DA supports section 139 intervention and fresh elections in NMB - Nqaba Bhanga

Party says it had no alternative than to turn to President for help to save the Metro

DA supports section 139 intervention and fresh elections in NMB

7 November 2019

The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality has become a “paralysed gangster state” ruled by fear and the threat of violence under Executive Mayor, Cllr Mongameli Bobani, and his ANC/UDM/EFF coalition of corruption.

The blatant corruption, maladministration, collapse of service delivery and governance has left the Democratic Alliance (DA) with no alternative than to turn to President Cyril Ramaphosa and the national and provincial governments, and to call for the Metro to be saved through implementing section 139 of the Constitution of South Africa.

The Eastern Cape Premier, Oscar Mabuyane, and the provincial executive (PEC) last week confirmed the issuing of a formal notice in respect of Section 139 to the Metro.

Section 139 in its various forms allows the provincial government to take over the administration of a local government or in extreme cases, dissolve a dysfunctional council. It is the first time in the history of our post democratic dispensation that such a notice is issued to a metropolitan municipality.

A notice of intent to implement section 139 has already been served on the Metro by the EC MEC of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA), Xolile Nqatha, and we now urge the provincial government, with the assistance of the national department of CoGTA, to immediately proceed with placing the City under administration.

The Bobani administration was given a deadline of two weeks to reply to the MEC, but this was ignored. Despite this CoGTA has failed to take any action.

Previous ANC government administration interventions in the Makana and Enoch Mgijima Municipalities have proven to be very ineffectual, but we are making this call in terms of the legislation.

We are, on behalf of the people, taking this battle to President Ramaphosa, as the DA believes that it is only through dissolving council and holding a rerun of the elections, that the Metro can be saved.

In this regard the DA has written to President Ramaphosa, the Minister of CoGTA, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Premier Mabuyane, MEC Nqatha, NMB Speaker, Cllr Buyelwa Mafaya, and ANC Provincial Secretary Mr Lulama Ngckayitobi. See letters hereherehere and here.

The ANC in NMB has proven that it refuses to hold its leaders to account and that is why the party has consistently withdrawn from efforts to remove Mayor Bobani from power.

A long admission of failure letter, written by ANC Cllr Rory Riordan to National Treasury, states clearly that the ANC is fully aware of the state of the coalition government led by Mayor Bobani. See letter here.

As the strongest opposition party in council currently, our role is to take all steps necessary to ensure that services are delivered to the people of the City.

We have tried on numerous occasions to hold these individuals to account, but the balance of power has made this impossible, with the coalition of corruption pulling every trick in the book to protect their own interests.

What is currently taking place is not what the people voted for in 2016, and intervention is desperately needed to deal with the current incompetent coalition of corruption government.

While in government, the DA and its coalition partners, the ACDP and Cope, to universal acclaim, did all it could to fix the problems in the Metro.

In opposition we are also constantly trying to improve the lives of residents by putting the people first and working towards a well-run City, but the backsliding has now become unconscionable and therefore we are making this call to dissolve council and hold fresh elections.

Only a DA government can save the Metro from total collapse.

Issued by Nqaba Bhanga, DA EC Provincial Leader, 7 November 2019