City of Cape Town's governance called into question by opposition parties

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Anton Bredell.
Anton Bredell.
Malherbe Nienaber
  • Both the ANC and GOOD party have raised concerns about governance within the City of Cape Town.
  • The questions about governance arose after councillor Nora Grose handed herself over to the Hawks last Thursday over allegations of misappropriated funds.
  • Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning MEC Anton Bredell said the City was accountable to the provincial government.

Opposition parties in the Western Cape legislature have locked horns with Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning MEC Anton Bredell over his refusal to respond to questions about the City of Cape Town.

Both the ANC and GOOD party raised concerns about governance within the City.

GOOD party general-secretary Brett Herron said he believed Bredell was avoiding accountability.

"According to MEC Bredell, the City says it does not have to answer to the province. By simply passing on this message, the MEC appears to agree with the City's strategy to avoid accountability."

Herron added Bredell had taken a "none-of-my-business" approach.

"Over the past six months, instead of answering written questions relating to governance in Cape Town, the MEC for local government has taken to responding on behalf of the City that the questions are effectively none of my business."

READ | City of Cape Town increases rates as residents and opposition parties cry foul

The questions about governance arose after councillor Nora Grose handed herself over to the Hawks last Thursday over allegations that she had misappropriated funds.

There was also an outcry after the City passed its new budget, which will see residents forking out more for services.

The ANC caucus leader in the provincial legislature, Cameron Dugmore, said the questions submitted were about accountability and oversight.

"What we have seen is a cesspool of allegations of corruption emerging in the City, one of the councillors has been charged and the incredible lack of service delivery in poor areas. We call on the MEC to call on the City where to get off. If this continues, we will consider court action," he added.

Bredell read a letter from the City which said it had received a number of questions from MPLs.

"The City has been responding to such questions and have been providing information on local government action to provincial ministers for responses to their parliamentary questions as a courtesy.

"But it is not a legal obligation, parliamentary questions are meant to hold ministers accountable and does not extend to holding local government accountable for its decisions and actions. The executive mayor, Dan Plato, and the City manager are accountable to the City council."

He said he had sought legal advice regarding oversight.

"We will continue to work closely with our municipalities. The City of Cape Town is accountable to the provincial government to an extent. Municipalities are required by legislation to account to the provincial government.

"If there is any allegations of corruption at the municipality the honourable Dugmore and Herron can go to the police; they have an obligation. I have received an legal opinion so we can get this right regarding roles and functions."

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