Lebogang Maile must act for the good of all
Gauteng Cooperative Governance MEC Lebogang Maile took what many may describe as a bold move in dealing with the impasse in the Johannesburg and Tshwane councils.
Maile suspended Tshwane speaker Katlego Mathebe for six months without pay and slapped Johannesburg's former speaker Vasco da Gama with a three month suspension, also without a pay.
The MEC said that Da Gama and Mathebe, both DA councillors, breached the code of conduct in the Municipal Systems Act, Schedule 1 and had invoked item 14 (6) which gives him powers as MEC to suspend or remove a councillor from office.
Maile must however be careful not to be seen as being more of a biased referee whose handling a game where his end goal is ensuring that the party he comes from wins.
The MEC must make sure that this move is in line with the law, not a move aimed at helping his party, the ANC, take over Tshwane, following its takeover of Joburg, the country's economic capital.
The DA in Gauteng, which has accused Maile of employing "bullying tactics" has already indicated that it will head to the courts if he fails to reinstate the two..
Maybe the court is a better place to resolve the issues, however we wish a quick resolution in the best interest of good governance and service delivery.
Continual impasse doesn't augur well for two of the most important metros in the country.
All parties should always bear in mind that nobody won an outright majority to govern either city. They need to work together to ensure that services are rendered to the people.
In Tshwane, the quality of water coming out of taps in Hammanskraal leaves a lot to be desired. While the Johannesburg CBD remains filthy while political parties grapple for power.
These are few examples of poor service delivery which should not be tolerated.
All parties have an opportunity to contest for the next local government elections.
Sowetan hopes the impasse will be resolved soon so that the focus from now going forward should be on service delivery which local government should be all about. The people deserve better.
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