DA criticises decision to appoint new administrator for struggling Makana Municipality

AUGUST 5, 2015

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Eastern Cape on Tuesday criticised government's decision to appoint a new administrator for the struggling Makana Local Municipality in Grahamstown.

"The announcement by Cooperative Governance MEC Fikile Xasa of Jongisizwe Gomomo as new administrator for Makana Municipality is neither bold nor new. It is the same tired old broken record we have heard so many times before," said the DA's Andrew Whitfield, MP and Frontier constituency leader.

"The former administrator, Pam Yako, recently walked away from her R3-million intervention after nine months with no meaningful results to show for it. Now the MEC has appointed another administrator to continue in her place. The MEC says he will evaluate Ms Yako's exit report and come to decision on the way forward in the next month.

"Perhaps the MEC is so reluctant to show bold leadership in Makana because the next logical procedural step is the politically inconvenient dissolution of the council."

Whitfield said that Yako famously said, earlier this year, "I can't fix political problems administratively. You need political solutions to political problems".

"We couldn't agree more. The only way to fix a political problem is to vote it out of office.

"The DA will be taking this matter to Cooperative Governance Minister Pravin Gordhan in Parliament and the National Council of Provinces this week," he said.

"The Minister must now step up and step in to show leadership where the MEC has failed."

Whitfield said the DA has a plan to make Makana great again and has been experiencing unprecedented growth.

"Between 2009 and 2014 the DA doubled its share of the votes to 22%.

"We believe that this growth can position us for a possible coalition in 2016, with the intention of governing outright by 2021," Whitfield said.

"During the coming months the DA will be spelling out our plans for Makana Vision 2021. This will be a vision built upon the values of freedom, fairness and opportunity: a vision that puts the people first and delivers quality services to all corners of the municipality."