DA takes over troubled Oudtshoorn municipality

2016-08-05 18:05
The DA conducts a rally following its Cape Town election victory. (Thurlo Cicero)

Oudtshoorn - The Democratic Alliance has increased its support in Oudtshoorn by over 10%, winning the troubled municipality after the African National Congress suffered a 15% dip in the local government elections.

The DA claimed victory with 55% support winning 12 of 13 wards, with a voter turnout of 55%.

The ANC managed 27%, down from the 42% it received in 2011.

This translates to a decrease of almost 5 000 voters.

The local municipality was placed under administration in July 2015 and came to an end last week ahead of the elections which will result in a new council being constituted.

The administrator was appointed by the national co-operative governance department and the Western Cape government following a two-year power struggle between the ANC and DA.

New Mayor Colan Sylvester said he was ecstatic that the electorate had put their trust in the DA, and that the party had peace of mind that with their majority win they would not have to enter any coalitions.

3 years to get town back on track

"The numbers say a lot about the confidence the people have put in the party," he told News24 on Friday.

Sylvester said the new municipality would spend the first 100 days clearing the backlog of services before moving forward.

"I think it's going to take two to three years to get the town back on track and on par with other municipalities," he said.

According to a report the Western Cape local government department released in March, a forensic investigation into the municipality uncovered 132 contraventions.

These included two cases of corruption and eight of fraud. There was evidence of falsification of documents. The contraventions mostly pertained to the Municipal Finance Management Act, and municipal policies.

A forensic investigation by the Hawks is currently underway into the alleged transgressions by employees and officials.

Last week, local government, environmental affairs and development planning MEC Anton Bredell said ongoing disciplinary hearings into alleged transgressions by employees continue.

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