Patriotic Alliance leads coalition in former ANC North West stronghold

The ANC’s Fikile Alfred Jakeni is the new speaker, while Shirley Kgalapa is chief whip.

Patriotic Alliance’s Elizabeth Lethoko was elected the mayor of Ditsobotla local municipality at a special sitting held in Mahikeng’s Ngaka Modiri Molema District Municipality’s headquarters.

This after the official meeting on 28 December was allegedly disrupted by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).

The ANC entered into a coalition arrangement with the Forum 4 Service Delivery (F4SD) and the PA, as it did not secure an outright majority victory.

ALSO READ: Ditsobotla municipality: ‘A humanitarian, constitutional crisis’ – Sakeliga

“I would like to thank the ANC, PA, F4SD, and other parties elected into the council today. I look forward to working with you in the remaining 4 years. The lawlessness should be done with and the dignity restored. If we do not behave, others will not behave,” new mayor Lethoko said on Monday.

Ghost workers

Last week, it was alleged that contract workers had taken municipal documents, which were thrown in the streets of Lichtenburg. They were apparently angry because they had not been paid for more than three months and their employment contracts were said to have been terminated without the contract workers being notified by the administrator.

The new mayor warned about ghost workers in the municipality. She promised to fill all vacancies in the municipality with capable men and women.

ALSO READ: Ditsobotla yet to swear-in councillors, first meeting abandoned

Lethoko said the municipality was losing a lot of money to ghost workers’ salaries – workers who did not exist in the real sense.

The new mayor promised to bring new energy to the towns of Lichtenburg and Coligny, where service delivery had been a nightmare for years under the rule of the ANC.

Ditsobotla water crisis

In 2021, the largest dairy company in the country decided to leave Lichtenburg due to poor service delivery. The town hall is not in good enough condition to be used, which is why the meeting had to be hosted outside the Ditsobotla local municipality.

“There is a constant cry in our beloved municipality: water,” Lethoko said. “Water is life. Our people are struggling without water. Our people [will] no longer need wheelbarrows in order to have water, that should be a thing of the past.”

ALSO READ: Politicians looking to win votes by cleaning streets, patching Ditsobotla’s potholes

Following the dissolution of the cashstrapped municipality, highly contested by-elections were held to elect the new council. Out of 39 council seats the ANC got 16, the EFF secured 10, the Democratic Alliance got six, while the other parties shared the remaining seats.

The ANC’s Fikile Alfred Jakeni is the new speaker, while Shirley Kgalapa is chief whip.

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