DA moves against war rooms

The DA wants to interdict Eastern Cape premier Phumulo Masualle’s Operation Masiphathisane war rooms, saying they duplicate the functions of ward committees and have no basis in law.

The concept was discussed at the DA’s provincial congress in East London at the weekend.

War rooms are ward-level integrated service delivery structures involving the government, municipality, business and other stakeholders.

Some DA delegates called them Masualle’s ego project, lacking a legislative framework.

The congress passed a resolution calling for a court interdict against establishing war rooms in municipalities.

This will be taken to the party’s federal executive to determine whether it indeed warrants legal action.

The DA members argued that war rooms replicated the ward committee system and had no budget or funding model.

DA MP Kevin Mileham said: “In terms of the Municipal Structures and Systems Act, provision is made for ward committees elected in each ward.

“But in the Eastern Cape, the premier has introduced Operation Masiphathisane.”

Mileham said Masualle was operating beyond the scope of his authority and could not force war rooms on municipalities.

The party also said it had problems with ANC councillors establishing war rooms in ANC-represented wards.

Masualle’s office conceded that there was no legal framework for war rooms.

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