By Bill Nel – DA Caucus Leader, Bitou: After almost five years of what can only be termed a chaotic and irresponsible dictatorship made possible by the executive mayoral electoral system, the two largest parties, although still political rivals, have finally been forced to cooperate on strategic issues that are of critical importance to the Bitou community up to the 2021 Local Government election.
Both parties agree that the “kingmaker” position that allows a small inexperienced party without provincial or national backing to gain the executive mayoral position should never be permitted again.
The ANC, by virtue of the Speakers casting vote, could have passed the motion of no confidence without the support of the DA but the two parties agreed that to salvage the damage done and despite political differences, they will have to vote together to pass crucial motions on a variety of matters that have been kept in suspense for a long time, as well as on matters that are deeply concerning to all our communities.
The parties are at one that the chaos in the allocation of housing and the completion of housing projects must be addressed urgently.
The parties also agree that long outstanding disciplinary action for known cases of corruption and irregular appointments must be taken urgently.
The present 2021/2022 draft IDP and budget will be referred to the Provincial and National Treasury for evaluation and comment before the final budget is brought before council.
Issues that the Democratic Alliance (DA) in Bitou will put on the table as urgent matters of concern to the community include but will not be limited to the following:
- The withdrawal by Bitou municipality from the Ngoqo Constitutional Court appeal.
- The rejection of the rezoning application to allow the development of a boutique hotel on erf 156 and the implementation of the demolition order which has already been granted.
- The scrapping of deductions from pre-paid electricity accounts without prior debtsettlement agreements.
- The urgent speeding up of Indigent Application processing to stop the cutting of water to the poorest of the poor in areas receiving power directly from Eskom.
- The handing over by Bitou Municipality of the responsibility to complete the Qolweni and Ebenezer housing developments to the Provincial Department of Human Settlements.
- The review of the recent appointment of new directors for Corporate Services, Engineering Services as well as the recently appointed Chief Financial Officer.
- An application to the Provincial Minister of Local Government to second a rescue team of fit for purpose officials to Bitou municipality at least up to the Local Government Election later this year.
- An immediate moratorium on all further staff appointments.
Both parties will continue with their own election campaigns and fight the upcoming election as hard as ever.
Mayor Lobese will become an ordinary PR councillor and the deputy mayor, Councillor Sandiso Gcabayi from the ANC will act in the position of mayor up to the time when the results of the upcoming local government elections are announced.
Our communities will be kept up to date on developments and will be consulted on an ongoing basis.