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Disband municipality – Cope

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“The useless ANC provincial government must take full responsibility for the collapse of Phokwane and other municipalities."

COPE leader Mosiuoa Lekota File picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

COPE in the Northern Cape has called for the disbanding of Phokwane Municipality and for fresh municipal elections to be held.

This follows an announcement by the provincial Department of Co-operative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs (Coghsta) that it is in the process of appointing administrators to oversee the municipality.

Phokwane Municipality, which owes Eskom, Vaalharts Water and other creditors in the region of R125 million, will be formally placed under administration today.

Meanwhile, no progress has been made in implementing the findings of the Section 106 investigation report that was compiled in 2015 and only presented to council in January this year.

The report investigated maladministration, corruption, non-compliance and malpractice at Phokwane Municipality.

Cope MPL Pakes Dikgetsi said that Phokwane Municipality has finally collapsed under the weight of years of maladministration and corruption.

“The auditor-general has for over a decade been reporting about the sordid state of affairs at this municipality. These reports have simply been ignored by successive MECs and the premier. Out of 31 municipalities in the Northern Cape, only one municipality received a clean audit last year,” Dikgetsi said.

He added that the “chickens have now come home to roost”.

“The useless ANC provincial government must take full responsibility for the collapse of Phokwane and other municipalities.

“The present living conditions of the people have deteriorated to alarming levels. Large sections of Pampierstad have no reliable water provision. Roads and stormwater systems have worsened. They don’t have any money to maintain infrastructure or provide new services to areas in need.”

Dikgetsi said that provincial government is incapable of taking over and managing Phokwane Municipality.

“The very same Coghsta is itself in need of rescue as it can’t manage its affairs – judging by its extremely poor audit outcomes over many years. It is in ICU and can collapse soon. If they were competent and effective, such a situation wouldn’t have arisen.”