Provincial intervention in Amathole DM long overdue

Issued by Vicky Knoetze, MPL
Shadow MEC for COGTA

The Democratic Alliance in the Eastern Cape welcomes the decision of the Eastern Cape Provincial Government’s Executive Council to finally implement Section 139 (5)(a) of the Constitution, to address the challenges in the Amathole District Municipality (ADM).

This step is long overdue, as the warning lights have been flashing for quite some time. The recovery plan put in place must ensure the municipality is able to meet its obligations to provide basic services and its financial commitments.

This means the gloves must come off, and the tough decisions must be made. We can no longer afford any holy cows if we want to build a capable state that delivers opportunity for all.

In the same vein, the DA encourages the Executive Council to consider similar interventions to address the challenges faced by 13 other local municipalities in the Eastern Cape that are in severe financial distress and on the verge of total collapse.

Local government is the bedrock of service delivery; if the local government fails, everyone suffers.

The provincial government must act urgently, and decisively, to free the residents of these municipalities from the shackles of poor governance.

The Section 139 intervention in ADM will be a litmus test for the MEC and his Department and will determine whether they are simply going to go through the motions, or are able to come up with sustainable solutions that will work.

Till now, the provincial government has turned a blind eye when it comes to these distressed municipalities, allowing them to slowly slip away.

The Department can no longer afford to protect failed political deployees at the expense of the people of this province.

TheDA will continue to fight for a sustainable local government, and where we are in government, like in Kouga and Nelson Mandela Bay, we will continue to lead the way.