With just three weeks left before the local government elections, the National Council of Provinces approved the dissolution of the Tswaing Municipality in the North West at its special sitting on Wednesday.
This after the select committee on co-operative governance and traditional affairs considered the dissolution of the municipality by the North West government on October 5.
In his report to the NCOP, committee chairperson China Dodovu said they held a virtual consultative meeting with the provincial and national Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs and the municipal stakeholders two days ago.
Dodovu said the municipality was dissolved by the North West government with immediate effect on September 22.
“The dissolution would last until a new council is elected and assumes office,” he said.
The report stated that the appointment of the administrator and team was yet to be finalised.
Dodovu said some of the reasons for the council to be dissolved included instability due to a vote of no confidence for two mayors, two speakers and two municipal managers.
He said the municipality implemented an unfunded budget and its total creditors totalled R354 million as at June 2021.
Eskom was owed R54m and other creditors R159m while failure to implement credit control and collect household debtors led to R282m debt.
There was also inability to pay third-party transactions such as pension funds and medical aids of employees.
Dodovu stated that there was collapse of service delivery and general poor maintenance of operational infrastructure, among others.
In his report, Dodovu said only the ANC Youth League and Samwu supported the intervention, while the DA, ANC, EFF, Freedom Front Plus, Independent Municipal Allied Trade Union, Tswaing Business Chamber and Salga objected.
He said they noted with concern the collapse of service delivery, instability of good governance, political infighting within the ANC, lack of portfolio of evidence on support provided in terms of section 154 of the Constitution and lack of consequence management within the administration, among others.
He recommended that the NCOP approve the dissolution of the council and that the MEC ensure the appointment of a qualified and competent administrator.
“The appointed administrator including the intervention team should deal with all problems and challenges of municipality, including disciplinary action of any employee and where possible opening of criminal cases on matters related to corruption and financial mismanagement.”
Dodovu said the Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC should play a leading role in providing support to the municipality.
When the matter was put to a vote, eight provinces voted in support of the committee’s report while the Western Cape voted against.