PROVINCE’S PROGRAMMES DELAYED AS OFFICIALS MAKE THEIR WAY TO EL: DAILY DISPATCH

THE Eastern Cape legislature postponed all its programmes yesterday to allow members to attend the ANC provincial list conference.

The gathering was attended by more than 1 200 delegates, including ANC MPLs in the legislature, mayors, councillors and municipal managers from various municipalities in the province.

Last month, ANC provincial secretary Oscar Mabuyane announced that the conference would be held on November 16, but early this week he changed the date.

An e-mail from legislature communications said: “Kindly note that all the committee meetings scheduled for Thursday October 31, and Friday November 1 have been postponed.

“These meetings will take place in the week of November 11 to 15.”

The e-mail also stated that a plenary session planned for November 8 had been moved to November 18 to 22.

“The actual dates for the various committee meetings and the plenary will be reflected in the updated legislature programme, which will be distributed once all the changes have been effected,” the e-mail read. The local government and traditional affairs department also postponed a MuniMec meeting planned for yesterday and today.

MuniMec is attended by mayors, speakers and municipal managers from all 45 municipalities in the province.

Asked about the postponements of government programmes, Mabuyane distanced the party from the changes.

“I think you should ask the leaders of those institutions. We did not issue such an instruction,” he said.

Democratic Alliance provincial leader Athol Trollip said the late cancellations were a waste of money, especially for municipalities that had already booked for the MuniMec.

“That’s why the DA is always strongly reinforcing the fact that there should be a separation between state and party. But under the ANC there is no separation, they don’t see the difference,” said Trollip.

“These are very important meetings, especially considering the state of local government and the challenges faced by many, if not all, the municipalities in this province,” he added.

United Democratic Movement’s Maxwell Mhlati said they accepted that as the ruling party, when the ANC went to its conference, the planned committees would be cancelled. — mphumziz@dispatch.co.za / aphiwed@disptch.co.za