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THE decision to remove the Lekwa municipality mayor and several councillors was a "very painful" one, but should serve as an example, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Sicelo Shiceka said yesterday.
"It is clear to us that what has happened has to happen and will continue to happen," Shiceka told a media briefing after a local government indaba in Boksburg, Gauteng.
"We must ensure that the system is cleaned of everything that is not helping it."
On Wednesday the mayor, mayoral committee, speaker and chief whip were removed after community members in Sakhile township, which falls under the Lekwa municipality in Mpumalanga, embarked on a week-long protest that included the destruction of property.
Shiceka said he was informed of the decision taken by the ANC 's national working committee yesterday morning.
He said "due process" was followed before the individuals were removed and that had taken place in consultation with the party that deployed them, the IFP.
Shiceka said his department would be pushing to eliminate violent protests by strengthening ward councils and turning them into the face of local government.
"We are going to see magic in South Africa . where people take charge of their development," he said.
President Jacob Zuma has tasked the Governance and Traditional Affairs Department with reviewing all legislative arrangements that impact on local government.
Shiceka said in the next two weeks work would begin and necessary changes to legislation and the Constitution would be made.
"In South Africa we are arguing that changes are needed to ensure that we sharpen our instruments to improve service delivery," the minister said.
Deputy Minister Yunis Carrim said the department would start with policy changes and the possible legislative and constitutional amendments would flow from these policy changes.
A turnaround strategy to improve the functioning of local government would go before Parliament by December, he said. - Sapa