The African National Congress (ANC) in the Eastern Cape has recalled Buffalo City Mayor Xola Pakati for poor performance.
Pakathi, who has been mayor of the metro since 2016, has reportedly been absent during official visits from Ministers, Premiers and MECs and instead deployed junior politicians to take over his work.
On Wednesday, ANC Eastern Cape spokesperson Loyiso Magqashela said the municipality had been falling apart under Pakati’s watch.
“We have been monitoring the performance of municipalities and the Buffalo Metropolitan Municipality is no exception. It is disappointing that the mayor doesn’t seem to be enjoying his work; hence he delegates his responsibilities to MMC’s and junior politicians. The potholes in town require attention from leadership from this municipality to ensure that [it] is drivable,” said Magqashela.
Revenue collection had also reportedly been abandoned and there was also an issue relating to fixing the billing system. The metro also recently hired a new municipal manager, Mxoli Yawa, who Magqashela said would need monitoring.
Candidates for the mayoral position include Deputy Mayor Princess Faku, Human Settlements MMC Nozandile Mhlola and council speaker Humphrey Maxhegwana.
Magqashela said the party was hopeful that the elected incumbent would be able to start next week to deal with the collapsed state of the municipality.
“Our expectation from the elected candidate is [that they are] equal to the task to ensure the municipality’s turnaround in instances such as the challenges of water that people are crying about. The importance of service delivery is in the presence of leadership,” he said.
The ANC has, however, acknowledged Phakati’s contribution to the municipality but stated that the municipality deserved a new change with a new face.
“Pakati is a mature ANC revolutionary and we will always remember his leadership that ensured the birth of the Qumza Highway as well as the airport. This is a year of decisiveness and we prioritise leaders who are ready to advance thorough service delivery,” Magqashela said.