Bid to un­seat mayor ‘storm in a teacup’

The Star Late Edition - - POLITICS - BALD­WIN NDABA

DE­SPITE grow­ing claims of cor­rup­tion and mal­ad­min­is­tra­tion in the Madibeng Lo­cal Mu­nic­i­pal­ity un­der ANC mayor Jostina Moth­ibe, her party has de­scribed a mo­tion of no con­fi­dence against her as a “storm in a teacup”.

Dou­glas Maimane, ANC Madibeng co-ordinator and mem­ber of the may­oral com­mit­tee for eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment, tourism and agri­cul­ture, vowed that the mo­tion would not “see the light of the day”.

The mo­tion of no con­fi­dence against Moth­ibe was tabled by the DA two weeks ago, and is ex­pected to be de­bated dur­ing a full coun­cil meet­ing on May 28.

The mu­nic­i­pal­ity also came un­der fire last month from labour union Samwu, which

ac­cused the mu­nic­i­pal­ity of leas­ing 150 ve­hi­cles at a cost of R17 mil­lion a month.

Ac­cord­ing to Samwu, the con­tract was for a pe­riod of three years and was ex­pected to cost ratepay­ers R620 mil­lion.

In their ear­lier state­ment, Samwu provin­cial sec­re­tary Vin­cent Diphoko said: “Sus­pi­ciously, un­der the agree­ment, the mu­nic­i­pal­ity will be re­spon­si­ble for ser­vic­ing and main­te­nance of the fleet, thus bring­ing the to­tal cost to be in­curred by the mu­nic­i­pal­ity to over R1­bil­lion.”

Diphoko said that at a cost of R17m, the mu­nic­i­pal­ity was able to pro­cure 50 ve­hi­cles a month for a fleet of 1 800 ve­hi­cles within three years.

Samwu’s shop ste­wards, who led work­ers on a protest march to the mu­nic­i­pal build­ing on April 13, have since been placed on sus­pen­sion by

the mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

Yes­ter­day, the DA and EFF in Madibeng con­firmed they had re­lated all these al­leged acts of cor­rup­tion to the in­ter­min­is­te­rial com­mit­tee led by Min­is­ter in the Pres­i­dency Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, which was on a fact-find­ing mission in the mu­nic­i­pal­ity yes­ter­day.

Moth­ibe and her coun­cil­lors were still locked in a meet­ing with Dlamini Zuma’s del­e­ga­tion last night.

EFF spokesper­son Stan Komape said his party would sup­port the DA’s mo­tion, and would also sub­mit an ad­di­tional mo­tion of no con­fi­dence against speaker Te­bogo Nt­sha­bele.

DA coun­cil­lor Theo Modiha, who tabled the mo­tion, said his party wanted the re­moval of Moth­ibe, claim­ing that the “cash-strapped” mu­nic­i­pal­ity had also failed to main­tain the

sew­er­age sys­tem for more than a year.

“The mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s fail­ure to pay Rand Wa­ter re­sulted in the com­pany threat­en­ing to re­strict the wa­ter sup­ply to res­i­dents of Madibeng. An emer­gency pay­ment pre­vented this at the eleventh hour,” Modiha said.

He added that the wa­ter in­fra­struc­ture plant was in the process of an up­grade by Ma­galies Wa­ter, but said the work was likely to ex­ceed its July 2018 dead­line, which, he said, would af­fect the de­liv­ery of wa­ter to res­i­dents.

“We are still wit­ness­ing wa­ter pro­vi­sion through tankers, which is a costly ex­er­cise, in­stead of pro­vid­ing per­ma­nent solutions to the wa­ter cri­sis,” Modiha said.

In 2011, a re­port com­mis­sioned by for­mer co-op­er­a­tive gov­er­nance and tra­di­tional af­fairs min­is­ter

Richard Baloyi found that coun­cil­lors had col­luded with se­nior of­fi­cials in the mu­nic­i­pal­ity by tam­per­ing with the sup­ply of wa­ter to res­i­dents in the mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

Ac­cord­ing to Modiha, the same sit­u­a­tion still con­tin­ues eight years later.

He also said it was un­safe to travel, es­pe­cially in vil­lages, due to pot­holes and the lack of main­te­nance on the roads.

“There is no po­lit­i­cal will to up­grade or main­tain our in­fra­struc­ture. Pump sta­tions are de­fec­tive and sewage is flow­ing in the street,” he said.

But the ANC ap­pear to be un­fazed. “In our view, the mo­tion of no con­fi­dence against the mayor is a storm in a teacup. It will not see the light of day. The mo­tion will ap­pear on the coun­cil’s agenda, but the ANC will vote against it. There won’t be any sup­port for it,” said Maimane.

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