It is ironic that shortly after I opened a criminal case of dereliction of duty against the Premier, Dr Zamani Saul, and the MEC of COGHSTA, Bentley Vass, that they have announced their intention to spend half a million rand on fixing the broken city of Kimberley.
The premier has the audacity to call the R500 million an investment. This is not an investment, it’s a bailout. It is an attempt by the premier and the MEC to stay out of jail for dereliction of duty and failing to provide oversight of municipalities, in response to the Hawks case (NC DPCI ENQUIRY 10/03/2021) that I opened against them. It is also a last-ditch effort, ahead of the Local Government Elections, to try and regain support from fuming Sol Plaatje residents who, after years of neglect, have had enough of the water cuts, the sewerage spills and the potholes that have overrun this city.
The premier’s cash injection is a clear acknowledgement that the ANC run municipality is a massive failure, in need of a specially formed implementation team to take control of the operations of the municipality. It is also just a more subtle way of placing this municipality, which is fraught with internal ANC factionalism, under administration, in order for the ruling party to try and save face.
The DA doesn’t disagree that Sol Plaatje needs all the help it can get, but we have to question whether government has gone about this project in the right way.
Opposition councillors have been completely side-lined. They have been elected to serve the residents of Sol Paatje but they had to read about this cash injection on social media. Perhaps the constitutionality of this process must be checked? After all, what is the use of a symbolic municipality and council, whose powers are in effect stripped by the provincial government?
The DA has many questions and concerns relating to this project. We will demand details and transparency on each of the different projects mentioned by the premier.
Kimberley is undoubtedly in urgent need of fixing. Despite efforts to exclude DA councillors from the project, our councillors will be monitoring the upcoming repair of the city every step of the way.
Issued by The DA