By Terence Fritz, Caucus Leader:
The Democratic Alliance welcomes the steps taken by the ANC to alleviate the leadership vacuum and address the administrative problems in Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality; however we are extremely concerned that this amounts to little more than shuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic.
Buffalo City is a sinking ship as a result of ANC incompetence, infighting and a complete lack of accountability.
If, as rumours suggest, the current mayor, Cllr. Zukiswa Ncitha, is to be redeployed to the NCOP, this will be the second time the ANC have taken a public representative accused of financial misconduct and facing criminal prosecution, and reward them with higher office. On the previous occasion, it was former mayor Zukiswa Faku, now a member of parliament, who was shuffled upwards.
While the new candidates for mayor and deputy mayor, MPLs Alfred Mtsi and Xola Pakati respectively, have no stains on their reputations, it is extremely questionable whether they will be able to rectify the problems plaguing BCMM in the limited time remaining before the 2016 local government elections.
The proposed administrative intervention (which we assume will be a section 139(1)(b) intervention in terms of the Constitution of South Africa) will be challenged by an increasingly factionalised ANC caucus, who are unlikely to submit to proposals that prevent them from feeding at the trough of public funds.
Only the DA has the political will, skills and knowledge to turn the ship around and make Buffalo City a metropolitan municipality in which all its residents are able to take pride.