TENSION among members of the African National Congress (ANC) in the Nelson Mandela Bay metro has prompted the party to deploy a contingent of senior officials to intervene in the Eastern Cape municipality yesterday.
The five-member team will seek to ensure that the ANC fulfils its mandate in the troubled metro and that it builds political trust and cohesion among its deployees, ANC Eastern Cape spokesman Mlibo Qoboshiyane said yesterday.
However, the team’s deployment could be seen as an acknowledgement by the ruling party that the metro is dysfunctional.
The team includes disciplinary committee chairman Derek Hanekom , Rural Development Minister Gugile Nkwinti and representatives from the Eastern Cape.
Nelson Mandela Bay was hotly contested in the recent local government elections and instability within the ANC could further weaken the party’s narrow hold in the region, whose capital is Port Elizabeth. Squabbles over the party’s list process before the local elections led to Nelson Mandela Bay being classified as the most vulnerable of all ANC-led metros.
Mr Qoboshiyane said that the party was deeply concerned over the continued bickering taking place in the metro.
Repeated calls have been made by ANC alliance partners for regional chairman Nceba Faku to step aside due to allegations of tender irregularities. Mr Faku, who oversees the performance of ANC deployees in the council, including mayor Zanoxolo Wayile, made headlines early this year for threatening to burn down the building housing The Herald, the local newspaper.
“The issue of party and state relations, allegations of interference and claims of defiance of organisation instructions (are) really the bone of contention,” Mr Qoboshiyane said in a statement.
South African Municipal Workers Union Eastern Cape secretary Siphiwo Ndunyana yesterday said the regional ANC leadership was responsible for the “chaos” in the municipality. “It is the ANC that is causing instability and we are ready to have a hearing with the task team on these issues if they do request it,” said Mr Ndunyana.
The union was in possession of “delicate” information that it could share with the task team, he said.
Mr Qoboshiyane said yesterday the intervention would also focus on fighting fraud and corruption, with an emphasis on discipline.
The Democratic Alliance caucus leader in Nelson Mandela Bay, Leon de Villiers, said the municipality was dysfunctional and that the intervention was another way by the ANC to avoid putting the metro under administration because that would be “embarrassing”.
There were hardly any officials left who were capable of running the municipality, said Mr de Villiers.
There had been an acting municipal manager for more than two years, he said. “If the ANC has to be honest with itself, it must admit that the municipality is already under administration as it was also waiting for a back-up team from Bisho to come and assist.”
Mr Qoboshiyane said the team had already met the regional executive led by Mr Faku and the mayoral committee led by Zanoxolo Wayile, as well as other party leaders.
He said the recommendations of the team would be made within two weeks and be presented to the first provincial executive committee meeting next year.
Article source: http://www.businessday.co.za/Articles/Content.aspx?id=161676