Sort out committee, says Cosatu

COSATU in the Eastern Cape has condemned the delay by the ANC regional executive committee (REC) in announcing the mayoral committee in Nelson Mandela Bay.

The delay was due to a stand-off between the REC and provincial ANC leaders over the REC’s decision to reappoint Chippa Ngcolomba as chief whip and the omission of mayoral committee member Andile Mfunda from their list.

However, in a strongly worded statement yesterday, Cosatu told regional leaders they had no choice but to accept the province’s decision to strip Ngcolomba of his chief whip title and to assign him to chair the local economic development and tourism committee instead.

The provincial deployment committee  wants Feziwe Sibeko, re-elected as a proportional representation councillor last month, to replace Ngcolomba as chief whip.

The mayoral committee names decided by the provincial executive committee (PEC) are:

Ngcolomba – local economic development and tourism;
Patricia Ndlovu – public health;
Babalwa Lobishe – sports, arts and culture;
Fikile Desi – human settlements;
Thembinkosi Mafana – constituency coordinator;
Andile Mfunda – infrastructure, energy and electricity;
Wandisile Jikeka – safety and security;
Balu Naran – budget and treasury; and
Nomamerika Magopeni – corporate services and administration.

They replace Bicks Ndoni (safety and security), Maria Hermans (recreation and culture) – who is now the speaker of council, Arnold Scholtz (budget and treasury), Pat Ndlovu (constituency coordinator), Oscar Mgwanza (human resources), Noluthando Mapu (health and environmental services), Melvin Manentsa (infrastructure and engineering) and Anne-Marie van Jaarsveld (economic development, tourism and agriculture).

Cosatu’s provincial secretary, Mandla Rayi, said while they too were unhappy with some of the names decided upon by the provincial deployment committee, the REC had to accept the names because the PEC had the final say.

“We too are unhappy with some of these comrades, because we are aware of names here of comrades who cannot safely visit, let alone live in, some wards, and yet they have been given responsibilities that require maximum exposure to our communities in our townships and shacks.

“We have learnt that the REC appears to have problems with some of the names on the new mayoral committee and that they are trying to get other names into the mayoral committee.

“We are unhappy with this indiscipline from the REC who appear to be going against the decisions of the deployment committee.”

Rayi said the metro was in trouble and could not afford to waste any more time. “The ANC in the metro government needs to go to work running, now. We will be approaching the chairperson of the REC of the ANC to demand to have the comrades installed in their offices immediately. We cannot afford to waste time in political squabbles and pandering to the wishes of those who want to see their friends in government for personal reasons.”

Cosatu’s local office secretary, Gerald Fundani, said the REC was not happy with re-appointing Mfunda in the mayoral committee and objected to Sibeko replacing Ngcolomba. “We are also not happy with some of the names, but it’s the provincial deployment committee who decides who must be deployed and the REC must just stick to that.

The announcement of the mayoral committee was delayed last Tuesday , and the draft capital and operating budgets, as well as the proposed rates and tariff increases were not  passed.  The items are expected to be discussed   today.

Councillors are  attending a two- week  induction workshop, which started at the City Hall yesterday.

Attempts to obtain comment from the REC were unsuccessful.

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