The decision of Bentley Vass, MEC for Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs (Coghsta), to release the outcomes of the 106 Investigation Report at a postponed council meeting, scheduled for 31 October, has raised eyebrows.
The community of Sol Plaatje has decided to give the municipality only seven days to release the report, which is expected to shed light on the finances of the Sol Plaatje Municipality.
They feel the delay in communicating the findings of the report is a way of covering up maladministration. Fears are that the community will be driven to take to the streets.
The Sol Plaatje Municipality currently has no mayor, an acting speaker, an acting municipal manager and an acting chief financial officer.
The last council meeting, on Wednesday (03/10), was disrupted after two candidates were recommended for mayorship.
A swearing-in ceremony by the Northern Cape legislature was also postponed indefinitely on Tuesday (09/10) morning. There was apparently a possibility that the ousted mayor, Mangaliso Matika, was to be sworn in in the place of one of the recommended mayors, Patric Mabilo.
A delegation of the Sol Plaatje Municipality Community Forum (SPCF) are to meet with Vass this week to give him an ultimatum on the release of the report.
“We cannot wait for the end of this month, as it means people are getting paid at the municipality for doing nothing. If the MEC does not respond positively, we will go to the premier. If she does not do anything either, we will take to the streets,” said community leader Tebogo Obusitse.
During the last community meeting, on Sunday (06/10), a resolution was made to use the engagements with the MEC to get a hold on the challenges at the municipality.
“The report should be made public and presented to the community, not to the municipality, which was being investigated,” said Obusitse.
The DA has vowed to use every avenue available to push for a special council meeting to be convened for a new mayor to be elected; for the overdue report on the section 106 investigation to be tabled; and for crucial service delivery matters to be discussed.
The DA sees the delay as a trick to buy time in order for the report to be manipulated.