Elza van Lingen (MP)
DA Leader, National Council of Provinces:
In a damning report tabled in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) yesterday (subs:Thurs, 26 Feb) the Council declared the section 139 (1)(b) administration intervention null and void as procedural requirements of the constitution were not met.
The DA has repeatedly brought the critical situation of the people of Makana to the attention of the Eastern Cape MEC for Local Government and Traditional Affairs, Fikile Xasa, Minister Pravin Gordhan and the NCOP, and called for the intervention of Makana Municipality.
In a motion to the NCOP in August last year I called on the council to place Makana under administration. On 10 September 2014 the MEC Xasa, announced the section 139(1)(b) intervention.
On 23 September 2014, Kevin Mileham, DA spokesperson for Cooperative Governance, wrote to minister Gordhan to inform him of our concerns that constitutional due process had not been followed.
Further to this the minister has an obligation to approve the intervention within 28 days, which according to our knowledge, he did not do.
In terms of Section 139 (5) and (6)(b) of the constitution, the provincial executive must submit a written notice to the relevant legislature and the NCOP within seven days after the intervention has begun. This notice only served before the NCOP on 27 October 2014 and was formally recorded in the parliamentary records on 3 November 2014.
On 20 November 2014, I tabled another motion in the NCOP calling on MEC Xasa to ensure that the intervention was legally compliant and to provide feedback to the NCOP on the progress of the intervention.
On 21 November constituency MP Andrew Whitfield wrote to MEC Xasa asking him when he tabled the intervention before the NCOP and when he informed the minister.
These early warnings have all fallen on deaf ears and the MEC must now start from scratch and ensure that he follows due process as outlined in the constitution.
The DA will now write to minister Gordhan to insist that MEC Xasa is held personally liable for any fruitless and wasteful expenditure incurred since 10 September 2014. We will further insist that the MEC tables an exit-report in the NCOP as a matter of urgency.
The people of Makana Municipality have yet again become the victims of ANC political infighting while service delivery continues to decline.
The DA will continue to hold the ANC to account at every level of government as we continue our fight for the rights of the residents of Makana.