DA caucus moves for no confidence in Makana’s Mayor

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Acting municipal manager Ted Pillay has confirmed receipt of a Notice of Motion of No Confidence in Makana Municipality’s Executive Mayor Nomhle Gaga. **The motion was submitted by Makana Municipality’s DA caucus leader Mlindi Nhanha. Commenting to Grocott’s Mail, Nhanha claimed Gaga had failed in her duties as the municipality’s political head to exercise effective oversight and provide leadership to the embattled municipality.

Pillay this week confirmed he had received the Notice of Motion and said he had brought it to the attention of the Mayor and the Speaker.

**Nhanha said the motion had been submitted ahead of the statutory deadline of 10 working days before the next sitting of an ordinary council meeting. This means the motion could be tabled in the full council meeting on Wednesday 25 July. Nhanha said the party had requested a secret ballot when the motion is debated and voted on.

In the statement, **Nhanha  challenges ANC councillors “to place the interest of the voters first and vote to get rid of the mayor” on the basis of that  the Mayor failed to implement crucial Council resolutions. Nhanha said such resolutions not implemented included:

  • In 2017 the council resolved that municipal overtime, that runs to over R5 million every financial year, be investigated by a reputable independent organisation. It was decided that this organisation was to present a report to Council and any untoward findings reported to the Hawks.
  • After a DA sponsored proposal, the council resolved to ring-fence all revenue generated from the sale of electricity. This could have enabled the municipality to pay its current account and also service its escalating debt with Eskom.
  • The residents of Makana, particularly the poor, have in recent months been forced to drink dirty and untreated water with traces of the pathogen E. Coli. This potentially creates a danger to the public – especially infants and the elderly.

In addition, **Nhanha said, “Under the mayor’s watch, the municipality has become the provincial capital of potholes and illegal  dumpsites.”

Acknowledging COGTA’s recent  cash injection to fix roads, **Nhanha said, “The townships are still riddled with potholes and Makhanda, previously known as Grahamstown, covered in litter. The DA believes the removal of the mayor will be the first step in restoring the past glory of this historic town.”

* In the case of a President, their removal through a vote of no confidence requires their deputy to resign and the Cabinet to dissolve. The Mayoral Committee, which serves as the Mayor’s “Cabinet”, has five members in addition to the Mayor. The Municipal Structures Act (117 of 1998), Part 2 Section 60, deals with Mayoral Committees. According to the Act, “If the executive mayor vacates office, the mayoral committee appointed by that executive mayor dissolves.”

The Standing Rules and Orders for the Meetings of the Council and its Committees, a document issued by the SA Local Government Association (SALGA)  to local councils, stipulate that  matters are brought before the council or committees by notice of motion. The notice must be submitted to the Municipal Manager. However, it is Council’s Speaker, in Makana’s case Councillor Yandiswa Vara, who determines whether a motion may be placed on the agenda.

Grocott’s Mail has requested confirmation from the Speaker whether the motion will be tabled at the coming council meeting, and whether she will accede to the DA caucus’s request that the ballot be secret.

A request to the Mayor for her comment on the motion and its role and impact in the current political climate had not yet been responded to at the time of publishing.

* Clarification on status of Mayoral Committee added Monday 23 July 2018.

** Article altered on Monday 23 July 2018 to reflect that the Notice of Motion was lodged by Makana’s DA caucus specifically and the associated comments should have been attributed to caucus leader Mlindi Nhanha. The statement and action were previously attributed to the DA.

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