Gauteng Cogta MEC wants answers on Tshwane mayoral vacancy, 'political vacuum'

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Gauteng’s ANC MEC for sport, arts, culture and recreation, Faith Mazibuko. (Supplied, Gallo images)
Gauteng’s ANC MEC for sport, arts, culture and recreation, Faith Mazibuko. (Supplied, Gallo images)
  • Faith Mazibuko, the acting Cogta MEC in Gauteng, has written to Tshwane council speaker Mncedi Ndzwanana about the council's failure to elect a mayor.
  • Tshwane has been without a permanent mayor since 13 February. 
  • Mazibuko says she has concerns about the stability of the metro and the effects on service delivery.

Gauteng's acting Cogta MEC, Faith Mazibuko, is dismayed at and concerned about the political vacuum Tshwane councillors created by failing to elect a mayor for more than 30 days. 

She has written to Tshwane speaker, Mncedi Ndzwanana, to ask for an explanation for their failure to elect a mayor since the resignation of DA councillor Randall Williams.

Former Cope member Murunwa Makwarela held the mayoral chain for a week before he resigned amid drama relating to his insolvency status.

Tshwane councillors would have elected a mayor on Wednesday but Ndzwanana adjourned the sitting and said he was seeking legal advice on the presence of one Cope councillor, whose status was in dispute.

The decision by Ndzwanana, who was elected with the support of the ANC and the EFF, caused much political division in the council. 

The DA and its coalition partners said that by adjourning, Ndzwanana was playing a political game while siding with the ANC and EFF.

The coalition parties also believe that the ANC and EFF have plans to ensure a mayoral election is delayed, giving the Gauteng government leverage to put the City under administration. 

READ | Murunwa Makwarela resigns as Tshwane mayor, admits no guilt in fake certificate saga

This belief relies on the fact that an adjustment budget has to be passed by the end of March. 

The DA said the EFF and the ANC relied on delaying tactics because the numbers in the council favoured a DA coalition majority. 

Mazibuko said she was concerned about the vacant mayoral seat.

She did not comment on the possibility of putting the metro under administration, but she raised concerns about the municipality's stability. 

She appealed to councillors to put the interests of residents ahead of political rivalry.

Ndzwanana will have to respond to the letter in three days. 

READ | Political blame game intensifies in Tshwane as mayoral post remains vacant

"As the acting MEC responsible for local government in the province, I view the state of affairs in the City in a very serious light. It means the City remains without a mayor and is seized with a vacuum of executive leadership.

"The perpetual failure to elect an executive mayor places the integrity and governance of the municipality in peril. This will no doubt have far-reaching ramifications on the stability of the municipality," Mazibuko said. 

Meanwhile, Ndzwanana confirmed that a special council sitting would be held on 28 March for another attempt at electing a mayor.

Entering the Tshwane political debate on Thursday was former ActionSA councillor Abel Tau, who now leads his own political party, the United Africans Transformation.

Tau said he had written to Lesufi about putting the City under administration because the legal justification, caused by political uncertainty in the metro, for the provincial government to step in had been met."We have noted with great concern the recent developments in the City, which harm service delivery and affect Tshwane residents, who are ratepayers.

"There are enough grounds for the provincial government to invoke Section 139 of the Constitution, which states that when a municipality cannot or does not fulfil an executive obligation in terms of the Constitution or legislation, the relevant provincial executive may intervene by taking any appropriate steps to ensure fulfilment of those obligations empowered by the Constitution," Tau said.

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