The DA in Elundini municipality has called on the provincial government to dissolve the council’s leading structure.
DA councillor Lulamo Pili said the executive committee (exco) had been unlawfully established in a council meeting on August 23 2016 and had refused to overturn its decision following an instruction to do so by cooperative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) MEC Fikile Xasa.
Pili said Xasa had written to the municipality telling it to reverse its decision to establish the exco.
However the municipality saw nothing wrong with the constitution of the exco. Municipal manager Khaya Gashi said the council had 34 councillors and 20% had to be on the exco. “That percentage is 6.8 and nothing in the (Municipal) Structures Act speaks about rounding off.
“I have not been able to find a legal basis for the MEC’s suggestion or directive.”
Gashi said he told Cogta officials “to facilitate the retraction of the MEC’s letter”.
The Daily Dispatch has also seen a letter written by Gashi to South African Local Government Association (Salga) in which he states: “We have received correspondence from the office of [Xasa] which alleges that the municipality did not comply with the provisions of Section 43 of the Municipal Structures Act when the executive committee was elected. I would appreciate your urgent attention to this matter to enable me to consult with the municipality’s political leadership.”
Gashi said Pili had also raised this matter in council, via a motion as provided for in the standing rules of council, and it could not be carried through as council was of the view that it would be premature to address the matter before the MEC had clarified the matters raised.
Gashi said the council decided that five out of six of the councillors in the exco should be ANC councillors and the sixth from the UDM.
He said of the 34 councillors, 28 were ANC, two DA, one EFF, one UDM, one African Independent Congress and one independent.
Cogta spokesman Mamkeli Ngam had failed to respond to e-mailed questions by deadline yesterday, and Salga could not be reached for comment.