Sunday World

ANC slams DA’S Ekurhuleni mayor for hijacking metro’s finances

Tania Campbell bans all overseas travel, new posts

- By George Matlala

The newly inaugurate­d DA administra­tion in the City of Ekurhuleni seems destined for a rocky relationsh­ip with the ousted ANC. The decision this week of the new mayor Tania Campbell to take over the power to approve overseas travel by officials and to freeze posts has already come under severe attack from the ANC.

Just four days after she was inaugurate­d, Campbell placed a moratorium on overseas travel and conversion of temporary contracts to permanent positions.

“A moratorium is placed on all overseas travel for officials and political office bearers unless approval is given by the executive mayor. Retraction of any instructio­ns sent out by HODS [heads of department­s] not to communicat­e with councillor­s if queries or questions are requested by them for assistance and feedback,” Campbell wrote to city manager Imogen Mashazi.

In terms of the Municipal Systems Act of 2000, while political office bearers (mayors included) were responsibl­e for overseeing the financial and administra­tion of a municipali­ty, it is the municipal managers who are held accountabl­e by council to manage the financial and administra­tive matters of the municipali­ties.

Campbell has been accused of interferin­g in the administra­tion of the municipali­ty, which is a purview of Mashazi.

ANC caucus leader and former mayor Mzwandile Masina said there was no need for Campbell to issue the “illegal” instructio­ns as the municipali­ty had already halted overseas travel in the 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 financial years, respective­ly.

“In this instance, executive mayor Tania Campbell has contravene­d item 12(a)(b) schedule 7 of the Municipal Systems Act 32 of 2000 as amended and applicable as at 1st November 2021 by unlawfully instructin­g the city manager of the City of Ekurhuleni, Dr Imogen Mashazi, to place a moratorium on all overseas travel for officials and political office bearers” he said. He said there had not been a council resolution to convert temporary jobs into permanent positions.

“Furthermor­e, the executive mayor has unlawfully delegated the powers of both the speaker of council, who is responsibl­e for councillor­s, and the accounting officer, who is responsibl­e for all officials, unto herself by demanding that she approves all overseas travel and by placing a moratorium on conversion­s of temporary contracts to permanent employment.”

Masina said they would be writing to the speaker, DA’S Raymond Dlamini, for him and Mashazi not to obey the instructio­n, failure of which the party would explore a legal avenue.

Campbell said the delegation of powers assigned to her allowed her to provide “general political guidance over the fiscal and financial affairs of the municipali­ty” in line with the Municipal Finance Management Act.

“I am not interferin­g with the administra­tion. This is a precaution­ary measure put in place to safeguard the municipal finances. This is in line with the DA’S policies of protecting ratepayers and the municipal budget,” she said.

Meanwhile, union federation Cosatu, which is the ANC’S biggest alliance partner, has called on its members to discuss which political parties should enter into coalitions with the ANC.

Cosatu has also delivered a searing analysis of the ANC loss during the recent local elections, saying some of the issues that caused the ANC to lose support included broken trust, loss of hope and anger against poor service delivery and corruption.

Poor quality of leadership and failure to improve the lives of the people were also behind the electoral woes.

Cosatu said in a political overview that it was “clear that the future of our democracy and the political landscape is coalitions, which requires that we delve deeper and conclude the rich discussion­s we had in 2019 after the last national elections”.

Cosatu held a meeting of its central executive committee last week, at which the workers reflected on the November 1 local elections.

The governing party lost control of Gauteng metros – Tshwane, the country’s capital, Johannesbu­rg, the country’s economic heartland and Ekurhuleni, the country’s industrial hub – during an election that produced an unpreceden­ted 66 hung municipali­ties.

The political overview calls on individual affiliates to discuss the changes brought about by the coalition government­s and their implicatio­ns on their working conditions.

“This should not be an impulsive discussion, arising from the shocks or knee-jerk responses from the recent LGE [local government elections] but a comprehens­ive assessment that the landscape now and onwards provides. The lessons are very important and the experience­s valuable in designing how we seek to approach this particular question,” the document says.

Only the Cosatu conference could determine whether the federation continues to give the ANC electoral support. The organisati­on’s central committee reaffirmed support for the ANC. This was amid a push from within the federation that the SACP should contest elections with the support of Cosatu.

This is a precaution­ary measure to safeguard finances

 ?? ?? The newly elected Ekurhuleni mayor, Tania Campbell, has taken it upon herself to take over the power to approve overseas travel by officials. She has also frozen posts.
The newly elected Ekurhuleni mayor, Tania Campbell, has taken it upon herself to take over the power to approve overseas travel by officials. She has also frozen posts.

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