Mpumalanga Exco cites positive developments for the upliftment of the non-existent Section 139(1)(B) intervention.
Power disruptions as the order of the day, Sewer pump stations not working, Sewer spillages as the norm and spiralling debt is but a few of the municipality’s problems.
Add to this growing dissatisfaction with the current levels of service delivery. Protests started in Lebohang, eMbalenhle and Emzinoni because of the power disruptions as the main reason given.
While all of this is happening in Govan Mbeki Municipality the Mpumalanga Exco decided to uplift the intervention from the provincial legislature. This intervention was never acted upon since it was proclaimed by the MEC.
In a media statement dated 14 May 2021, the following was written:
UPLIFTMENT OF INTERVENTION IN ACCORDANCE WITH S139(1) (B) OF THE CONSTITUTION AT THE GOVAN MBEKI LOCAL MUNICIPALITY
The Executive Council received a progress report on the intervention at Govan Mbeki Local Municipality in accordance with section 139(1) (b) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa,
In light of the positive developments at the Municipality, the Executive Council resolved to uplift the intervention and provide support to the Municipality in accordance with Sections 154(1) and Section 155(6) of the Constitution.
Read the full media statement HERE
The executive mayor continually told members of the public as well as the council that the intervention is in accordance with section 139(1)(A) instead of 139(1)(B). There is a distinct difference between the two. In (A) there are directives and in (B) the relevant provincial executive may intervene by assuming responsibility for the relevant obligation in that municipality
The current council had no insight into the so called progress report tabled to the provincial exco.
The Bulletin received a statement from the Democratic Alliance (DA), the official opposition in GMM Municipal Council stating: The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Govan Mbeki Local Municipality is shocked to learn from the Mpumalanga Provincial Government that the municipality’s administration in accordance with section 139(1)(b) is uplifted.
The DA has continually asked for the dissolvement of Govan Mbeki Municipal council.
“The DA will write to the MEC of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta), Busisiwe Shiba, requesting her to explain this decision,” Said DA Councillor James Masango, “The municipality was never effectively put under administration. The previous MEC of Cogta, Mr. Mandla Msibi, indicated to the DA that the administrator and the team would proceed at the end of February.”
“Since then, an administrator never came into office. The DA subsequently wrote to the current MEC of Cogta, Busisiwe Shiba, and she indicated that she is waiting for the decision of the Executive,” said James, “According to the Provincial Government, the decision to uplift the administration is based on a positive report they received on the municipality.”
“It is not clear who wrote the report in the absence of the administrator. Even with a “report” on the table, the DA requests full details on what those positive indicators are in order to take such a decision.”
The municipality had been plagued with basic delivery problems. The Bulletin reported on some of them.
“For the last two to three weeks the municipality was experiencing water leaks all over the municipality. Sewerage spillages occur daily. Besides load-shedding, there have been so many power outages in Bethal, Trichardt and Secunda. While the temperature was at its lowest last week, many residents were without water,” James said to the Bulletin, “Last week, Leandra, Emzinoni, and eMbalenhle have seen community members took to a violent protest, burning tires on the road due to the lack of service delivery. The only option is for the bankrupt Govan Mbeki Municipality to be dissolved!”
All opposition parties were kept in the dark by the Mayor and his mayoral committee regarding the “positive” developments.
“The DA in Govan Mbeki Municipality will liaise with its counterpart in the Provincial Legislature to write a letter to the MEC of Cogta to explain the above-mentioned report and the decision to uplift section 139(1)(b),” concluded James, “The residents of Govan Mbeki Local Municipality need change for better service delivery. The DA will continue fighting for the residents of this municipality until they get what they deserve.”
The residents of Govan Mbeki Municipality continues to be served empty promises and no delivery on those promises. The Bulletin received a phone call, immediately after the broadcast where the mayor addressed the residents of Lebohang, from one of the opposition councillors stating that the Mayor mislead the people once again.
The protests flared up the very next day. When the Bulletin spoke to some residents we were told that “the Mayor spoke nonsense!”
During the upcoming elections the ANC will face the possibility of losing seats to opposition and independent candidates.
Is this upliftment a ploy to win more votes?
Only time will tell!