The latest events in the Mbizana municipality presents the MEC for Local government with the opportunity to make an example and act against those responsible for chaos instead of service delivery. He must invoke Section 139 to intervene and take over the running of this municipality.
A fight between the mayor and municipal manager of the Mbizana municipality has left officials and councillors without their pay this month.
The MEC admitted in public recently to “administrative decline” in municipalities after the Auditor-General’s findings that none of the 45 municipalities in the province received a clean audit in the 2011/12 financial year.
The elected leaders in municipalities were chosen by their communities to ensure development and service delivery. Instead we are faced with people in powerful positions who care nothing for service delivery and who only care for power.
I have been informed that the reason for non payment of salaries in Mbizana municipality as a result of a tit-for-tat-game between the mayor, Zoleka Busuku who attempted to fire municipal manager, Simphiwe Thobela without the consent of the Mbizana council last week. The two parties have been at each other in a labour dispute for months.
I was told that the municipal manager was getting back at councillors by not signing the necessary documents for salaries to be paid. I was also informed that the contract of the Chief Financial Officer has not been renewed.
Employees were not informed that they would not been paid. The behaviour of all parties involved in this mater shows the contempt they have for the communities who voted them to power.
It is time that the MEC takes the lead and acts against municipalities where infighting has brought service delivery to a standstill.
I have written the MEC to against request on behalf of the DA that he uses his powers in terms of Section 139 of the Constitution. The MEC must take ruthless action against non-performing municipal- and departmental officials or face a vote of no confidence.
For far too long the public has been hearing on a daily basis how municipal governance in this province has become dysfunctional.
Little, if anything, is done to bring lazy and incapacitated departmental- and municipal officials to book or to sufficiently capacitate these individuals to effectively discharge their duties.
The hesitation and fear of the MEC and his department in not invoking Section 139 of the Constitution is of great concern and a disservice to the residents of Mbizana.