ANC has a plan to unseat DA in Tshwane council

2016-11-28 11:40

(Erin Bates)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Video

ICYMI: Protest mayhem, ruckus at Tshwane council, HuffPost SA

2016-09-29 13:05

Your leading news headlines for Thursday, 29 September are here.WATCH

Pretoria - While the Tshwane metro's DA council is trying to stabilise the cash-strapped city's finances, the ANC is licking its lips in anticipation as it gets ready to unseat the party by having the metro placed under provincial administration.   

At the centre of the issue is the controversial smart meter contract with service provider PEU, which played a major role in the DA's election campaign.

Rapport has reliably learnt that there is great concern within DA ranks that the whip with which they thrashed the ANC might come back to haunt them. 

Solly Msimanga, Tshwane's DA mayor, announced on Thursday that the metro would be submitting court papers in support of business rights group AfriSake's attempts to have the PEU contract declared null and void.  

However, the DA is still paying the unaffordable R4.6m a day to Utilities Management Services (Tums), which is operating the smart meters for PEU. 

Cilliers Brink, Tshwane mayoral committee member for corporate and shared services, said they were still waiting on their new legal team's interpretation of the interim interdict obtained by AfriSake.

Potentially costly rates dispute

In addition to that, three of Tshwane's biggest electricity consumers have laid a complaint with the National Energy Regulator (Nersa) about PEU's tariff structures. 

To make matters worse, more than half of Tshwane's PEU customers fall in the bulk supply category whose validity of rates is being disputed. The metro might have to pay back consumers more than R9bn if Nersa or a court finds for the complainants.

This is more than a third of Tshwane's budget. In June 2016, Tshwane had just R207m in the bank and the ANC had left the DA with a debt of R10bn, the maximum loan for a city, leaving the city's ability to afford the additional debt in doubt.

Sources in the Gauteng provincial government told Times Live in September that they were convinced that Tshwane should be placed under administration.

Paul Mashatile, MEC for co-operative governance, traditional affairs and human settlements, shortly afterwards appointed a task team to compile a report on Tshwane. 

Mogomotsi Mogodiri, Mashatile's spokesperson, confirmed to Rapport that the investigation had been completed and that Mashatile was considering all options, including putting Tshwane under administration, so that service delivery won't suffer. 

Re-election

"The MEC is considering all its options. Before a city can be placed under administration, there are various legal aspects which have to be considered," said Mogodiri.

Professor Bernard Bekink, of the department of public law at the University of Pretoria, said it was ironic that the ANC administration that was responsible for Tshwane's problems is now the one making complaints. However, to place the city under administration might not be a bad option.  

Bekink said it is not so easy to place a city under administration and certain steps have to be followed in terms of article 139 of the Constitution and the Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA) to prove there is no financial liability or service delivery has failed completely.

There are different levels of administration, but when a city is completely under administration, its debt is redeemed by Treasury and a re-election has to be held within 90 days.

"The DA can ask government for bridging capital," said Bekink.

"In the Constitution there are several options for when a city is placed under administration; it does not necessarily have to boil down to a re-election. I would, I would, for example, have stopped paying PEU some time ago. Let PEU take the matter to court."

Petition

The ANC's stubborn refusal to admit the PEU contract was a mistake and the DA's reluctance to consider a possible re-election might cause Tshwane's collapse, says Lex Middleberg, a former DA councillor who investigated the PEU abuses.

According to him, the city's residents are set to suffer as a result of this because service delivery will deteriorate even more and the DA council will be forced to increase taxes. 

Middleberg says he intends starting a petition to have Tshwane placed under administration.  

Bekink warned that the government's three spheres: national, provincial and local, should prevent politicking from hampering service delivery if a metro is led by a party other than the governing party. 

Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  politics

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.