Makana Municipality in a deep and worsening crisis
Dear Members of the Mayoral Committee
We assure you that the Concerned Citizens Committee to Save Makana (CCCSM) are determined to help solve the problems that beset Makana Municipality. To do this we are prepared to invest our time and resources to facilitate change and we will engage with anyone who will actively tackle the very obvious problems facing the municipality. Makana is fortunate to have such thoughtful people available who are prepared to support the municipality.
Since the suspension of Section 139 (5) Administration proceedings, you and the Mayoral Committee have shown no sign of tackling any of the urgent problems. You have rejected or ignored any assistance offered by the PSAM, GBF, Black Sash, businesses, institutions, schools, the GRA, MUL, and others.
CCCSM notes that you have not responded to our letter dated 19th October 2017 inviting you to meet with us. You have not even given the courtesy of acknowledging receipt.
The only time you have met with CCCSM was on 28 July 2017 under direction by the Office of the Premier (OTP). The occasion of that meeting was to discuss and agree a way forward that would provide an alternative to CCCSM championing the case for s.139 (5) Administration for Makana. Such Administration would inevitably lead to fresh municipal elections. At that meeting certain agreements were made: In order to avoid s. 139 (5) Administration that a MCTS (Municipal Commercial Turnaround Specialist) should be urgently sought and appointed; in line with the attached ‘Annexure B’ list of skills, competencies and That there should be continued engagement between CCCSM, the Mayoral Committee and the MCTS (when identified) in order to assist in resolving Makana municipality’s problems, in particular its financial At the first opportunity you have broken the above agreement.
CCCSM agreed that given a suitable MCTS appointee with the right skills and authority to take necessary actions, the constituent parts of CCCSM would readily campaign and assist the municipality in guidance and actions to help ensure that residents and businesses pay their Makana bills on time, and to pay off debt where legitimately owing.
You cannot expect to receive support from OTP or CoGTA if you do not communicate and engage with the public – especially when that public is trying to offer support to your administration. Your disregard for the public and civil society bodies leaves no option but to take matters further in order to protect the citizens of Makana from the actions of a dysfunctional Council that cannot even get the basics right.
CCCSM requires assurances that the MCTS is being appointed with necessary skills, competency (as per ‘Annexure B’ aforementioned), authority and mandate to make urgent and critical changes.
CCCSM needs regular access to you and the MCTS (as agreed) in order to be updated on progress, and to cooperate in assisting Makana in solving problems.
In order to achieve the two points above, CCCSM reiterates its insistence in meeting with you and the Mayoral Committee prior to the MCTS’s commencement of duties.
The CCCSM endorsement of the appointment of the seconded MCTS/Municipal Manager depends on this person being correctly skilled, mandated and supported; otherwise it will simply be another waste of ratepayers’ money.
On every front Makana is in a deep and worsening crisis, and it is essential that people work together. We cannot believe your assurances that the political will exists to correct these problems unless there is clear action and urgency in dealing with them.
It is time for you and your Administration to place people before politics, and principles before personalities, and to recognise your role as being in service to the citizens of Makana.
In short, after 15 months of your Administration, it is time to do your job.
This letter will be released to the media alongside your response within 2 working days.
Ron Weissenberg, Chairman, Concerned Citizens Committee to Save Makana (CCSM)