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Oppositions reject newly-established JB Marks Municipality
3 January 2018, 8:16 PM

Opposition parties, within the newly-established JB Marks Municipality comprising former Ventersdorp and Tlokwe municipalities, say the amalgamation of the two municipalities is facing serious challenges.

Since its announcement three years ago, the amalgamation has been met with resistance from some quarters of the communities, including political parties in the province.

The decision to amalgamate the two municipalities was taken by the then Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Pravin Gordan.

The reasons given by the then minister was that the Ventersdorp Municipality was unable to perform its constitutional obligations, as it was not financially viable. That decision was met with resistance from some community members both at Ventersdorp and Potchefstroom, arguing that they were not sufficiently consulted.

However, the merger went ahead and was implemented fully after 2016 August local elections. This, however, seems to be facing serious financial challenges.

Democratic Alliance councillor, Advocate Jurie Moolman says, “At some stage, we had around R400 million as reserves during the former Tlokwe Municipality and the last time we heard, four, five months ago, it was at the region of R100 million. We are aware of huge challenges with regards to electricity accounts. Recently, we also heard through the media and not in council, unfortunately, that we are owing the water board in the region of R70 million these are huge amount of debts.”

Independent councillor, David Kham, says the worrying factor is that Potchefstroom residents are now subsidising Ventersdorp.

Kham says, “In Ventersdorp, we are continuing to spend the money that is collected from this side. I can tell you that there are serious constraints when it comes to our expenditure. I mean even service providers can stay for long without been paid. It is exactly as a result of that. The second issue which the municipality is facing severely is the dilapidated infrastructure of that old region now.”

JB Marks Mayoral Spokesperson, Victor Boqo, has dismissed all allegations that their municipality is in financial challenges following the merger.

“I can’t agree with those sentiments. Remember the reason by the then Minister of Local Government Pravin Gorhdan to amalgamate Tlokwe and Ventersdorp … some of the reasons were that Ventersdorp was not financially viable. So, indeed after this amalgamation, remember there were debts at the then Ventersdorp like in water and Eskom. So to date, we have been paying those debt as the municipality we cannot say we use of Tlokwe.”

Boqo has, however, acknowledged that the funds allocated for the processes of amalgamation has dried up and the municipality intends requesting for additional funding.

Meanwhile, the municipality is reported to be amongst those in the country, owing Eskom and Water board millions of rands.

Mahumapelo brushes off criticism over plan to rename NW after Kotane
15 March 2015, 9:18 AM

North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo has responded to criticism regarding plans by his government for renaming the province after struggle hero, Moses Kotane.

Mahumapelo was responding to questions raised by members of the Provincial Legislature this week, during the debate on his State of the Province Address delivered last week.

During the debate, the matter of taking the legislature to the Mogwase Stadium near Sun City in Rustenburg was also raised as a concern. Among the question that mostly dominated the debates on Tuesday was the issue on the extravagance in taking the legislature to Mogwase.

In his response, Mahumapelo says although it is the dictates of the constitution to sometimes take parliament to the people, he is suggested having a pronouncement from the citizens of the province on the matter.

“It may be necessary for the office of the Speaker to consider the possibility of asking the people of this province as to whether we must continue to adhere to this dictates of the constitution by taking parliament and the legislature to the people. Maybe to lay this matter to rest, it may be necessary for us to ask the people of Bokone Bophirima to participate in the determination that we have made as to whether you must continue to hold sittings of the legislature in the villages or not,” says Mahumapelo.

On the renaming of the province, Mahumapelo still argues in favour of his proposal. He has criticised those arguing that this will be a costly exercise.

“The contribution by Moses Kotane in the liberation of people of this country is priceless, therefore there is no amount that we can attach to his contribution. Moses Kotane is just about the name, it’s about the value system, which Moses Kotane pursued; which he lived for; which he adhered to. So we want to call on all our people to understand that it is important for us to embrace the values like selflessness, respect hard which he pursued.”

Alfred Motsi of the EFF says his party supports taking the legislature to the people

Alfred Motsi of the Economic Freedom Front says his party supports taking the legislature to the people. However, he is not happy about what he terms the waste of tax payers’ money.

Democratic Alliance leader in the province, Chris Hattingh, was quick to say Mahumapelo’s responses were not satisfactory.

“For instance, the continued deployment of cadres to all government departments where some of the departments sit is at a figure of 98% in conflict of equity employment act. He did not respond to that. Because it is so embarrassing in his own department whites, Indians and coloureds have been worked out. There are almost 96% of blacks in his own department. This comes at his own statistics.”

Meanwhile, Mahumapelo has emphasised that necessary consultation with all stakeholders on the intended name change will be undertaken.

– By Patrick Dintwa

More UCDP members defect to DA
1 April 2014, 9:19 AM

Eighty members of the United Christian Democratic Party have defected to the Democratic Alliance in the North West.

This brings to 200 the number of defections by UCDP members over the past few weeks.

These former UCDP members have given the long-standing leadership battles within the party as one of their reasons for seeking an alternative political home.

Some of the residents of Ward 31 in Setlopo village in Mahikeng express their decision of joining forces with the Democratic Alliance.
They say Kgosi Mangope advised them to join any political party of their choice, but not the ANC.

“Our President Sir Lucas Manyane Mangope told us that he is now tired of going to court now and then, he said to us you decide where you going I am going to DA but I don’t say you must follow me. But please don’t go to the ANC so we just have to follow him.”

Another member adds that the DA is the only good party in South Africa as it fights against corruption and fights for service delivery.

Democratic Alliance leader in the province, Chris Hattingh, says he’s hopeful that by receiving new members, they will aggressively grow their support and become an official opposition in the province.

“What we see through the term is that people come to join us they have realised that they have a choice to make about the enrichment of a very few people. We are positive that we are gaining ground and the results will confirm that we are the only alternative for what is going on in the ANC. We are in a very strong position and what we see is that we are confident that we will at least be the official opposition in the North West province.”

We are positive that we are gaining ground and the results will confirm that we are the only alternative for what is going on in the ANC

UCDP National Chairperson, Celia Ditshetelo, says they are not fazed by the defection of some their members.

“We would be worried if one of our important members was defecting but now it seems we are talking about ordinary members, we don’t mind. UCDP is on the ball, we have everything that can make us go to the elections on the 07th of May we are ready. As the UCDP the way we are growing… even if you can tell me 100 of them have left, that won’t worry UCDP at all because we are growing. We have registered for nine provinces so that doesn’t worry us.”

However an analyst from the North West University, Professor Andre Duvenhage, has a different opinion.

He says the latest defection will have a negative impact on the UCDP during the coming election.

“The ordinary individuals are playing a very important role and you cannot just throw away the view point of ordinary people. My assessment is that it is negative for the UCDP. It is clear to me that the party is on the decline and that it is not going to be a significant factor at least not in North West, of the 2014 elections.”

Although the National chairperson of the UCDP has refuted that former Bophutatswana leader Kgosi Lucas Mangope might coin the DA, some of his supporters have confirmed that he told them that he might vote for DA.

When contacted to confirm Mangope’s membership, the DA leader in the province says there are talks with Mangope to join the party.

– By Patrick Dintwa

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