Enoch Mgijima municipality sells off more assets

Enoch Mgijima municipality in Komani, Bhisho braces for a fresh storm on another front.
Enoch Mgijima municipality in Komani, Bhisho braces for a fresh storm on another front.
Image: File

As two more auctions of its assets loom in troubled Enoch Mgijima municipality in Komani, Bhisho braces for a fresh storm on another front: mutiny from the province’s biggest public service union over the controversial administrator it has hired to unsnarl the local authority’s financial morass.

The two new auctions, scheduled for September 28, bring attempts to pacify the municipality’s creditors by selling its assets to five, since June 2018.

Enoch Mgijima owes T Square Engineers R585,362 for services of design, reparation and evaluation of bid documents, including supervision of surfaced roads.

Mott MacDonald Africa is owed R402,000 for construction of a sports field and road maintenance in Ilinge Township, for former Lukhanji municipality.

The Komani sheriff has already attached 41 municipal vehicles, including trucks and bakkies, to recover the money for Mott MacDonald, and 16 vehicles for the T Square debt.

Meanwhile, the National Education Health & Allied Workers' Union wants Co-operative Governance & Traditional Affairs (Cogta) MEC Fikile Xasa to explain why he is deploying controversial former Amathole municipal manager Vuyo Mlokoti as Enoch Mgijima’s administrator.

Xasa confirmed the appointment to the Dispatch earlier this week.

Mlokoti made headlines in November 2016 when the Nelson Mandela Metro council rescinded his appointment as municipal manager, after it found that he did not declare that he resigned from the State Information Technology Agency (Sita) after being charged with gross financial mismanagement.

He was its head of corporate services when charges were filed against him, but left after a confidential settlement was reached.

Mlokoti’s attempt to force the Bay-based council to hire him fell flat as the Port Elizabeth high court ruled in favour of the council, saying Mlokoti “lacked candour, had distorted the truth, [and] acted in bad faith,” when he did not declare that he left Sita under a cloud.

Following the showdown, Xasa hired Mlokoti as a deputy director general (DDG), a decision challenged by Nehawu.

The union’s Bhisho branch chairperson Lennox Maho, said they were “still waiting for a full vetting report” of Mlokoti.

Xasa’s spokesperson, Mamkeli Ngam, defended Mlokoti, saying at the time of his appointment at Cogta, Mlokoti made full disclosure to the employer.

“He will be an administrator for six months’ duration in Enoch Mgijima,” Ngam said.

Mlokoti could not be reached for comment at the time of going to print.