Once again, ANC prevents council sitting – Herman Mashaba

Joburg mayor says opposition continues to try and disrupt the business of council

Once again, the ANC prevents Council sitting

4 September 2018

Once again, the ANC in the City of Johannesburg has shown its disdain for democratic process by electing to not appear to today’s sitting of Council. By doing so the ANC has prevented deliberations on a number of crucial items which form the business of our residents in Johannesburg.

Today’s Special Council was decided upon, with the ANC present, during last week’s Ordinary Council meeting. This was required because of the deliberate efforts of the ANC to delay the proceedings of that Council meeting.

One has to ask what could be more important for the ANC than ensuring their Councillors attend to the needs of residents in Johannesburg or their oversight role of the Executive?

This is only the latest in a string of many attempts by the ANC Caucus to disrupt the business of Council. On numerous occasions the ANC has walked out of Council in its bid to collapse meetings and prevent the work of government.

The ANC’s continued conduct within Council today only serves to illustrate the depths to which the ANC will sink in order to achieve their own political ends at the expense of our residents. Across political divides, residents of Johannesburg wish to see elected representatives engaging in deliberations about the matters that impact on their lived experiences.

The Constitutional Court has stated, in the case of Tlokwe Municipality, that Councillors who deliberately collapse the qourum of Council, for narrow political interests, are guilty of breaching the code of conduct and their oath of office.

The Constitutional Court specifically states:

‘’Councillors are elected to undertake the work of the council on behalf of the whole citizenry…But it remains the duty of all councillors to facilitate and not obstruct the workings of the council. For councillors to continue to draw their salaries, while refusing to attend meetings and seeking thereby to stultify the working of a council would be a breach of their obligations as councillors.  It is a breach of the Code of Conduct that binds all councillors and obliges them to attend all meetings of the council and of committees of which they are members.’’

The biggest losers in this situation aren’t the Council members who take their role seriously and therefore arrive for schedule Council sitting, the biggest losers in this situation are the residents of our city.

It is clear that the ANC hasn’t learnt from the election outcome in 2016 and still continue to place their political objectives ahead of the residents of our City. Their efforts are aimed at creating an environment where their colleagues in Provincial Government can intervene in the City of Johannesburg.

This kind of collaboration has been evident in the last two weeks in which members of the Provincial Government, sit alongside ANC Councillors in Johannesburg and speak brazenly of their wishes to place the City of Johannesburg under administration.

These efforts will ultimately fail, because they are based on narrow political interests against the will of the people of Johannesburg.

I have begun to commission a complaint to the Ethics Committee which refers the entire ANC Caucus for disciplinary action based on their efforts to undermine their Constitutional responsibilities.  

Issued by Herman Mashaba, Executive Mayor, City of Joburg, 4 September 2018