The City of Tshwane could be placed under administration yet again. The provincial government is stepping in as the Metro is rocked by political instability and infighting. Acting Gauteng Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) MEC, Faith Mazibuko, says she views the failure to elect a mayor in a serious light.
The collapse of two council meetings in under a week has prompted COGTA in the province to request a comprehensive report from the speaker, Mncedi Ndzwanana.
A special council sitting was adjourned yesterday after Ndzwanana announced he is seeking legal opinion on the legitimacy of a COPE councillor.
Spokesperson for COGTA in the province, Kgapa Mbausela explains:
“The letter to the Speaker was prompted by the adjournment of the council meeting that was convened on 22 March 2023, to elect an executive mayor. Acting MEC Mazibuko indicated to the Speaker that “as the Acting MEC responsible for local government in the Province, I view the state of affairs in the City in a very serious light”. It means that the City remains without a mayor and is seized with a vacuum of executive leadership. The perpetual failure to elect an executive mayor places the integrity and governance of the Municipality in peril. Acting MEC Mazibuko said that “this will no doubt have far-reaching ramifications on the stability of the Municipality.”
The multi-party coalition has accused the African National Congress (ANC) and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) of deliberately frustrating the process. It petitioned the Speaker to hold a special council sitting to elect a mayor tomorrow. It also threatened to go to court if Ndzwanana fails to respond.
Jacqui Uys, the Tshwane Caucus and Coalition Management Committee Chairperson, explains:
“The coalition legal counsel wrote to the Speaker last night to reconvene a council meeting this morning after he illegally adjourned the meeting yesterday. The Speaker then ignored this correspondence from our counsel. Therefore, we are currently at this moment submitting a petition to the Speaker to call a meeting for tomorrow for a mayor to be elected and if the Speaker should not do so then further steps will follow.”
Mayor election set for Tuesday
The Office of the Speaker has confirmed receipt of COGTA’s letter and says a response will be given before the deadline set by the MEC. It has also set down the election of a mayor for next Tuesday. City spokesperson, Selby Bokaba, has confirmed that the four vacant councillor positions have been filled.
“The City of Tshwane wishes to confirm that it has received correspondence from the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) indicating that the four Proportional Representative (PR) Councillor positions that were declared vacant earlier this week have now been duly filled. The IEC has furnished the City with the replacement names of the four councillors – three from ActionSA and one from the Congress of the People (COPE).”
Political analyst, Naledi Modise, from the North-West University, says COGTA took the right step to seek accountability.
“The election of the Mayor as one of the key political offices is important to bring stability to the council but also to provide political direction and political strategic leadership in the municipality. If this is not done by the 30th the MFM does empower the MEC of COGTA to dissolve the council and appoint an administrator that is when a municipality is placed under administration and once this happens there’s normally a disruption or delay in the services rendered to the citizens or residents of that municipality.”
Both the ANC and the EFF have blamed the delays on the Democratic Alliance (DA)-led multi-party coalition following their walkout last Friday. The Metro was placed under administration in 2020 for eight months when the council was dissolved.
City of Tshwane still without a Mayor: