Thaba Chweu task team failed in its mandate

Sonja Boshoff MP

DA member in the NCOP

Cooperative governance MEC SPD Skhosana needs to explain why after more than six months, the provincial Thaba Chweu task team has failed to successfully intervene in the financial and governance affairs of this municipality.

The task team, which was announced with great fanfare, was mandated to develop a turnaround strategy for the municipality, so that it could function effectively and deliver quality services to the community.

Sadly, this intervention, like so many others before has failed. While the team managed to develop the strategy, under the leadership of Mr Godfrey Nkosi the plan has still not been implemented due to political infighting and factionalism among officials.

Click here to view the turnaround strategy.

Since the team’s deployment, Lydenburg and the rest of Thaba Chweu has all but gone to waste. Service delivery has reached a complete standstill, residents are up in arms and threatening all sorts of civil disobedience, and the silence from mayor Michael Ncongwane’s office all the way to the Office of the Premier, is deafening.

All that is evident is that the task team, like the rest of the administration, is not fit for purpose, and cannot execute its mandate to set the municipality back on track:

  • Water and electricity supply is sporadic at best, and is interrupted for days;
  • Raw sewage flows into streets and watercourses as reticulation pumps break down;
  • Waste at three landfill sites is set alight, and toxic smoke engulfs residential areas almost daily;
  • The municipality is in deep financial crisis, with a budget shortfall in excess of R168 million;
  • Funds earmarked for infrastructure development are used to pay debt and salaries;
  • Municipal assets are being written up by the sheriff of the court for attachment over bad debt; and
  • Eskom arrears have still not been settled, despite promises to do so within six months.

And now, only two questions remain: Why did the premier and the ANC not put this municipality under full-blown Section 139 administration last year when they should have, and when are they going dissolve this entire council and declare fresh elections as per our challenge?

The DA has the skills and competencies to govern Thaba Chweu, and we stand ready to return sustainable service delivery to this municipality.