Administering failing municipalities
North West Premier Thandi Modise’s government has had to take decisive action to stem the failure of a number of municipalities unable to deliver services to their communities as expected.
She said in her State of the Province address that Matlosana, Ditsobotla, Maquassie Hills and, most recently, Madibeng Local Municipality had been placed under administration for their slow pace of service delivery.
Madibeng made headlines recently for the violent protests over the lack of water in Majakaneng, while residents in Hebron had similarly voiced their concern over the state of roads and demanded the removal of their local councilor.
The nature and extent of the protests have painted a picture of dysfunction and conflict between community members, local councilors and even between appointed officials and the provincial government.
Addressing the media following her address at the opening of the North West legislature, the premier dismissed the question of disharmony between provincial government and local councils, particularly Madibeng.
A day prior to the legislature opening ceremony, Madibeng Municipal Mayor Matshediso Mangoathe had opposed the implementation of Section 139 that gives the provincial government the power to impose corrective administrative duties over local councils.
“We don’t recognise section 139 and we are not in support of it,” he said.
Modise said the province’s executive council had not rescinded its decision to place the municipality under administration and that it is incumbent upon elected officials to toe the line.
Legislature speaker Supra Mahumapelo said the provincial government was in no doubt as to its decision or right to invoke the powers under section 139.
He described the interventions to redeploy the mayor, speaker and ANC whip as a tripartite action on the part of the ANC, national and provincial government.
“The context in which we must understand this tripartite intervention is the degree to which the government and ANC are decisive in as far as the problems in Madibeng are concerned,” he said.
“We must do everything in our power to do reinforcements from all levels to ensure we bring the situation there under control. I can report that people have got water in Madibeng. The pipes that were leaking and damaged have been repaired.”
He was at pains to state that relations between the council, province, community members and traditional leaders had been restored in order to address all concerns.
“As far the interaction between the government and the ANC in the province is concerned, that is ongoing; we are in control of that situation in Madibeng. We want to applaud the people of Majakaneng because they took a decision to normalise the situation and allow people to go register to exercise their right on May 7 to vote,” he said.
This article forms part of the supplement paid for by the North West office of the Premier. Contents and photographs were supplied and signed off by the ofiice