Thu, 23 Oct, 2014
Sanitisation of administration requires political will and honesty. I welcome the government's intervention in my beloved place
of birth, Makana Municipality, and I hope that the situation will normalize as a matter of speed.
I must say that I was very happy to hear the news of Pamela Yako’s appointment like a captain who is brought in to steer the
capsizing ship to a point of stability and predictability. She hails from this area and her track records speaks for itself.
She has been at the helm of Amathole District Municipality,the National Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism and lastly, the Department of Water Affairs (DWA).
Her experience with running tumarounds of the Marine Living Resources Fund and moving the DWA to unqualiﬁed audits are useful reference points.
She has to be judged on the basis of the content of her character and achievements as a public servant and erstwhile local government practitioner.
I was also happy to learn that she has successfully challenged her expulsion through an independent arbitrator-appointed public service bargaining council.
The sitting leadership of Makana - both politically and administratively - must have a strategic appreciation of the depth and magnitude of the problem that the municipality is facing. There must be some form of moral recognition by the individuals who are responsible that they are in the process of plunging a great city into chaos and their careless actions are the antithesis to what the ANC is all about: clean, ethical and accountable governance.
I trust that the Administrator will be given authority and administrative muscle to operate independent of toxic and obnoxious agendas, administrative or otherwise. The Administrator has to act swiftly without fear or favour and bring about predictability in the ﬁnancial and supply chain management regime. The Administrator must be given sharp teeth to reverse all transactions that are found to be outside municipal legislative and policy framework.The Administrator must be empowered to implement administrative mechanisms that will inculcate a culture of service delivery, restore institutional integrity and infuse a sense of accountability in how both politicians and ofﬁcials carry themselves and relate to the resources of the municipality. The Administrator must engage with communities and employees who are aﬁected by the situation. The Administrator must engage in a process that will create structures of critical substance for progressive civil society to input and contribute to service delivery; economic development; infrastructure asset creation and development trajectories on which the City must travel on.
I grab this moment with a great sense of excitement to welcome this tried and tested daughter of Makana to her challenging responsibility as the Administrator. I wish her well in her efforts and I think the below are an indicative summary of the strategic steps she must take:
1) Stabilization of finances and governance
2) Stabilization of people’s emotions - both within the community and workforce
3)Focussed engagement with civil society
4) Sharing with communities on how the city is tackling the water crisis and perceived sluggishness associated with service delivery
5) Crowding-in and packaging of projects that are aimed a creating both short term and decent work opportunities in Makana
I urge all the activists and communities of Makana to provide the Administrator with all the support she may require in her quest to stabilize your city.
- Likhaya Ngqezana is a former mayor of Grahamstown and is currently the strateigc political adviser of the Mayor of Nelson
Mandel Bay Metropolitan Municpality. He writes this letter in his personal capacity.