The African National Congress’ National Working Committee says the state of municipalities and governance in the North West is worrying. This emerged during a meeting between the ANC National Working Committee and the ANC provincial structures, held in Rustenburg in the North West.

The meeting was held to introduce the interim provincial structure, and to give the party’s public servants strict marching orders. ANC President Cyril Ramphosa, Deputy ANC President David Mabuza, and ANC Secretary General, Ace Magashule were among ANC top six who led the meeting.

It was a meeting to give marching orders to the newly established ANC Interim Provincial Committee. This is the third provincial structure to be established following the dissolution of the Supra Mahumapelo led Provincial Executive Committee, almost a year ago.

The Provincial Task Team led by North West Premier, Job Mokgoro was dissolved just before the general elections. It was later replaced by what was called ‘an all-inclusive PTT’ led by NEC members Obed Bapela and Mamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane. Their term ended after the elections. Currently, it is only the Ngaka Modiri Molema region out of the four ANC regions in the province that has a Regional Executive Committee.

Other regions are led by task teams. The interim committee has been instructed to unify the party. “We have put together what we call an Interim Provincial Committee, to assist us to rebuild the branches of the ANC, to make sure that there are no double branches, to take the regions that are due for conferences to conferences. And to work towards a provincial conference, where we will elect a leadership that will be focused on unifying the ANC,” says ANC Deputy Secretary General Jessie Duarte.

Duarte says since more than half of the North West’s twenty-two municipalities as well as a number of provincial government departments are under administration, a multi-pronged approach must be sought to turn things around. “Our view is that, we need a conversation that talks to how we correct some of the things that have been raised in the Auditor General’s report and by the national government. Primarily, it is about the issue of service delivery. Are we using the infrastructure grant that we’re getting correctly, the notion of and the reality of corruption amongst people in the province, dealing with that very decisively.”

A strong message has also been sent to ANC councillors who vote with opposition parties in motions of no confidence against ANC mayors. “If you are an ANC member, you cannot put your hand up and vote with the opposition on a vote of no confidence against the Mayor. Let us solve the problem that we have. Let us not deal with our own, and we join the opposition, who is not on our side anyway,” says Duarte.

The coordinator of the Interim Provincial Committee, Hlomane Chauke, says they will also take action against those found to be guilty of misusing public funds including municipalities that invested public funds at VBS mutual bank. “Public money cannot be invested. Public money is meant to deliver services to the people and those that are found to have done that, definitely we are not going to leave them. We’ll have to deal with that, but we’ll have to recover the money. MFMA and PFMA, they are very clear, on what you do when there’s misuse of public money, especially irregular expenditure. There must be investigation, and the action must be taken, and we are going to take action, against those who have done that.”

The National Working Committee has given the Interim Provincial Committee nine months to prepare for the provincial elective conference. In the meantime NEC members will be deployed to all municipalities to address poor performance. Click below for more on the story: