NCOP to announce decision on Tshwane
Political formations, civil society make submissions on the move to place the metro under administration
THE National Council of Provinces (NCOP) would either today or tomorrow announce whether it is in favour or against a decision to put the City of Tshwane under administration.
In the past two days members of the NCOP met at Tshwane House with different stakeholders to hear their views regarding the decision.
The stakeholders, who included political formations and civil society organisations, shared differing views with parliamentarians.
Chief Prince George Mahlangu, representing amaNdebele, expressed support for a move to dissolve council.
He recounted his first-hand experience of how council proceedings degenerated into chaos over some months.
On January 16, he was joined by a group of activists calling themselves “elders” during a march at Tshwane House where they submitted a memorandum of grievances. They expressed disappointment regarding the state of political paralysis in the City.
Mahlangu said: “We welcome the decision taken to dissolve council. We have seen for ourselves that the parties can’t find each other.”
The chairperson of the Progressive Professional Forum, Tito Khalo, who also welcomed the decision, said by-elections would allow citizens to put a better municipality in charge.
“The capital city is dirty and has become a dumping metro. This occurs in the presence of the metropolitan police force because they are led by an unqualified person,” he said.
The representative of a youth formation in Mamelodi, Jeff Mogalane, praised the good work done by the DA-led administration. He urged the provincial government to reconsider its decision to put the City under administration, saying it would be detrimental to the interest of young people.
He said the City held a festival where young entrepreneurs would display their products free of charge.
“I am a product of this initiative and I believe dissolving the City will deny us opportunities to progress in what we have already started,” Mogalane said.
Bongani Ncala, convener of the ANC Youth League in the inner city, was in favour of council dissolution.
He lashed out at “inefficient leadership” under the DA-led administration, poor service delivery and rampant crime.
“Crime in the city has increased. There has been further establishments of institutions such as brothels. The role of the metro police has been reduced to nothing but being security guards,” he said.
South African Local Government Association executive manager Lance Joel said his organisation was unable to formulate a position on whether to disapprove or approve the disbanding of the council.
This was because its efforts to meet with the MEC for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Lebogang Maile, had been unsuccessful.
Joel said the association met with Maile in January to discuss his decision to suspend Tshwane Council speaker Katlego Mathebe and former Joburg speaker Vasco da Gama.
During the meeting with Maile he outlined challenges in Tshwane, but it was agreed that a meeting must be re-scheduled to speak about the issues at length, according to Joel.
“Unfortunately time has passed and we have not been able to have that particular engagement. We found ourselves in this difficulty where there has been an intervention in Tshwane. As we speak, as Salga, we have not received a formal communique (about the decision to put the City under administration),” he said.
He also said several attempts to meet with the City under the leadership of former mayor Stevens Mokgalapa were unsuccessful.