Democratic Alliance press statement by
DA Provincial Leader & Spokesperson of COGHSTA
OP ED: Namaqualand the latest casualty of ANC’s internal warfare
8 June 2018
The DA is concerned that service delivery in Namaqualand is being compromised by ANC factionalism that is playing out on the local government battlefield.
This comes after the ANC terminated the membership of the Speaker of the Namaqua District Council, Magdalene Groenewald, and the acting Mayor, Adelgunda Rooi, in effect removing them from the ANC’s list of public representatives.
The validity of the Namaqua District Municipality’s 2018/2019 budget and IDP, that was tabled earlier this week, has now come under scrutiny. This is because the Municipal Manager, Chris Fortuin, withheld information relating to Groenewald’s removal as public representative from Council, allowing her to preside over a special council meeting in order to push through the tabling of the budget and the IDP.
Aside from the possible repercussions that this may have for Namaqua District Municipality, the move has also increased instability in affiliated local municipalities.
Mayor of Kammiesberg Municipality, Mervin Cloete, has been redeployed to Namaqua District Municipality. Cloete previously failed to clinch the mayoral position in Namaqua Municipality due to internal party divisions. No new mayor has been elected for Kamiesberg as yet.
Meanwhile, the removal of Rooi, who was also a ward councillor at Khai-Ma, has initiated an upcoming by-election.
In addition to the upheaval in Namaqua, Kammiesberg and Khai-Ma, Nama-Khoi Municipality also finds itself in a state of turmoil, with the ANC’s coalition partner, KSR, having terminated the membership of the Nama-Khoi Speaker, Denise Joseph Ovies.
The political chaos being experienced in Namaqualand mirrors what is currently happening in the Frances Baard (FB) District Municipality and the Sol Plaatje local municipality. In this regard, FB Mayor, Virginia Buyiswa Ximba, as well as Sol Plaatje Speaker, Elizabeth Johnson, were similarly removed from their positions two weeks ago.
The DA is convinced that the current purge within the ANC speaks to a growing power battle within the ruling party and actually has nothing to do with cleaning up local government.
It is thus increasingly clear that order in Namaqualand will never be restored by an ANC government, which unashamedly places the interests of individuals ahead of the best interests of the residents whom it is meant to serve.
Only change under a DA-led government will lead to stability, and ultimately clean and honest governance, that will deliver better services to everyone, especially to the poor.
Provincial Leader & Spokesperson of COGHSTA
082 383 6914
Shelley De Witt
082 847 1387