‘Ghost’ named new mayor

Diamond Fields Advertiser - - NEWS - SANDI KWON HOO STAFF RE­PORTER

PA­TRICK “Ghost” Mabilo was an­nounced as the new Sol Plaatje ex­ec­u­tive mayor by the ANC, although he has yet to be of­fi­cially in­au­gu­rated in coun­cil.

ANC pro­vin­cial sec­re­tary Deshi Ngxanga said on Fri­day that Mabilo would be tasked with hold­ing an imbizo to ad­dress chal­lenges fac­ing Sol Plaatje Mu­nic­i­pal­ity, in­clud­ing short­falls in the bud­get and R2.1 bil­lion that is owed by its debtors.

“Com­rade Ghost will have to dis­sect and ad­dress the prob­lems at the mu­nic­i­pal­ity. In a snap­shot as­sess­ment of Sol Plaatje Mu­nic­i­pal­ity, we are un­happy about the sewage that is run­ning down the streets and the un­col­lected refuse.”

Ngxanga stated that the ANC Pro­vin­cial Ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee (PEC) was still con­sid­er­ing its op­tions on where to de­ploy Man­gal­iso Matika, who will only re­sign as Sol Plaatje ex­ec­u­tive mayor on Septem­ber 26.

“The mayor re­signed in line with a de­ci­sion taken by the PEC to avert fur­ther dis­rup­tions in the city. We may em­ploy Matika full time in the ANC to strengthen the struc­tures such as the Vet­er­ans League and Women’s League or he may be de­ployed to the North­ern Cape Pro­vin­cial Leg­is­la­ture.”

He apol­o­gised to busi­nesses that had suf­fered dur­ing the re­cent city­wide shut­down and protest ac­tion.

Ngxanga said the PEC had se­lected Mabilo out of a pool of three names that were sub­mit­ted by the ANC Re­gional Ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee, the other can­di­dates be­ing Di­makatso Chinkulu and Anna Boqo.

“Mabilo was born and bred in Galeshewe and spent most of his life in Kim­ber­ley. Mabilo is a dy­namic politi­cian, com­mu­nity builder and a proven ac­tivist for so­cial jus­tice and trans­for­ma­tion. He served in Sadtu as a shop stew­ard, branch sec­re­tary, re­gional sec­re­tary and pro­vin­cial sec­re­tary of the South African Demo­cratic Teach­ers Union. He has also served the ANC at branch, re­gional and pro­vin­cial ex­ec­u­tive level.”

Mabilo is the for­mer MEC for Trans­port, Safety and Li­ai­son and MEC for En­vi­ron­ment and Na­ture Con­ser­va­tion.

He also served on the Na­tional As­sem­bly and was sworn in as a mem­ber of the North­ern Cape Pro­vin­cial Leg­is­la­ture in Fe­bru­ary af­ter the for­mer MEC for Co-op­er­a­tive Gov­er­nance, Hu­man Set­tle­ments and Tra­di­tional Af­fairs, Alvin Botes, was de­ployed to Par­lia­ment.

Ngxanga stated that Mabilo would bring a wealth of ex­pe­ri­ence to the mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

“The ANC is con­fi­dent that he will be able to make a sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ence. We will work to­gether with Mabilo and his team to en­sure that the mu­nic­i­pal­ity is sta­ble and, im­por­tantly, that ser­vices are de­liv­ered.”

He added that it would be nec­es­sary to ap­point per­ma­nent staff to fill the po­si­tion of mu­nic­i­pal man­ager and chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer in or­der to re­store sta­bil­ity to the mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

“We do have a mu­nic­i­pal man­ager and CFO who have been sus­pended pend­ing the out­come of the Section 106 in­ves­ti­ga­tion at Sol Plaatje Mu­nic­i­pal­ity. We do not want to pre-empt the out­come of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion. De­ci­sive ac­tion will be taken against any of­fi­cials who are caught with their hands in the cookie jar.”

Ngxanga also ad­vised that ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fi­cials should not med­dle in pol­i­tics.

“Coun­cil­lors must keep to their lanes and fo­cus on ser­vice de­liv­ery. Coun­cil­lors must stay away from ten­ders and if they do be­come in­volved, they will face the axe.”

Free­dom Front Plus pro­vin­cial leader, Wy­nand Boshoff, pointed out that it was up to coun­cil to elect a new mayor.

“The va­cancy for the mayor will only be­come va­cant on Septem­ber 26 when Matika’s res­ig­na­tion comes into ef­fect. The ANC is only at lib­erty to an­nounce their pre­ferred can­di­date. The new mayor will have to unite a very divided ma­jor­ity,” said Boshoff.

He added that eight out of the 11 ANC coun­cil­lors who voted Matika out dur­ing a spe­cial coun­cil meet­ing were ward coun­cil­lors.

“If a de­ci­sion is taken to get rid of th­ese coun­cil­lors, it can re­sult in by-elec­tions where the ANC stands to lose th­ese wards.”

Boshoff pointed out that the ad­min­is­tra­tion of the mu­nic­i­pal­ity could only re­turn to nor­mal once the chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer and mu­nic­i­pal man­ager po­si­tions were per­ma­nently filled.

“Only once this is done, can coun­cil be­gin to ad­dress the mas­sive fi­nan­cial short­fall in the bud­get that was cre­ated when the R260 ba­sic elec­tric­ity tar­iff was put in abeyance.”

Cope na­tional chair­per­son Pakes Dikgetsi stated that the high turnover of may­ors at Sol Plaatje Mu­nic­i­pal­ity was cre­at­ing in­sta­bil­ity within the or­gan­i­sa­tion.

“In the past 10 years we have had eight dif­fer­ent may­ors. Each time they come in with their own po­lit­i­cal staff and dump ex­ist­ing poli­cies. This is while ser­vice de­liv­ery, job cre­ation and growth of the econ­omy takes a back seat.”

He be­lieves that cit­i­zens should be able to elect the mayor.

“In this way may­ors will be held ac­count­able to the pub­lic and not to po­lit­i­cal bosses.”

BRIEF­ING: ANC pro­vin­cial sec­re­tary Deshi Ngxanga speak­ing dur­ing the press brief­ing.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.