Anthony Benadie MPL
Provincial Leader – Mpumalanga
The Democratic Alliance (DA) welcomes the establishment of a task team that will be investigating the “challenges” experienced within the Thaba Chweu Municipality. Following years of sustained DA and public pressure, newly appointed cooperative governance MEC Simon Skhosana yesterday announced that the task team would be set up to investigate the so-called “challenges” in the municipality.
This is a step in the right direction, and the first of its kind by the new MEC. After years of political infighting, maladministration, financial mismanagement and nepotism the situation in the Thaba Chweu local municipality has become untenable, and must be addressed. While the MEC was careful to note that the technical task team would only assist the municipality and not take over its administration, the DA reasserts our position that the council must be dissolved in terms of section 139(c) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa.
The DA has consistently applied pressure on the municipality and the provincial government to act on the situation in Thaba Chweu. In the recent past, and due to DA efforts, the municipality has been investigated by the Public Protector, the Human Rights Commission and the Hawks. We also welcome the fixed two-week timeframe given to the task team, and trust that the turnaround strategy which will be presented to the MEC will contain concrete proposals on restoring service delivery to the people of Thaba Chweu, while at the same time dealing decisively with incompetent officials and politicians. We certainly hope that this task team will function independently and is not mandated by factional ANC interests.
The DA looks forward to the task team’s arrival at the municipality and our councillors will give its members our full and honest cooperation while it goes about its business.