DA calls for dissolution of Moqhaka Municipal Council

Patricia Kopane MP

DA Leader in the Free State

The DA will today write to Premier Ace Magashule calling on him to initiate a provincial executive intervention in Moqhaka Local Municipality under Section 139.(1)(c) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa.

Section 139.(1)(c) of the Constitution allows the provincial executive to dissolve the Municipal Council and appoint an Administrator to manage the municipality’s affairs until elections have been held and a new Municipal Council has been elected.

Moqhaka is in crisis.

In January, municipal workers downed tools in protest against the mismanagement of the municipality. They called for the removal of the municipal manager.

Earlier this week, the municipal manager unlawfully dismissed 33 municipal workers, claiming that they interfered in his work. It is clear that the administration of the municipality is in chaos. The Auditor-General’s 2012/2013 Moqhaka Local Municipality Annual Report shows just how bad things have gotten. The Report found:

  1. Irregular expenditure of R52 million and an additional R 88 million written off.
  2. Fruitless and wasteful expenditure of R19 million.
  3. Awards were made to bidders other than those recommended by the bid evaluation committee without ratification by the accounting officer, as required by SCM regulation 29(5)(b);
  4. The accounting officer did not establish processes to prevent and detect unauthorised, irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure;
  5. The accounting officer did not compile and approve delegations when the new council was appointed at the municipality;
  6. The accounting officer did not establish internal controls to ensure that all laws and regulations are complied with;
  7. Moqhaka Municipality is technically bankrupt as its liabilities far outstrip its assets.

The root of the problem is that the municipal manager and the council’s political leadership are in cahoots and are allowing the administration of the municipality to fall apart. The DA has repeatedly called for the dismissal of the Moqhaka Municipal Manager, Mr Mncedisi Simon Mqwathi, tabling numerous ‘Motions of No Confidence’ in his ability to execute his duties. These have been ignored by the Council Speaker, Ms Disebo Nakedi. Mayor Jihad Mohapi has refused to heed the DA’s persistent calls for the suspension of Mr Mqwathi.

The bottom line is that the failure in proper financial administration is leading to a total collapse of service delivery in the Moqhaka Municipality.

The council should be dissolved immediately and the people should be given the opportunity to elect new representatives to lead the municipality out of its current mess.

This is a sad example of how corruption, crony politics and mismanagement have crept into the way the Zuma ANC operates. Ultimately, the connected politicians win and the people lose. We believe the people of Moqhaka should have an opportunity to have their voices heard on the sad state of affairs in this municipality.