Residents of the Lichtenburg-based Ditsobotla Local Municipality in the North West have welcomed the decision of the North West government to dissolve its council. The council was disbanded last week following the announcement by the provincial department of Human Settlement, Cooperative Government and Traditional Affairs that the Ditsobotla council was dysfunctional and failed to execute its constitutional obligation.
Ditsobotla Local Municipality is one of the province’s troubled municipalities. It has been marred by an unstable council, since the 2021 local government elections. In the recent past, it had two municipal managers, two mayors and two council Speakers.
Consequently, its equitable shares were withheld by Treasury. This has also affected workers, who have not been paid for two months. Last week’s apparent hostage of municipal officials, councillors and African National Congress (ANC) officials by workers at the municipality has done nothing to expedite the payment of workers. In all this, residents are feeling the brunt, as they do not get services. Some residents support the dissolution of the council.
“That is very long overdue, that was the right thing to do. The whole community of Ditsobotla welcome that decision for CoGTA,” a resident explains.
“These people they are doing nothing for us from eight years back unfortunately there was a budget for extension 4 but there is nothing happening,” another resident says.
“We do not want that municipality anymore; we want a new municipality coming from a new party. We do not want the ANC municipality anymore. We are fed up,” a resident reiterates.
Tsholofelo Mathibedi, spokesperson for the provincial department of Human Settlement, Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs says the municipality was unwilling to receive help.
“The situation in Ditsobotla went unabated and they never came on board to be assisted so that left the MEC with no choice. So we would want concurrency form EXCO to then put the municipality under section 139 1 (C) of the constitution in which led to dissolution of that municipality,” says Mathibedi.
However, a political analyst from the North West University says resources are at the center of instability in the municipality.
“Checking that there has been instances where the administrator is brought in and nothing really changed. Here, there it is very unlikely that this people, they were going to find a common ground. I mean we have two centers of power, you have one faction that goes with this certain guy the other one goes with this. So they are fighting for resources so the only way to deal with this situation is to dissolve the council and after 90 days go to the elections,” says political analyst from NWU Dr Seshupo Mosala.
The provincial government is expected to introduce the administrator at the municipality soon.
VIDEO: Warring factions of Ditsobotla Local Municipality pass motions of no confidence in the leadership: