By Cllr Sue Bentley, Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality:
Service delivery in BCMM has ground to a halt over the last five weeks while the city’s political leadership wage their all-consuming battle against the Municipal Manager, Andile Fani.
The sparring ring for this battle has already cost the ratepayers of the metro hundreds of thousands of rands as Council heads into its fourth Council meeting in order to table and discuss the item which attempts to suspend the Municipal Manager.
Not only have the previous aborted/adjourned meetings cost the ratepayers approximately R65000 00 per meeting, but the hidden costs included the stationary so that each councillor can receive written notice of the meetings, the petrol used to hand deliver these notices to every councillors home, as well as the hours and hours of overtime that the drivers have clocked up while delivering these notices.
It is almost laughable that one senior ANC councillor (also implicated in the Mandela funeral scandal) had the gall to speak about wasteful expenditure at the very first aborted meeting held on the 29 April when the Mayor first tried to table the Fani suspension report.
All the above mentioned costs will seem like petty cash if the faction of the ANC who are baying for Fanis’s suspension have the majority vote in the Special Council meeting scheduled for Friday 22 May. Extra costs will involve further court cases and an acting Municipal Manager will need to be appointed and paid while Fani is suspended on full pay. One shudders also to think of the costs if Fani has his day in court and with the case.
The anti-Fani ANC faction have attempted to bypass legislation at every turn in order to suspend him and all opposition parties have had to fight hard to keep within the rules of Council. The ANC councillors who have also stood against all that is clearly wrong should be commended as they will, no doubt, face disciplinary action from their provincial leadership.
The outcome of this protracted battle, which is largely a personal vendetta between the Mayor and the Municipal Manager, will no doubt have a long term severe negative impact on the resident and ratepayers of the metro due to wasted expenditure and non-service delivery.