mayor stripped of her powers

Alfred Moselakgomo

Alfred Moselakgomo

Mpumalanga MEC for local government Candith Mashego-Dlamini has appointed a municipal administrator to replace the mayor in a bid to halt public protests over water and electricity increases.

Mashego-Dlamini's move to appoint Meshack Siboshwa Nkosi as municipal administrator effectively strips mayor Mmapaseka Madonsela of her executive powers in the Pixley Ka Seme municipality in Volkrust.

Last year Mashego-Dlamini instituted an investigation into executive mayor Madonsela, municipal manager Lood de Jager, and chief financial officer Lynette van der Merwe.

De Jager was accused of paying his own son R13500 for a day's training of an employee in basic computer skills last year.

Van der Merwe allegedly approved the payment and was suspended.

Madonsela is accused of placing her son in a training programme for traffic officers and hiring him as a municipal traffic officer this year.

The investigation found that this allegation was true, resulting in the current situation.

The protests by disgruntled residents have been going on since June last year, citing water and electricity increases.

The community said the adjustments were effected without prior consultation by the municipal officials.

Allegations of corruption and maladministration were also levelled against the municipality

Nkosi will be assisted by the acting chief director in the local government department, Isak Bassie Strauss.

Nkosi and his assistant have been appointed for six months and the provincial executive council will later review their progress.

"The administrator and his assistant will develop a recovery plan for the municipality as well as an implementation plan for the forensic report," said Mashego-Dlamini.

She said the appointment of the administrator and his assistant follows the executive council's decision during its meeting on February 25, where it endorsed that her department takes over the responsibility in terms of the law.