The Democratic Alliance (DA) has requested the political head in the Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality (MMM), acting Executive Mayor Councillor LA Masoetsa, to institute a formal investigation into the conduct of the Municipal Manager (MM), Adv Mea. (Click here for the letter to the acting mayor and view charges against the MM).
The DA is concerned by the steady decline of services under the current administration, led by the MM, who has failed dismally to ensure reliable basic services for the residents of Mangaung and has abandoned his statutory duties. The formal complaints lodged by the DA are in accordance with disciplinary regulations for senior managers.
Some of these failures include a failure to comply with legislation relating to his employment relationships with staff, the failure since 2016 to ensure that service delivery related line managers perform their tasks adequately, the failure to ensure budgetary control and oversight, the failure to table the Annual Report on time and severe financial mismanagement.
Unauthorised, irregular, or fruitless and wasteful expenditure and other losses that should have been prevented by sound management are currently standing at a staggering R1,36 billion. The under collection, shortfalls and overspending has not been dealt with adequately by Council in contravention of the relevant legislation. The failure to manage a system for the collection of traffic fines has resulted in R18 million being written off due to non-collection from 2016 that could have been used for basic services. The non-payment of Bloemwater, third party creditors and Eskom poses a serious threat to the delivery of frontline services and continues to suffocate the local economy.
The MMM continues to put the health of residents at risk, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, by not delivering upon constitutional rights such as water and sanitation. Poor waste management poses a further health and environmental hazard to residents.
Following the further downgrade of the MMM last year by ratings agency Moody’s, it has again become clear that the service delivery failures of the Mangaung Metro has over the last years been heightened by the inadequate budgetary provision for maintenance of municipal infrastructure.
The DA will in the next weeks actively engage the acting Executive Mayor to try and ensure that this budgetary provision for maintenance be increased from the current 0% to at least 8% of the operational budget. The DA will also report the allegations of maladministration and misconduct to the offices of the Auditor General and the Public Protector.
The official complaints against the MM must be tabled in the MMM Council and dealt with in terms of the Council Rules and Orders. The DA will also request a secret ballot when the item is tabled for voting.
Residents of the MMM remain victims of the ANC’s cadre deployment strategy that has destroyed the capacity of the Metro to deliver the most basic of services such as decent roads, working traffic and streetlights, parks management, reliable and safe water supplies, electricity, and sound sewerage and waste management systems. Municipal services have all but come to a standstill and it is increasingly difficult to get hold of the right officials to assist councillors and residents with queries.
While the DA drives these issues that affect the basic services of residents in Council, it is the responsibility of residents to register and vote during the 2021 Local Government Elections.