Mayor of embattled Great Kei municipality replaced

31 July 2018 - 14:44
By Bongani Fuzile
 Great Kei mayor Loyiso Tshetsha has resigned.
Image: SISIPHO ZAMXAKA Great Kei mayor Loyiso Tshetsha has resigned.

The mayor of the troubled Great Kei local municipality in the Eastern Cape‚ Loyiso Tshetsha‚ resigned on Tuesday. Former mayor Ngenisile Tekile has been sworn in with the blessing of the ANC regional leadership and regional secretary Teris Ntuthu.

Tshetsha steps down at a time when the municipality is struggling financially and has‚ since April‚ struggled to pay staff salaries. The majority union in the municipality‚ the South African Municipality Workers Union (Samwu)‚ has been trying to engage municipal leaders to come up with a plan to pay staff so they could return to work. But there were no funds available.

A number of staff have stayed away from work as they did not have money to travel to work. Municipal buildings were torched and service delivery was badly affected by the stay-away.

The municipality was put under administration by Eastern Cape department of Local Government and Traditional Affairs MEC‚ Fikile Xasa‚ early in July.

A senior municipal employee said the Amathole ANC regional leadership was at the municipality to remove the mayor and endorse the former mayor.

“Tekile failed here before but today he’s back with the blessings of the ANC. We hope that this won’t lead us to chaos again because there are a lot of people who sympathise with the ousted mayor‚” said the employee.

ANC regional leader Teris Ntuthu said the municipality needed to be stabilised. “We had to act. Remember the workers have not been paid here‚ the municipality buildings have been burnt down and we didn’t want that to happen again‚ we have to redeploy Tshetsha‚” said Ntuthu.

He said the swearing-in was not opposed. “The new mayor was welcomed by all and the swearing-in was smooth. We also swore in a speaker for the council‚” said Ntuthu.

Four other councillors - Luleka Ndabambi‚ Linda Tonze‚ Gqwetha Ndorho and Themba Gqomoroshe – quit in solidarity with Tshetsha.

“Their matter will be urgently discussed by the ANC. We will analyse the resignation of the councillors. Service delivery is important for the people of Great Kei‚” said Ntuthu. Attempts to get hold of the resigned councillors drew a blank as their phones rang unanswered.

Eastern Cape Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs spokesman Mamkeli Ngam‚ said: “We can confirm that the mayor has resigned but the provincial ANC leadership are the right people to talk to.”