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By Eric Naki

Political Editor


Dissolved Tshwane council ‘a political game, not about the people’

If it was about the people, the warring parties would compromise until the next local government elections, an analyst said.


In a move that could bring relief to the residents of Tshwane, who experienced regular water cuts and poor service delivery over several weeks, the City of Tshwane metro has been placed under administration as a way to restore political stability and put service delivery back on track. Soon the capital city’s municipality will be run by an administrator, who has yet to be appointed after the provincial government intervened to impose section 139 of the constitution. Senior political analyst Professor Lesiba Teffo said it is not about the people but a political game, aimed at accessing power and resources…

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In a move that could bring relief to the residents of Tshwane, who experienced regular water cuts and poor service delivery over several weeks, the City of Tshwane metro has been placed under administration as a way to restore political stability and put service delivery back on track.

Soon the capital city’s municipality will be run by an administrator, who has yet to be appointed after the provincial government intervened to impose section 139 of the constitution.

Senior political analyst Professor Lesiba Teffo said it is not about the people but a political game, aimed at accessing power and resources for personal gain.

He said if it was about people, the parties would compromise until the next local government elections.

The Gauteng government’s decision came as residents across Tshwane were reeling from frequent water cuts that lasted up to a week. Ga-Rankuwa township was the hardest hit, while water cuts had recently spread to the Pretoria central business district and suburbs like Arcadia and Hatfield, which faced water rationing.

This also affected the area around the Union Buildings that included a number of foreign embassies and the University of Pretoria, where people had to queue for water delivered by municipal tankers.

Yesterday an irate Gauteng Premier David Makhura announced that his executive council had taken a decision on Wednesday to place the metro under section 139 (1)(c) of the constitution.

“The provincial government has a constitutional responsibility and obligation to the residents of Tshwane to create stability and ascertain continuity of service delivery.

“As I promised, we will intervene decisively in any municipality when service delivery grinds to a halt and residents are suffering,” Makhura said.

Flanked by Gauteng MEC for cooperative governance, human settlements and traditional affairs Lebogang Maile at a media briefing in Johannesburg, the premier said the provincial government was guided by the constitution and law of the republic.

“The municipality is currently incapable of carrying out its constitutional obligations,” Makhura said. “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.”

Furthermore, Tshwane showed “flagrant disregard for the Municipal Finance Management Act, especially regarding procurement processes, which has eroded good governance in the city”.

The irregular tenders, including those awarded to GladAfrica and Aurecon, were examples of numerous irregularities.

Also, the previously Democratic Alliance-led metro incurred unauthorised, irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure that was flagged by the auditor-general.

The city has been slow in effectively applying consequence management to deal with matters raised by the auditor-general.

It also failed to spend conditional grants, leading to loss of money to National Treasury, something Makhura said was unacceptable. Those grants could have been used for development and service delivery and local municipalities that were desperate for funding.

“At the same time, in terms of its financial position, the city is facing serious challenges given its current inability to pay all its creditors and the serious problems it is experiencing in terms of revenue collection,” he said.

The provincial government complained about constant irregular senior management appointments that did not comply with regulation 17(4) of the Local Government Regulations on Appointment and Conditions of Employment of Senior Managers (2014).

The council had also failed to elect a ward committee since 2016 in violation of the Municipal Structures Act.

ericn@citizen.co.za

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