Political parties in Free State question COGTA’s financial assistance to struggling municipalities

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Some political parties in the Free State have questioned the timing of the notice issued by Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) to assist financially struggling municipalities.

The proposed system aims to revise the powers of the council from an executive mayoral system to a collective executive system.

The selected municipalities which include Maluti-A-Phofung and Metsimaholo amongst others have until mid-December to make their submissions.

A collective decision-making will be a way to go in bringing stability to collapsed municipalities. The move by COGTA MEC, Mxolisi Dukwana, has brought mixed reactions.

Coalition partners in the cash-strapped Maluti-A-Phofung accuse Dukwana of resorting to unscrupulous tactics to bring the African National Congress (ANC) back into power in the municipality.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Secretary in Free State, Bosanku Msimanga says they will fight for what is right for the people of the Free State.

“His timing will tell you a lot, that he chose this thing after elections and why not before elections. He is getting frustrated by the fact that his predecessors were doing far better than him on elections. So he must prepare himself psychologically to take opposition benches, that is where ANC belongs in the Free State.”

The Democratic Alliance (DA) leader in Free State, Roy Jankielsohn says this will strengthen their opportunity for their voices to be heard.

“This implies that in terms of the seats that we received in the council through the democratic process, we will be entitled to a position on the executive. We will represent our votes on an executive and continue to play a constructive role there.”

ANC Interim Provincial Committee Spokesperson, Oupa Khoabane, has denied claims that the party wants to dominate in hung municipalities.

“It’s not an issue of depriving those municipalities with money but to assist them to have more financial resources to deal with the challenges of service delivery that they have. So that the money cannot go anywhere else to benefit politicians.”

Dukwana says there is no ulterior motive in his intended action.

He insists that he is not targeting the municipalities where the ANC did not perform well.

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