Makana Mu­nic­i­pal­ity in a deep and wors­en­ing cri­sis

Grocott's Mail - - MAKANA VOICES -

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)

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