matters that affect the functioning of the municipality and service delivery,” Makhura said.

He added that the situation in Tshwane constituted exceptional circumstances, which warranted the dissolution of the council.

The DA, who vowed not to give up Tshwane without a fight, said the ANC and EFF not attending council revealed their loyalties.

“It shows you the ANC and EFF don’t have the interest of the people of Tshwane at heart. All they are interested in is trying to put the DA administration in the light that it has failed,” Gauteng DA leader John Moodey told journalists.

Moodey added that both the ANC and EFF had the opportunity to vote the DA out of Tshwane during the council meeting, but instead chose to campaign.

“That is the confusion that they are sowing and hence I’m telling you that this is an attempted coup d’état. We will fight this thing in court.”

News24 previously reported that the DA was looking at instituting a legal challenge to prevent the City being placed under administration.

However, they have not yet filed papers.

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.