ANC task team sets out to fix Limpopo

Limpopo premier Cassel Mathale.

Limpopo premier Cassel Mathale.

"It is an ANC-led government, so municipalities, especially mayors and councillors account to the ANC and have been deployed by the ANC to carry out or implement the policies of the ANC or its election manifesto," provincial spokesperson Sipho Dikgale said on Friday.

But the task team's spokesperson Sello Lediga denied the moratorium on Friday.

"The only thing we asked was the reports about appointments made in the past so that we can detect if there is corruption," he was quoted as telling the Star.

Earlier in March, the province's provincial executive committee, chaired by Premier Cassel Mathale, was dissolved after a decision taken by the ANC's national executive committee because of its "un-ANC behaviour and institutionalised factional conduct", according to ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe at the time.

The moratorium was part of efforts to improve governance and root out corruption.

"Our role as the African National Congress is in an oversight role, so they account to us in terms of implementing such policies," Dikgale said of the moratorium.

Other task team measures were that mayors and municipalities submit a report to the it dating from 2011 – after local government elections – to demonstrate how they met their goals.

"We wanted to see from those reports how the ANC can intervene or assist government," he said.

'Loyal and disciplined comrade'
Dikgale said as an ANC deployee and "loyal and disciplined comrade of the ANC", the task team had no doubt Mathale would help its efforts.

Although stripped of decision-making powers, Mathale remains premier of the province.

Democratic Alliance MPL Desiree van der Walt would "urge" the treasury to remind the task team it had no mandate to pronounce on how tenders were awarded.

"While premier Mathale should be removed from office for the collapse of delivery in Limpopo ... he cannot be replaced by more of the same," she was quoted as saying.

The reports the provincial task team requested were not on tenders that were awarded, as reported, but were overall reports on how municipalities were managed.

The team would also receive information from ANC branches at ward level on how areas were managed and would work with the ANC's national executive committee on addressing problems in the province.

The provincial task team's establishment was announced in a statement on March 25 after Limpopo's structure was dissolved.

The disbanding of the Limpopo provincial executive council was seen as a move to oust from the ANC those not loyal to President Jacob Zuma's as the province was the first to call for his removal as ANC leader. – Additional reporting by Sapa

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