DA welcomes Renosterberg intervention – but is it enough?

By Ismail Obaray MPL DA Northern Cape Spokesperson of SCOPA:

The DA welcomes an eventual intervention into the embattled Renosterberg municipality but we are skeptical as to whether this is enough to save this sinking ship from going under.

We are glad that the Mayor of Renosterberg Municipality, Zet Kwinana, has been removed from his post. The fact that he has been redeployed to the Social Development Department is another issue for another day.

Kwinana’s removal as mayor is undoubtedly long overdue. Under his leadership, creditors reached a total of R33.4 million, while money owed to the municipality has exceeded R30 million. There has been a problem with numerous faulty accounts, water and electricity losses and the cash flow is seriously constrained. The municipality also owes Eskom R30 million, the Water Board R1,7 million and the Auditor-General R7,4 million.

On top of this, the mayor and municipal manager had to go to National Treasury last week to beg for funds to pay salaries.

Renosterberg municipality is just about as dysfunctional as you get.

As the political head of this institution, Kwinana has played a significant role in the municipality’s demise. But Kwinana alone is not responsible for the fall of Renosterberg. The officials alongside him must also usurp some of this responsibility.

The DA is therefore not convinced that Kwinana’s mere removal is sufficient to remedy the magnitude of the problems within Renosterberg. It is against this backdrop that the DA previously called for the municipality to be placed under administration in terms of section 139 of the Constitution and for National Treasury to provide immediate support in the form of technical and financial advisors, in order to urgently put proper processes and systems in place.

The DA stands by our call.

We acknowledge attempts to rectify the wrongs of this municipality but the people of Philipstown, Petrusville and Van Der Kloof deserve a more concerted effort from government to get their towns up and running again.