The DA in Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality is troubled by the deployment of an intervention team to fix the previous intervention team’s failures. The Secretary General of the ANC, Fekile Mbalula, blamed the opposition and coalition partners for the failure of 42 municipalities. He stated that the ANC will first intervene at the Mangaung Metro, most likely to cover up the failures of the previous national intervention team.
The National Intervention Team appointed by the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma was a total failure. It was introduced on 20 April 2022 with the promise of a forensic audit and improvement in municipal services by correcting arrear amounts from government departments in municipal accounts.
In September 2022 it was reported that government departments owed the municipality R 2,525,276,387 for services, R 1,578,843,680 for the municipality for public works, schools and development programs, and R 946,432,707 for Centlec for public works and schools. Residents who are in debt to the municipality for basic services are disconnected within the first month while the acting MM only pretended to schedule meetings with government departments to repay the debt.
This week, the Executive Mayor, Mxolisi Siyonzana, and the Acting Municipal Manager, Tebogo Mothlashuping, were in contravention of the Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA) for not tabling the annual report, which includes the Auditor General's (AG) report, and not publishing the report for the residents of Mangaung.
To date, the acting MM has not tabled an audit report for the investigation of ghost workers at the Mangaung Metro. It was alleged that millions were spent on 119 "ghost workers," which included previous councillors that did not return after the local government election in 2021. This practise is still prevalent in the municipality.
The municipality still does not have a planned Mangaung Metro Police to secure municipal infrastructure, as disgruntled officials’, and criminal syndicates sabotage Centlec infrastructure, water, and sewerage due to non-payment of overtime claims. Solid waste management is still a nightmare, and the DA can report that only one solid waste compactor was available to collect solid waste in Bloemfontein.
The biggest failure of the acting MM was the establishment of the Mangaung Ombudsman, first approved by the council in May 2018 and again four years later in May 2022. Council resolved that the office be established within 90 days for the purpose to ensure the interest of residents if services are not delivered by the municipality.
The ANC cannot correct itself, nor can it save the failures it has created. The DA is ready to govern in the Free State, and we are committed to change across the country. Therefore, we urge all residents to register to vote in the 2024 National and Provincial Government elections.
Issued by Dirk Kotze - DA Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality Caucus Deputy Chairperson