The ANC’s Closed Crony Society for the Well Connected Few

Roy Jankielsohn MPL DA Caucus Leader in the Free State Legislature Note: the following members statement was delivered during a sitting of the Free State Legislature in Reddersburg. A copy of this statement was also given to the Free State Premier. Deputy-Speaker, the Bethlehem Air Show is one of the most spectacular annual events in the Thabo Mofutsanyane District. It is for this reason that it is sponsored by Dihlabeng municipality and the province. In 2012 the Dihlabeng Municipality gave the organising committee R100 000 for the event. It has, however, come to light that two councillors, who serve on the organising committee, benefited financially from the event and thus from the council sponsorship. Council documents indicate that both Councillors Clem Harrington and Japie Pienaar of Dihlabeng Municipality each received R10 000 as salaries from the event. Furthermore, the fiancé and employee of councillor Harrington also received R10 000. The Municipal Systems Act of 2000 (Schedule 1) introduced a Code of Conduct for Municipal Councillors. Section 6 of the Code of Conduct deals with personal gain by any councillor and the relevant subsection (2) read as follows: “Except with the prior consent of the municipal council, a councillor may not- (a) be a party to or beneficiary under a contract for- (i) the provision of goods or services to the municipality; or (ii) the performance of any work otherwise than as a councillor for the municipality;” In terms of his authority under the Municipal Finance Management Act (no 56 of 2003) the Minister of Finance issued Regulations further clarifying and guiding the obligations of municipalities regarding the adoption and implementation of a Supply Chain Management Policy. These regulations came into effect on 1 July 2005. The definitions in the Regulations state that “in the service of the state” means (amongst others) to be- (a) a member of – (i) any municipal council; (ii) any provincial legislature; or (iii) the National Assembly or the National Council of Provinces; Section 44 of the Regulations places a prohibition on awards to persons in service of the state. It reads as follows: “The supply chain management policy of a municipality or municipal entity must, irrespective of the procurement process followed, state that the municipality or municipal entity may not make any award to a person- (a) who is in service of the state” We now have clarity on why these two councillors were given positions by the ANC when they were not re-elected by the DA. The DA believes in an Open Opportunity Society for All, while the ANC believes in a Closed Crony Society for the Well Connected Few. We wait in anticipation to see what action, if any, the MEC for Cooperative Governance will take regarding the breach of this national legislation and regulations. Their illegal actions bring both their municipal council and the prestigious air show in which they are involved in serious disrepute.

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