Note to editors: Please find attached English and Afrikaans soundbites by Cllr Johan Pretorius and a Sesotho soundbite by Cllr David Masoeu
Since 2016, residents in Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality have been plagued by exorbitant tariff hikes, while basic service delivery has deteriorated year after year. This is all due to the ANC’s policy of deploying cadres with no inkling of local governance in key positions such as the Mayor and Municipal Manager.
The Democratic Alliance takes note of the resignation of Cllr SB Lockman-Naidoo as the Speaker of the council. Currently, the municipality has an acting Executive Mayor, acting Municipal Manager, No Mayoral Committee (Mayco), No Council Chief Whip and no Speaker. The timeline of the municipalities’ downward spiral:
- In December 2019, The Metro was placed under Provincial administration and downgraded twice by rating agencies because of the national treasury’s letter to the then Premier, Sisi Ntombela, expressing concerns over its inability to generate revenue and provide services to residents.
- In August 2020, Mangaung Executive Mayor, Olly Mlamleli, who assumed office in August 2016 was removed in a no-confidence vote through a secret ballot.
- In May 2021, Mangaung City Manager, Tankiso Mea, has been suspended following calls from the Democratic Alliance and resigned in June to escape prosecution. So almost two years later this ANC administration did not bring any report to Council to appoint any candidate for the position of City Manager.
- In April 2022, The Mangaung Metro Municipality was placed under national intervention in terms of Section 139(7) of the Constitution.
- In Feb 2023, Mangaung Executive Mayor Mxolisi Siyonzana resigns after the ANC forced him to because of his incompetence and lack of ability to bring service delivery back to the residents.
With service delivery at an absolute standstill and the municipality with no leadership, we can only rely on the intervention team that has accomplished nothing in the past year. Officials lack the ability and resources to bring back stability, yet everyone receives their salaries every month from hard-earned taxpayers’ funds.
The DA believes in good governance and therefore advises the municipality to take the following steps:
- A Mayco that is fit for purpose must be appointed by the newly elected Executive Mayor.
- The list of candidates that is fit for purpose and apolitical for the vacant Municipal Manager position has to be tabled in the council as soon as possible.
- The National Intervention Team and all their staff have to leave the municipality immediately.
- The list of candidates that is fit for purpose and has no political ties with any political party for the vacant HOD positions in all the departments has to be tabled in the council as soon as possible.
- Ensure that Government Departments and Businesses with accounts that are in arrears agree to a written payment plan.
- Stop paying all ghost workers that are on the payroll.
- Most importantly: Treat basic service delivery as the top priority.
In order for this to happen the ANC will have to step aside as it has lost the ability and moral authority to govern the Metro and prevent a final collapse. Opposition party councillors and ANC councillors who are not happy with the current state of affairs must unite behind the DA candidate for the Executive Mayor position in the upcoming elections.
With these crucial steps, the newly elected Mayor and Municipal Manager can bring financial stability and address service delivery issues head-on. If residents want to put a stop to this in the Free State, they have to register to vote for the Elections in 2024 and vote the ANC out of power.