DA welcomes provincial intervention in three municipalities

Issued by Vicky Knoetze, MPL
Shadow MEC for COGTA

The Democratic Alliance welcomes that as part of the Report of the Portfolio Committee of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs today, the committee recommended that a section 106 intervention be implemented in the Inxuba Yethemba, Engcobo and Enoch Mgijima Local Municipalities on the basis that widespread fraud, corruption, and maladministration is suspected in these municipalities.

In terms of a section 106 intervention, the MEC may designate a person/s to investigate and request the municipality to make certain information available.

The DA has written to the MEC of COGTA, Xolile Nqatha, on several occasions – raising serious concerns around irregularities and recent occurrences in the Inxuba Yethemba Local Municipality.

The DA requested that the MEC urgently deploys a delegation from COGTA to visit the municipality and investigate several serious irregularities and concerns. Warning that the situation in Inxuba Yethemba Local Municipality is serious and may erupt at any moment.

The business sector and the community assisted in applying pressure. In February, community groups protested and shut down the town of Cradock due to these rampant irregularities and the collapse or service delivery, especially electricity outages, water outages, and sewerage leaks.
The alleged irregularities included:

The situation in terms of which the appointment of the municipal manager has lapsed on 31 October 2021 and has not been extended, meaning that he was acting unlawfully since 1 November, rendering all the actions by the municipality ultra vires until the end of February 2022.

In February, the municipality went rogue, completely disregarding and flouting municipal legislation and council procedures, rules, and processes. During a Council meeting held on Friday, 18 February, the acting Speaker unilaterally appointed a CFO which Council resolved in January to not appoint again. The Acting Speaker refused to allow the Council to vote on the matter and refused to call a division.

Only a week after the chaos caused by the mafia-style approach of the Council, the municipality re-appointed the Municipal Manager, Mr Mbebe, even though he is implicated in the section 106 report and has a pending stock theft case against him.

The municipality continues to demonstrate a disregard for municipal legislation and continues to demonstrate a complete disregard for the interest of the community of Inxuba Yethemba. Earlier this week, the ANC in Council unilaterally passed the budget and the Speaker yet again refused to allow for a vote or to call for a division by the DA.

The DA welcomes the decision of legislative intervention by Provincial COGTA to move in the right direction to root out corruption, fraud, and maladministration.

The DA will remain robust as the official opposition in the Inxuba Yethemba Local Municipality and expose any irregularities in this rogue municipality and hold those responsible to account, to protect the very foundations of democracy.