DA to submit PAIA application to Polokwane Municipality

By Franco Marx, DA Polokwane Acting Caucus Leader:

The DA will today submit an application, in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA), to the Polokwane Local Municipality.

A Special Council meeting was scheduled for Friday 26 June 2015. The purpose of the Special Council meeting was to table an independent investigative report in Council as provided for in Section 5 of the Disciplinary Regulations for Senior Managers dated 21 April 2011.

This come after the Polokwane Municipality’s Municipal Manager Mrs Constance Mametja resigned shortly after she was placed under precautionary suspension pending the aforesaid investigation.

At the previous Special Council Meeting it was however resolved by Council that the independent report should be finalized in order to:

  1. determine whether other officials was involved; and
  1. what extend they were involved.

This further investigation could lead to similar proceedings against other officials and probably councillors.

Unfortunately the Executive Mayor failed to table the report but instead tabled her own summary of the report. Acting Polokwane Caucus leader, Franco Marx, indicated that the recommendations are supported in principle but in order to properly respond thereto the opposition should require a copy of the full report.

The Executive Mayor blatantly refused to furnish the DA Councillors with a copy of the original report. The Executive Mayor even refused to furnish a copy of her summary of the report and ordered that all copies should be handed in after the meeting. The Executive Mayor challenged the DA and said that ‘’you are welcome to go to court, I will go and defend myself there’’.

The DA believes that, at all times, the government and our Municipalities must act honestly, transparently and in the best interests of all South Africans.

The DA as official opposition, the elected Councillors and the residents of Polokwane has a Constitutional right to the requested information, which has been enshrined in the PAIA, and must give effect to this right, as set out in the objectives as listed in section 9 of the PAIA.

We are therefore seeking all documents relating to the report, including the original report, with its annexures as well as the Summary of the Executive Mayor that was read out to Council on the 26th of June 2015.

It is unfortunate that duly elected Councillors of the official opposition need to submit a PAIA application for the reports and documents that was supposed to be tabled in Council.

It is clear that those intimately involved in the outcome of the report and implicated therein are not willing to be open and honest.

The DA will continue to fight for the answers that lead to the precautionary suspension of the Municipal Manager and the subsequent investigation into other persons involved.

NB: click here for questions asked in council for more information….