The embattled Mogale City Municipality council in the West Rand has been ordered to appoint a city manager and put aside political differences for the sake of service delivery.
Following a meeting held on January 26 with Gauteng MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Paul Mashatile, it was agreed that the meeting that led to the removal of the speaker Patrick Naga Lipudi and chief whip Sipho Dube was unlawful and the decisions that were taken on the day had no merit. They were removed through a motion of no confidence. They are both from the African National Congress (ANC).
The ANC accused Democratic Alliance mayor Michael Holenstein of calling an illegal urgent council meeting where the pair was removed. They were replaced by Enerst Modise and Jacque Hoon who are both DA officials.
"The removed speaker and chief whip were reinstated to their positions. There is a scheduled meeting for Tuesday and the MEC emphasised the importance of appointing a city manager. We will be expecting a report on how that meeting went and we will not allow another day to pass without a city manager," spokesperson Mogomotsi Mogodiri said.
Mogale City has been led by a coalition government since the 2016 local government elections but political intolerance has resulted in service delivery being hampered. The council has still not been able to elect a city manager. Mashatile's office now wants that to be rectified even if an acting city manager is appointed.
The Local Government: Municipal Systems Act of 2000 stipulates that the municipal council must appoint a municipal manager as head of the administration but a person appointed in an acting capacity may not hold the position for more than three months. A municipal council can however, in special circumstances and on good cause shown, apply in writing to the MEC for local government to extend the period of appointment.
Mogodiri said the appointment of a city manager would go a long to ensure residents get services.
"Everything must be done to ensure that people of Mogale City are not affected by political differences. They must make sure legislative process are in place and without a city manager it means the council has not taken an administrative decision," said Mogodiri.