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Three more EC councils in line for troika shakeups

Ngcobo mayor resigns among other major changes on the cards

Three more Eastern Cape councils, including Enoch Mgijima in Komani, are set for a major shakeup on the eve of the May election.
This follows service delivery protests in recent months in Ngcobo and Ezibeleni in Komani. Government buildings were torched in the violence.
Ngcobo now has as its acting mayor Khaya Bizana after Lizeka Bongo-Tyali resigned on Tuesday. This follows consultation between Bongo-Tyali, the region and Calata House.
Chris Hani regional secretary Lusanda Sizani confirmed Bongo-Tyali’s resignation.
“The mayor resigned as we consult stakeholders. We are waiting for the provincial ANC office to consider the names submitted as possible candidates for mayoral positions.”
The changes will also give Ngcobo a new speaker and chief whip, if the provincial deployment committee accepts recommendations in a letter Sizana submitted last week.
Bongo-Tyali has been under pressure to resign since stakeholders, such as the black business forum and Sanco, as well as taxi and ratepayers associations, supported protests in March over lack of services. Among their demands was that premier Phumulo Masualle dissolve the municipality and appoint an administrator.
Enoch Mgijima’s mayoral executive committee will also be “chopped and changed, except for the engineering services head, if the deployment committee agrees with our recommendations”.
The municipality has seen electricity and water cuts since 2018. The power troubles are related to unpaid Eskom bills of more than R53m.
The ANC had already effected changes in Enoch Mgijima which saw former mayor Lindiwe Gunuza-Nkwentsha resign. She put the party into disrepute and was found guilty of taking a cow from a municipal pound. She was replaced by Nokuzola Sisisi Tolashe.
“No one will be demoted if the deployment committee agrees, but rather executive committee members would be moved to directorates where we believe they would be most effective in speeding up service delivery,” said Sizani.
The changes would likely see Chris Hani district municipality having a deputy mayor, and changes in some mayoral executive positions.
The PEC advised the REC on a complete overhaul of troikas on the eve of general elections.
This is the third phase of council shakeups since the ANC retained all councils during the August 2016 polls. The party lost only the Nelson Mandela Metro. It first effected changes in Port St Johns and Enoch Mgijima in March, followed by Mnquma and Great Kei councils by July. Last December the party effected changes in BCM.
“The CHDM council has opted to write to Cogta MEC Fikile Xasa and apply for a Section 12 which will allow the council to have a deputy mayor.”
Xasa’s office confirmed receiving the letter...

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