Thaba Chweu crisis needs direct intervention

Anthony Benadie MPL Provincial Leader – Mpumalanga The DA calls on cooperative governance MEC Simon (SPD) Skhosana to immediately exercise his mandate of intervening in the Thaba Chweu local municipality in terms of Section 139(1)(b) of the South African Constitution. Since the deployment of the technical task team to investigate and report on the state of this municipality, the situation has rapidly deteriorated. Municipal services are still not being delivered and the first reports of sabotage have now started doing the rounds. It is alleged that certain illegal strikers last night deliberately disconnected electricity supply to Lydenburg, plunging the town into darkness for over two hours. The DA has been reliably been informed that this act of sabotage was in response to municipal manager Burton Khoma’s being placed on special leave for two weeks – after he will respond to accusations of nepotism and mismanagement made against him. While we welcome the steps against Mr Khoma, Thaba Chweu’s residents do not need to be subjected to acts of sabotage and having their right to quality service delivery deliberately undermined. DA reiterates our position that the governance crisis in Thaba Chweu is beyond the capabilities of a mere technical task team and MEC Skhosana must intervene. While we have already called for a dissolution of council under Section 139(1)(c) of the Constitution and challenged the ANC to face us in by-elections across all 14 wards, the DA will accept an intervention in terms of Section 139(1)(b), placing the municipality under administration. The crisis in Thaba Chweu has escalated beyond control, and requires direct intervention protect the rights of residents.

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