DA to take the fight to dissolve the dysfunctional Makana Municipality to COGTA Minister

DA to take the fight to dissolve the dysfunctional Makana Municipality to COGTA Minister

Premier Oscar Mabuyane’s lack of political will to deal with the collapsing Makana Local Municipality and the impact that this is having on the people who live there, has now forced the Democratic Alliance to ask the national government to intervene.

While residents of Makana deal with collapsing sewerage infrastructure, no water and disintegrating streets, the Premier has remained silent. While the municipality has failed to implement a financial turnaround strategy, despite being under administration, the Premier has been silent.

In November, National Treasury demanded the repayment of R 60 million in unspent Conditional Grants from the Makana Municipality. The DA called on the Premier to step up and dissolve the municipality, but he has again remained silent and failed to act.

Last week, the DA raised our concerns for the citizens of Makana during a sitting of the Provincial Legislature, but the acting MEC of COGTA for the sitting, Mlungisi Mvoko, dodged the issue, choosing rather to recite processes that must be followed before the Provincial Executive can intervene in Local Government.

His response, and the blatant lack of response from the Premier, have made it clear that the ANC government do not care about the people of Makana, or in fact any of the residents who are currently suffering under collapsing municipalities across the province.

If there was political will to fix this province, instead of finding excuses or dodging responsibility, this ANC-led government would be finding solutions.

Earlier this year, the Auditor General released the Audit Report for the 2022/23 financial year which revealed that the Makana Municipality received its 4th Disclaimed Audit Opinion in a row. The AG revealed that the municipality was only able to meet 33% of its basic service delivery and infrastructure development targets, exacerbating continued water shortages. It also only spent 1.5 % of its budget on maintaining and repairing its ageing infrastructure, against the mandated 8% set out by the National Treasury.

It has become clear that the council has no appetite to ensure that it preserves the last of its failing infrastructure.

The DA believes exceptional circumstances exist to justify for the S139 Constitutional intervention to dissolve the municipality.

I have now written to the national minister, Thembi Nkadimeng, to request that her Department step in where the Provincial Executive has failed, in terms of section 139(7) of the Constitution which states that:

“If a provincial executive cannot or does not or does not adequately exercise the powers or perform the functions referred to in subsection 4 or 5, the national executive must intervene in terms of subsection 4 or 5 instead of the relevant provincial executive”.

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Now is the time to be bold. Dissolve the Municipal Council and appoint an administrator until a new Municipal Council has been declared elected. The people of this province are suffering! Let’s be proactive in rescuing the Eastern Cape!