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ANC instructs Sol to cancel music festival

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An official pointed out that this was “political interference of the highest order”.

INSTRUCTIONS were issued by the ANC yesterday to cancel the Diamonds and Dorings music festival, following “an outcry from the Galeshewe community” and the Frances Baard Business Forum over the appointment of Investong to host the annual Easter event.

At the time of going to print last night, the Sol Plaatje Municipality had not confirmed whether the event had been cancelled by the deadline that was set for noon yesterday.

The event was cancelled in November last year, due to financial constraints, only to be placed back on the calendar a week later.

Investong, in joint venture with The Hive Entertainment, was appointed as the successful bidder, where the municipality indicated that it would not be providing any funds towards the event.

A lawyer’s letter was sent to the acting head of supply chain management at Sol Plaatje Municipality on March 9 (Monday) stating that Wydex Promotions was the “highest” bidder that complied with all the requirements.

All senior municipal officials were apparently summoned to attend a meeting at the ANC regional office yesterday morning, where they were instructed to cancel the Diamonds and Dorings festival.

Officials were believed to have been threatened that they would face the same fate as the Magareng mayor and municipal manager if they refused to obey this instruction.

The Magareng mayor was instructed to resign while the municipal manager was told to go on special leave by the ANC regional executive committee last week.

Concern was raised that cancelling the music festival could open up the municipality to litigation, where the service provider for the event has already been appointed and there was no valid reason to cancel the contract.

It was reported that calls were made to deploy the local economic development manager at Sol Plaatje Municipality to the IDP section within the next 14 days, while ANC branches were being mobilised to remove the acting Sol Plaatje municipal manager, the acting chief financial officer and the mayor as they were “defying the region”.

An official pointed out that this was “political interference of the highest order”.

“Why are there supply chain management processes in place, if they can be merely flouted. These actions appear to be in retaliation to attempts to close up loopholes and institute clean governance at the municipality.”

ANC chief whip Perdy van Wyk confirmed that a decision was taken yesterday to cancel the Diamonds and Dorings festival.

“Having noted the outcry from the people of Galeshewe regarding the hosting of Diamonds and Dorings festival, the mayoral committee made an assessment and recommended that we set aside the event. We will instead focus and base our energies on delivering services to our people.”

He stated that the ANC region met with the mayoral committee, executive mayor and Speaker at Sol Plaatje Municipality yesterday to discuss serious service delivery challenges.

“Mayoral committee members, led by the ANC chief whip and executive mayor, have had several meetings emanating from the Khauwuleza programme of meeting with communities. The regional leadership raised serious concerns regarding service delivery affecting our people.”

Van Wyk added that the mayoral committee had noted the outcry of the community and mass protest action regarding the failure of municipalities to deliver services.

“The mayoral committee met to immediately discuss a way forward as indeed these problems are affecting our people daily.”

He pointed out that the party supported the call to immediately deal with any municipal official who failed to adhere to the service delivery plan.

“As the executive mayor said, heads will roll, even if the acting municipal manager, chief financial officer, executive directors, managers, supervisor and general workers fail to deliver services to our communities.”