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DA welcomes decision to dissolve NC municipality

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The municipality has become “dysfunctional” due to ongoing factionalism and “multiple power bases” that were established within the institution the DA said.

THE DA in the Northern Cape has welcomed the decision to dissolve Phokwane Local Municipality, which it stated had become “dysfunctional” due to ongoing factionalism and “multiple power bases” that were established within the institution.

“DA councillors who formed part of the failed municipality had their hands tied,” said DA spokesperson on Co-operative Governance, Human Settlement and Traditional Affairs (Coghsta), Grantham Steenkamp. “Mismanagement, corruption and thuggery have been allowed to take hold while service delivery has taken a back seat. This has been to the detriment of all the people of Hartswater, Jan Kempdorp and Pampierstad.” 

He stated that previous attempts to intervene in rescuing the municipality had failed. “The interventions taken, including the compilation of a Section 106 report and the placement of the municipality under administration twice, did not succeed. The problem, all along, was the lack of enforcement of disciplinary action.” 

Steenkamp said that councillors who “become a law unto themselves and threaten democratic processes” should be criminally charged and decisively dealt with by their respective political parties. 

“Drastic action must not be delayed in order to prevent such a situation from continuing unabated for months and even years on end.” 

He added that the dissolution of Phokwane Municipality should serve as an example of consequence management to other local government institutions.

“In particular, it should serve as a warning to Sol Plaatje Municipality, which, much like Phokwane, has become largely dysfunctional, with multiple power bases and factional warring within council.

“Now, at a time when we are fighting a pandemic, with limited financial resources and a multitude of service delivery challenges, there is no time to be fighting political wars within government.”