By Andrew Whitfield, MP, Frontier constituency leader:
The Democratic Alliance has today written to Minister Pravin Gordhan calling for the immediate dissolution of the Makana Council under Section 139 1 (c) of the Constitution.
Makana’s current financial position, the devastating collapse of service delivery and the recent illegal appointment of cllr Nomhle Gaga as mayor, warrants urgent action by the minister.
It is time to hit the reset button on a broken Makana Council. It is time for a government that puts the people first and restores freedom and fairness that can create opportunities for the citizens of Makana.
Since 2011, ex-mayor Zamuxolo Peter systematically dismantled Makana’s administration through political interference, maladministration and by repeatedly undermining the council’s legislated mandate to serve the people.
In September 2014, after repeated calls from the DA, MEC Fikile Xasa finally placed Makana under Section 139 1(b) administration, ushering in the highest paid administrator in the country, Ms Pam Yako. In her nine month intervention, costing more than R2-million, Yako failed to turn the municipality around. In fact things are now getting worse.
Two weeks ago, cllr Gaga was illegally appointed as the new mayor without a secret ballot and in direct contravention of the Municipal Structures Act. Last week the DA filed an urgent application in the Grahamstown High Court to have the appointment set aside.
After years of maladministration, political infighting and chronic service delivery failure it is clear that the current administration and political leadership of the ANC are not prepared to put the interests of the people before their own.
The ANC have driven this once prosperous and proud municipality into the ground while protecting and promoting the interests of a closed crony clique of cadres who have ‘feasted’ at the expense of the people.
It is now time to dissolve the Makana Council and hit the reset button in order to usher in a new era of good governance and delivery under a DA-government.
This is change that will bring freedom, fairness and opportunity to all the residents of Makana.