The ANC in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) on Tuesday (Subs: 24 Feb) ran scared to call the Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Pravin Gordhan, to account for the gerrymandering of municipal boundaries for political gain in his current section 26 notices to amalgamate ten Eastern Cape municipalities into four larger municipalities and joining one with the Buffalo City Metro.
That means the ANC was agreeing that they cannot manage municipalities and they want to take local government away from the people.
The proposed amalgamations are Great Kei with Buffalo City Metro, Ikwezi with Camdeboo and Baviaans, Gariep with Maletswai, Nxuba with Nkonkobe and Inkwanca with Tsolwana and Lukhanji.
The motion without notice from the DA consisted of several points for accountability to the National Council of Provinces, where local government and provincial matters must be raised. The DA called on the House for a debate at which Minister Gordhan must inform the people of the Eastern Cape of the following:
- What assistance was provided by the MEC for Local Government and Traditional Affairs to these struggling municipalities?
- What cooperation was received from these municipalities in this regard?
- What was the role of the Auditor General in alerting the MEC and what advice was given to these municipalities?
- What role did SALGA fulfil in support of local councillors with the process of their responsibilities to manage municipalities?
- What was the role of the National Treasury?
- What is the effectiveness of local government legislation in terms of the Constitutional imperatives on local governance?
- Which local municipalities were declared financially nonviable and lacking credible administration and quality service delivery as required by the various prescriptions; and
- Were the financial and administrative dis-functionality as well as inability of service delivery of municipalities considered for re-demarcation at this late stage?
The blocking of the motion by the ANC is a clear indication that they have lots to hide from the public in this regard. Their action sends a message to all South Africans that local government is not the business of local communities but rather the business of a selected few in the Jacob Zuma administration.