The COSATU Eastern Cape Provincial Executive Committee met on 23 and 24 February 2013. This was the first PEC of 2013.
Key issues discussed by the PEC include the following:
1. Situation at Nelson Mandela Metro
In November 2012, the PEC expressed its concern at the ongoing political instability in the Metro and condemned political interference in administration which affects service delivery.
The PEC further expressed its concern that for the past five years the Metro has not filled the municipal manager post, as well as other key positions. This was due to interference by opportunists wanting to use the municipal machine for their own narrow enrichment purposes. This has led to lack of stability in the administration, absence of administrative discipline and direction, insufficient capacity and consequent service delivery challenges.
The February PEC welcomed the employment of a Municipal Manager who will start work on 1 March 2013. This long-delayed appointment gives the PEC hope that there will at long last be stability in the administration and that other key positions will be filled as soon as possible.
Whilst appreciating and welcoming these developments at the administrative level, the COSATU PEC expressed its concern at the decision by the PEC to redeploy the Mayor and other members of the Troika. Our concern is that Mayor Zanoxolo Wayile has been key in fighting corruption at the Metro and preventing those wanting to use the municipal machine for their own narrow enrichment purposes from doing so.
Zanoxolo Wayile was key in ensuring that the Kabuso report was discussed by the Council under very trying circumstances, including instructions from above not to table or discuss it.
It has become clear to the PEC that the removal of Zanoxolo Wayile is meant to permanently remove him and consequently bury forever discussions of the Kabuso report. This will open the municipality to an extension of corrupt practices. The PEC therefore rejected the redeployment of Zanoxolo Wayile and other members of the Troika.
COSATU PEC raised a concern that no action has been taken against the ANC Regional leadership who COSATU believes played a role in the destabilisation of the municipality.
2. Situation at Lukhanji Municipality
The PEC expressed similar concerns over the situation at the Lukhanji Municipality where the Mayor and some members of the Mayoral Committee were redeployed for dubious reasons.
The PEC further noted that rather than being supported for fighting against corruption, the Mayor has been removed together with some Mayoral Committee members.
3. The state of municipalities
The PEC received a report on the state of municipalities and expressed its concern at challenges they currently face, including the following:
Political interference in their administration
Political infighting between mayors and speakers, chief whips or municipal managers
Lack of leadership and accountability both at political and administrative levels
Lack of contract management capacity and effective management of contracts
Circumvention of and non-compliance with municipal supply chain management processes
Inability of municipalities to properly manage development projects
The widespread tendency to incur fruitless expenditure
That of 45 municipalities, only nine received unqualified audit reports for 2011/12 and that even these are with emphasis
That 17 qualified, 12 disclaimers, two adverse and 5 outstanding reports were received. This is wholly unsatisfactory.
The PEC further noted the following challenges at municipal level:
Transforming apartheid spatial patterns remains a challenge. Our towns and cities reflect apartheid spatial differentiation and make-up:
Municipalities are not planning for, or effectively developing their areas
Growth in municipalities is mainly in the form of low-cost housing settlements which are poorly integrated and established without social facilities.
Many of our communities do not yet have access to housing and basic services:
Many people have been on the waiting list for these services for far too long
Government has not yet met housing targets set at the beginning of its current term of office.
Despite the fact that such problems are faced by almost all the municipalities, no action similar to that taken in the Nelson Mandela Metro and Lukhanji municipalities has been taken against their leadership.
The PEC also noted that the two affected mayors and members of mayoral committees were at some stage leaders of COSATU. This cannot be coincidental. We therefore view the recent moves against these comrades as an attack to COSATU in particular and on workers in general.
COSATU calls on the ANC to reconsider the redeployment at the Nelson Mandela Metro and Lukhanji Municipalities and instead together with the Alliance partners embark on a process of addressing challenges in all the municipalities.