NC Premier Dr Zamani Saul and the MEC for Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs (Coghsta), Bentley Vass, are meeting with the communities of Colesberg and Norvalspont on Monday following a march that took place to the Umsobomvu Local Municipality on Friday.
THE PREMIER of the Northern Cape, Dr Zamani Saul, and the MEC for Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs (Coghsta), Bentley Vass, are meeting with the communities of Colesberg and Norvalspont on Monday following a march that took place to the Umsobomvu Local Municipality on Friday.
Four people were arrested for public violence in Colesberg after the entrance to Kuyasa was barricaded with stones and burning tyres, while a shop was reported to have been looted.
The police fired stun grenades and rubber bullets to disperse the crowd after community members threw stones at the police.
The community members were up in arms after discovering that only the municipal manager, mayor and a delegation from Coghsta were available to address them on Friday.
They were adamant that their grievances regarding alleged rampant corruption and maladministration at the municipality should be dealt with by Saul and Vass.
Community members have also called for the municipality to be dissolved and that municipal officials, including the municipal manager and mayor, be suspended pending a forensic investigation.
They added that despite a Hawks investigation into alleged fraud at the municipality involving a substantial amount of money in February 2019, no further action had been taken.
“Officials are not facing any repercussions while corruption is thriving. An amount of R5 million was either lost or stolen from the municipal coffers, yet only one junior official was arrested. We demand the full disclosure of the finances at the municipality.”
Coghsta spokesperson Lerato Khunou stated that the premier and the MEC for Coghsta had previously intervened in the situation.
“They held prior interventions with the communities of Colesberg and Norvalspont, hence an intervention team was sent to accept a memorandum on their behalf on Friday,” said Khunou.
“The community, however, refused to co-operate with the team, demanding the presence of the premier and the MEC, which was unwarranted because the team was sent to respond to issues or concerns raised during the meeting that was held previously. A follow-up meeting will be held on Monday, November 23.”
She explained that a municipal manager could only be suspended by council.
“It should also be noted that the dissolution of a municipality is a process that needs to be followed to the letter by provincial government.
“The alleged issue of corruption is being investigated by the Hawks and further information will be provided as and when the process unfolds.”