DA accuses Mabuyane of being ‘weak’ for not intervening in Bay issues

Eastern Cape premier Oscar Mabuyane has been accused of failure to take action over shortcomings in the Bay municipality
TAKEN TO TASK: Eastern Cape premier Oscar Mabuyane has been accused of failure to take action over shortcomings in the Bay municipality

Eastern Cape premier Oscar Mabuyane has been accused of showing weak leadership by failing to deal with the dire administrative issues in Nelson Mandela Bay municipality.

DA MPL Retief Odendaal has written to Mabuyane about a number of issues plaguing the metro.

These include the alleged irregular appointment of acting city manager Mvuleni Mapu and the R800m in equitable share and grant funding  from National Treasury that the city stands to forfeit.

The National Treasury’s deputy director-general of intergovernment relations, Malijeng Ngqaleni, wrote to Mapu in late June informing him that the Treasury was moving ahead with invoking section 216(2) of the constitution.

It initially decided to withdraw the funds because the metro had failed to act on a report on a forensic investigation into the Integrated Public Transport System (IPTS) about three years ago, which uncovered alleged large-scale corruption.

In the letter, seen by The Herald and dated July 15, Odendaal writes that he had presented the matter to the legislature at the beginning of the month and that the premier had indicated the provincial government was monitoring the situation and that provincial departments would work with the municipality to resolve all the issues in the city.

“Regrettably, the only conclusion that I could reach was that both you and your provincial government are indeed weak.

“Let us make no mistake, your unwillingness to intervene in the administration in Nelson Mandela Bay is nothing short of abdicating your responsibility.

“You are failing your constitutional obligations as a provincial government in this regard.” 

Other issues that Odendaal has raised in the letter include council’s failure to fill the post of executive mayor — a post that has been vacant since December 2019.

“The aforesaid vacancy has not just brought political instability but also a level of administrative paralysis, which has led to the systematic collapse of service delivery in the metro.”

He also cites the city’s water shortages, writing: “The metro is not prepared for an eventuality where the dams run dry and, as such, the ensuing effects of sections of this metro being without water would be disastrous.

“I want to put it on record that the unwillingness and reluctance of your government to intervene in Nelson Mandela Bay is now making you complicit in the dramatic administrative decline of the metro.”

Mabuyane’s spokesperson, Mvusi Sicwetsha, said he was unaware of the letter but MPLs knew the parliamentary processes that should be followed when they had an issue to raise and no such parliamentary issue had been raised by Odendaal.

“Government is dealing with the issues in Nelson Mandela already  to ensure the municipality is providing the necessary services to the people and Cogta is on the ball attending to those issues,” Sicwetsha said.

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