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Cogta committee backs dissolution of embattled Tshwane council


Parliament’s Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs is backing the Gauteng provincial government’s bid to dissolve the Tshwane council.

A debate over the matter is expected to take place in the National Council of Provinces on Thursday.

The committee has spent two days engaging stakeholders in Pretoria, which included political parties and residents.

“The fact of the matter is that no one will win if things continue in the manner that they are going currently in the municipality,” said committee chairperson China Dodovu on Wednesday.

He added the committee was convinced there were exceptional circumstances that warranted the dissolution of the municipality

“All stakeholders present, both internal and external, agree that the municipality is dysfunctional, and is failing to render its constitutional obligation,” said Dodovu.

The embattled municipality was placed under administration by Premier David Makhura following numerous attempts by Cogta MEC Lebogang Maile to intervene.

Fighting between political parties and internal battles within the DA, which has been running the city since 2016 after striking a deal with the EFF and a coalition of smaller parties, have led to the impasse.

Last month, the DA’s second mayor, Stevens Mokgalapa, stepped down under a cloud, while his predecessor, Solly Msimang, resigned ahead of the 2019 national elections.

The council has failed to pass its adjustment budget which had to be done before the start of March.

The DA has criticised the move and is challenging it in the courts.

The committee listed a number of reasons behind its decision to back a move towards a by-election in the metro.

These included not being able to pass budget, not being able to make decisions because the council could not sit through a session, a leadership vacuum in both the executive and legislature, ward committees not being constituted and service delivery challenges as well as the inability to develop and initiate an integrated development plan.

Dodovu flagged the provision of quality water, refuse removal and electricity, especially in townships in Tshwane, as an issue.

“The decision taken by the committee was to ensure that the residents of Tshwane receive quality service delivery which the municipality can’t provide as a result of it being dysfunctional and leadership vacuum,” he added.

The City will have 90 days to hold by-elections, a task that has to be administered in the wake of the global coronavirus outbreak having hit South Africa’s shores.

The national government has been urging South Africans to practice social distancing and prohibited large gatherings, which is likely to affect the traditional methods political parties have used to campaign.

The committee also urged the SA Electoral Commission to bear in mind the Covid-19 threat as it prepares for by-elections in one of the country’s top metros.


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