Metros could face administration
When a municipality cannot or does not fulfill an executive obligation in terms of the Constitution, the relevant provincial executive may intervene by taking any appropriate steps to ensure fulfillment of that obligation. This is according to Section 139(1) of the Constitution.
It is under this section that the portfolio committee on co-operative governance & traditional affairs (COGTA) has recommended to Legislature that both Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality (BCMM) and the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality (NMBM) be dissolved and placed under provincial administration before the end of September.
The motion was tabled in the legislature on Thursday by the Chairperson of the committee, ANC MPL Thando Matiwane. Speaking to Eastern Cape Rising Sun, he said it is now up to COGTA MEC Xolile Nqata to see through the house resolutions. Nqata welcomed the recommendation and said he will comply with the 30-day directive to make a final decision.
In his recommendation, Matiwane argued that the metros had a ‘collapsed governance’. BCMM was found to have a habit of not spending money timeously, but rather waits for the end of a financial year to spend in a rush.
The Nelson Mandela Municipality’s problematic areas were identified as the collapse of their coalition setup. The Municipality is led by Mayor Mongameli Bobani of the United Democratic Movement, but is mainly made up of African National Congress councillors.
Earlier in the year during a visit in Port Elizabeth, President Cyril Ramaphosa lamented that the Metro was very dirty and that the coalition was failing dismally.
COGTA had previously tried to intervene in both Metros, but failed. Matiwane moved for the dissolvement of the two councils because of this reason.
BCMM Mayor, Xola Pakati said he will study the report, and in due time, he will respond to the resolutions of the COGTA committee. Mayoral Spokesperson, Luzuko Buko said it must be noted that the Mayor is on public record (from the State of the City Address) indicating that the figures for the last financial year show that BCM spent 87 percent of its capital budget and has achieved 100 percent expenditure on the grant funding portion of it.
The office does not agree that an administrator would be good for the Metro.
“This funding includes the additional R200 million that the city received in April for infrastructure development. This means that there is no money from Buffalo City that will be returning to the national fiscus and most projects are being implemented in accordance with their timelines,” said Buko.
He indicated that through enhancing planning, the municipality will ensure that systems are in place for more efficient expenditure of the capital budget that has been allocated for this financial year. The fate of the two Metros will be decided in a month’s time.