SALGA must pronounce on Municipal Managers attending ANC Lekgotlas

Issued by Dr Vicky Knoetze, MPL
Shadow MEC for COGTA

The South African Local Government Association (SALGA) must urgently pronounce on the ANC’s blatant abuse of power by summoning Metro and District Municipal Managers (MMs) to the recent ANC PEC lekgotla.

SALGA needs to draw a line in the sand when it comes to this kind of blatant form of cadre deployment.

Cadre deployment has played a significant role in the corruption, capture, and collapse of South Africa’s public sector. The MMs’ presence at the Lekgotla raises serious questions regarding their allegiances.

It is this kind of arrogant behaviour by the ANC that has led to the crises that we as a nation are currently facing.

The DA understands that not only were the MMs invited to the Lekgotla, which took place at the East London ICC earlier this month, but they were actually instructed to leave a SALGA workshop taking place in East London to attend the ANC event.

The deafening silence of COGTA MEC, Zolile Williams, has made it clear that he finds no fault with the blatant abuse of power by the ANC, and his failure to intervene in any way is a blatant disregard for the foundations of our democracy.

In their capacity as accounting officers of municipalities, it is essential that municipal managers are a-political and impartial to ensure that the day-to-day operations of running a municipality are not undermined. Their reported summoning from a SALGA workshop to attend a political gathering is highly irregular.

The newly amended Systems Act 3 of 2022 reaffirms the principle of the divide between party and state as it includes several positions to ensure that no municipal employee serves on any decision-making structure of a political party.

One of the key strategic responsibilities of SALGA is to act as the protector, robustly enforcing the rights of the local government sector.

If the organisation is committed to ensuring the stability of local government, it can’t turn a blind eye or deaf ear to this activity.

The Democratic Alliance will continue to fight for an impartial and professional public sector. We need a local government that serves the people of this province, not one that is beholden to the puppet masters at Calata House.