“We are not happy with the contributions of the mayor and acting municipal manager, they are not worth their salt.”
THE ANC in the Northern Cape has blamed Sol Plaatje executive mayor Patrick Mabilo and acting municipal manager Boy Dhluwayo for the poor state of affairs at the municipality.
A meeting planned by the ruling party to give officials at Sol Plaatje Municipality their “marching orders” on Freedom Day, April 27, did not take place as planned.
Service delivery protests in and around the city meanwhile intensified on Wednesday, with several injuries reported after rubber bullets were fired.
The protestors denied being responsible for setting any vehicles alight.
“Our conclusion tells us that the arrest of community leaders and innocent protestors is politically motivated. It is a game being played by government to shut up the people who are suffering under gruesome conditions. We were wrongly accused of vandalism and public violence,” the protesters said.
ANC provincial secretary Deshi Ngxanga believed that the mayor and acting municipal manager should be held accountable for the failure of the municipality to deliver basic services.
“As I used to be a municipal manager that achieved clean audits, I know what it takes to be a good municipal manager,” said Ngxanga on Wednesday.
“If the mayor drives a car into a ditch, he should take responsibility. We cannot sugar coat our dissatisfaction, we are not happy with the contributions of the mayor and acting municipal manager, they are not worth their salt.
“They cannot throw their hands up in the air or apportion blame to infighting or sabotage for the collapse of services.
“They must pull up their socks because the patience of people is wearing thin, where the community have resorted to barricading roads and burning tyres.”
Ngxanga indicated that the meeting planned for Tuesday was postponed as they wanted to meet with the entire council, caucus, all councillors, the mayoral committee and management.
“We will be cracking the whip by joining hands with the community. We will not defend mediocrity. We want to interrogate council and put pressure on the administration to do the right thing. We are perturbed that last week no one knew the cause of the water cuts, we need to get to the root cause of the problem. Management must speed up the delivery of services because officials are being paid to do the work.”
Ngxanga, however, pointed out that forcing the mayor to step down or dissolving the municipality was not the solution.
“The problems will continue even if we replace the mayor. The municipality must be addressed as a collective and must rise above any squabbles or factions. All councillors, with a special emphasis on the ANC caucus, must be given an ultimatum.”
He added that it would be “premature” to dissolve Sol Plaatje Municipality.
“We are hopeful that the situation can still be rescued and that the municipality is still willing and able to improve.”
Ngxanga said that they agreed with the community that the R500 million that was allocated by the premier to improve service delivery should be used for its intended purpose.
“We also do not want the funds to fall into the wrong hands. Every cent must be managed carefully, otherwise it will not sort out service delivery problems.
“The ANC will not accept a cent from the money. We have raised our own funds for the upcoming elections and will charge any member who is caught with their hands in the cookie jar. I will not hesitate to take action as the provincial secretary.”
He said further that he had called off a march that was planned to the Office of the Premier on May 5, where branches intended to show confidence in the ANC provincial chairperson, Dr Zamani Saul.
“The organisation would rather use the money that would be used to provide transport and refreshments to the marchers towards the upcoming elections. Saul is not under threat and we do not wish to divert our attention away from service delivery issues.
“People are misdirecting their anger at the premier. The entire Province is unanimous and anxious for Saul to serve another term as ANC provincial chairperson and premier because he is doing a good job and has a wealth of experience. Why fix something that is not broken?
“There is no doubt that he will win by an overwhelming majority if he should contest tomorrow, no one can replace him.”
Ngxanga said that he was also willing to serve a second term.
“However, in the event that my four-year term has come to an end, I have updated my CV and I am ready to move on because positions are never guaranteed in the ANC.”
He advised that while everyone had a right to protest, it was “anti-revolutionary” to vandalise property or curtail the freedom of movement of other people.
“The ANC will not necessarily take any disciplinary action against members for their involvement in the protest … Any criminal behaviour, including throwing stones, damage of property and petrol bombing, will be handed over to the law enforcement agencies.”