Ricochet News

Bhisho resolves to send officials to act as Bay Municipal Manager and CFO

Nov 20, 2019
Bhisho resolves to send officials to act as Bay Municipal Manager and CFO

Port Elizabeth - The Executive Council of the Eastern Cape Provincial Government held a special meeting on Wednesday to discuss the several matters concerning the province including the Invocation of section 139 (1) (A) of the Constitution in the affairs of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality. 

"The EXCO received a report from the Eastern Cape Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC, Xolile Nqatha, about the status of the notice of the intention to invoke section 139 (1) (A) of the constitution in the affairs of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipal Council," said Eastern Cape Premier, Oscar Mabuyane's Spokesperson, Mvusiwekhaya Sicwetsha. 

"The report presented to the EXCO shows that the Council has not responded to the notice of the intention issued to the Council by the MEC as required by the constitution. In the absence of the response from the municipality, COGTA MEC then issued a letter with directives to the municipality in line with section 139 (1) (a) of the constitution. Section 139 (1) (A) empowers the MEC to issue a directive to the Municipal Council, describing the extent of the failure to fulfil its obligations and stating any steps required to meet its obligations."

He added that the letter with directives was physically delivered to the Executive Mayor of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan municipality at his office by an official from the department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs.

"The Executive Mayor refused to sign an acknowledgement of receipt of the letter containing directives, but he did take a copy of the letter."

EXCO resolutions on the matter: 

Sicwetsha said following the developments in the Bay, the EXCO resolved that:

1) The directives as issued in the letter by the COGTA MEC to the Municipality were endorsed.
2) The Executive Council noted progress made to implement its resolution in relation to invocation of Section 139(1)(a) at the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality.
3) There was a decision made to send officials to act as Municipal Manager and Chief Financial Officer pending the settlement of a dispute between the former Municipal Manager and appointment of the CFO.
4) The establishment of a provincial multi-disciplinary task team to support the acting Municipal Manager was supported.
5) The legal team was instructed to ensure that the correct processes were followed in the invocation of section 139 (1) (A).

"It should be noted that secondment of officials to the Metro does not put on hold the constitutional responsibilities of the Municipality and the directives given to them by the COGTA MEC to implement," Sicwetsha added.

"The secondment of officials is a mechanism to help rescue the Metro from the difficulty it is further sinking into owing to this current impasse.

"In playing its constitutional role, the provincial government will explore options in the constitution to ensure that the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro implements its constitutional responsibilities to the people of the Metro."

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