ANC councillors ‘duck’ Sol meeting
A SOL Plaatje City Council meeting, scheduled for yesterday, had to be postponed after only 28 of the city’s 64 councillors arrived for the meeting.
Almost all the ANC councillors, with the exception of the Speaker, Ben Springbok, and the 11 so-called “rebel” councillors, nine of whom have been expelled from the party for voting in support of the DA-initiated motion of no confidence in the former executive mayor, Mangaliso Matika, submitted apologies for yesterday’s meeting, citing a variety of reasons ranging from illness, to family responsibilities and other meetings. The large number of missing councillors meant that there were insufficient numbers present to form a quorum.
According to a post on social media, ANC councillors were instructed, “apparently from the top”, not to attend the meeting.
“At 7am this morning already a message was sent out stating that none of the ANC councillors would be there, they would all be on leave,” the post states.
The author questioned in the post whether councillors are “ducking and diving and pulling stunts to avoid coming clean about this report (the106 report)”. “SP and friends, please stop undermining our intelligence,” the post states.
The ANC regional spokesperson, Tshepo Louw, said yesterday that the party was not aware of any apologies from its councillors for yesterday’s council meeting. “The apologies do not go to the ANC but to council.”
He stated further that the ANC was not aware of any instruction given to any councillors (not to attend yesterday’s meeting). “Ours is to prioritise service delivery to Sol Plaatje communities.”
The last time the council met for an ordinary council meeting was at the beginning of June.
Among the matters on the agenda for yesterday’s meeting were several recommendations from the Spelum Committee, taken in May and June this year. These items, which deal largely with alienations and rezoning for development, require approval from council before they can continue.
Council was also supposed to give its approval for signing authority for officials in the Finance Department, which authorises them to withdraw money from the municipality’s bank accounts to defray expenditure.
The fourth quarter budget and performance assessment report - aimed at keeping council abreast of any challenges arising during the budget implementation - was also up for discussion.
The council was also due to pronounce itself “in consideration of the community dissatisfaction with the introduction of a basic charge for the domestic category of users, on the matter of not implementing the basic charge of R260” as well as look at the impending shortfall and the implementation of cost containment measures. This has drastic implications for revenue, expenditure, capital expenditure and the collection of outstanding debt.
Yesterday’s agenda also included a report on the “status of events emanating from the strike of July 12”.
Meanwhile, the Special Sol Plaatje City Council meeting to discuss the Section 106 report has been scheduled for November 28.
“The nine ANC ‘rebel’ councillors have 21 days to appeal their expulsion from the party. The IEC will not remove them as councillors until all the legal processes have been finalised. By postponing the meeting until the end of November, there is a good chance that the IEC would have removed them as councillors and then the ANC will have its majority to vote in Mabilo as executive mayor at that meeting,” an insider said yesterday.