Cosatu in North West wants struggling Ditsobotla municipality disbanded

Nomazima Nkosi Senior reporter
Lichtenburg - Ditsobotla minicipality.
Lichtenburg - Ditsobotla minicipality.
Image: Veli Nhlapo

Cosatu in the North West is calling for the embattled Ditsobotla local municipality to be disbanded.

This after the municipality was unable to pay salaries in August.

On Monday, disgruntled employees stormed a council meeting, demanding their salaries.

In a statement, Cosatu North West secretary Kopano Konopi called on the provincial government to invoke Section 139(1)(c) of the constitution and place the municipality under administration.

The municipality is currently under Section 54 intervention which means the province is assisting the municipality on its finances.

“The council continues to fail to perform its function in the municipality. Furthermore, it has resisted all forms of intervention which was provided to the municipality. The call for its disbandment is also informed by the high level of anarchy and organisational defiance that exists in that municipal council, especially from the deployees of the ANC, which is the majority party in that council,” Konopi said.

He said Cosatu believed that all efforts to provide support to the municipality had been exhausted, that Section 139 (1)(c) was the only viable option.

Speaking to Sowetan, Konopi said what worsened the situation was the fact that they brought in an old mayor, old speaker and an acting city manager instead of appointing a new municipal manager.

Sowetan previously reported the municipality has had 14 municipal managers, four mayors, and four speakers in the last six years — which resulted in a total collapse of governance.

This bring the total figure of municipal managers to 15 and five mayors in that same period.

Continuing, Konopi said: “Cogta brought in an administrator... they rejected that administrator. The bank is still not recognising their municipal manager and there’s no signatory. We still have council being divided on what way to take forward.

“Every time there’s a process of intervention they reject it. The leadership of the ANC called them to council but they went in and collapsed council. These people are not willing to accept intervention both politically and administratively.

“As Cosatu, you can’t have politicians holding the city to ransom. August salaries were not paid because there's no signatory. June salaries were paid late and now there's the concern that September salaries won't be paid either.”

A week ago, City Press reported that provincial MEC for Cogta, Lenah Miga, told parliament the municipality was stable after the appointment of an acting municipal manager.

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