The Renosterberg local municipality has been placed under administration.
THE RENOSTERBERG Local Municipality has been placed under administration.
Northern Cape Premier, Dr Zamani Saul, announced at a press conference on Monday morning that the Provincial Executive Council had directed the MEC for Coghsta to appoint an administrator at the Renosterberg Local Municipality until the election of a new municipal council.
“The MEC must also facilitate the election of the new municipal council and designate the administrator to undertake all the necessary measures to convene the first meeting after the council has been elected.”
The Provincial Executive also authorised the MECs for Coghsta and Finance to conclude all other necessary formalities related to the intervention.
Saul added that the provincial government was “determined to improve the lives of the people by taking bold yet informed steps and creating conducive conditions for our people to not only prosper but to be their own champions as we build a prosperous society”.
“The people of Renosterberg deserve much better and we dare not fail in according them their constitutional rights.”
He stated that the dissolution of Renosterberg Local Municipality was intended to tilt the balance of progress by instilling ethical and upright leadership befitting the honour of the people.
“The Provincial Executive is of the firm view that with the dissolution, not only will the Renosterberg Local Municipality be set on a developmental path but improving the governance in the municipality will also assist us to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Following the dissolution, a financial recovery plan will also be imposed.
Saul pointed out that over the past years, the Renosterberg Local Municipality had been plagued with political and administrative challenges and had failed to fulfil the prescripts of Chapter 7 as enshrined in Section 152 of the Constitution.
“This failure has not only robbed the downtrodden, destitute and disadvantaged communities within the municipality of basic services but has been a disservice to the entire community residing in the municipal area.”
He added that intervention efforts made by the Departments of Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs (Coghsta), Provincial Treasury and the Pixley ka Seme District Municipality and the respective MECs to monitor and provide support to Renosterberg Local Municipality had not borne much fruit.
“The Municipal Council has also failed to implement and support the National Treasury discretionary Financial Recovery Plan that commenced in 2018 and was on-going until November 2019.”
According to Saul, the governance, administrative and financial challenges at the municipality resulted in the council failing to fulfil its executive, statutory and financial obligations and to meet its financial commitments as well failing to provide uninterrupted electricity services to the communities of Van der Kloof and Keurtjiekloof. It had also not provided effective and efficient oversight in the administration and management of the financial affairs of the municipality.
“In addition the municipality also vehemently refused to cooperate, accept support and subject itself to monitoring by the other two arms of government namely National Treasury, and the Northern Cape Provincial Legislature.”
He added that the municipal council had also persistently failed to fulfil its executive obligations and statutory obligations by taking uninformed, irregular or unlawful decisions on its own or without being properly advised by the municipal manager to its own detriment, that of the community, prejudicial to the municipality, the interest of other municipalities and to the province as a whole and had not acted in the best interest of the municipality in such a way that the credibility and integrity of the municipality was not compromised.
“The unfortunate sequence of events at Renosterberg Local Municipality have been unfolding at the expense of the people, robbing communities of basic service delivery. It is in this context that the dissolution of the municipal council of Renosterberg Local Municipality in terms of section 139(1) (c) and 139(5) (c) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 is being effected.”