Note to editors: Please find attached English and Sesotho soundbites by Tim Mpakathe.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) exposed a concerning trend in the Mantsopa Local Municipality, where the ANC-led administration has reduced the crucial process of a municipal policy review to a mere tick-box exercise. It is common practice in local government to conduct an annual review of budget-related policies before the start of a new financial year, beginning on 1 July.
Shockingly, there are approximately 40 policies awaiting review by the municipal council later this week, in preparation for the upcoming financial year. To our dismay, the ANC-led municipality has decided to cram all these reviews into a single day. Originally scheduled for a three-day policy workshop, starting from 22 May to 24 May, the dates were abruptly changed to 23 May to 25 May, to be conducted virtually. On Monday afternoon, the Democratic Alliance received yet another revision, with the workshop now scheduled for just one day on Wednesday, 25 May.
On 19 April 2023, the DA sent a letter to the newly appointed municipal manager and mayor, urgently requesting the convening of a Strategic Planning session dedicated to the robust policy review. Unfortunately, like previous correspondence, this letter was blatantly ignored.
The ANC-led municipality appears to disregard the fundamental purpose of policies as mechanisms for achieving societal goals and allocating resources. Their lack of commitment to engaging with policies that would truly benefit the residents of Mantsopa is disheartening. The DA remains steadfast in our commitment to drive positive change across the country and, therefore, strongly urges all residents to register to vote in the upcoming 2024 National and Provincial Government elections.