The Nelson Mandela Bay metro has been given seven days to convince Eastern Cape co-operative governance & traditional affairs MEC Xolile Nqatha not to place it under administration.

EASTERN Cape Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Xolile Nqatha has alerted the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality of his intentions to place it under administration. 

The metro has seven days to explain why it must not be put under administration.

On Tuesday this week, Nqatha penned a letter addressed to the acting mayor Thonono Buyeye on his intentions to place the metro under administration.

In doing so, Nqatha will invoke Section 139 (1) of the constitution.

The act empowers the provincial executive to remove a municipal council from office and to substitute the council with an administrator.

Nqatha said the decision was based on the persistent failure of the metro to fill the mayoral position that was vacant for more than six months. 

Mamkeli Ngam, provincial Cogta spokesperson confirmed the intentions of the department to Inside Metros,saying the MEC will await explanation from the metro before a decision can be taken.

“We are waiting for the acting mayor to provide reasons as to why the municipality must not be place under administration. On the basis of the feedback from the acting mayor, the MEC will then make a recommendation to the provincial council for a decision,” said Ngam.

For more than six months the metro has failed to fill the mayoral post amid political squabbles rendering the municipality ungovernable.

The post became vacant following the forceful ousting of UDM’s strongman Mongameli Bobani in December last year.  

Bobani was removed through a vote of no confidence after facing allegations of corruption and failing to address service delivery issues facing the metro.

Compounding the metro’s woes is that no party has an outright majority and it has been governed through coalitions.

After the 2016 municipal elections, DA mayor Athol Trollip was sworn in courtesy of being supported by the Economic Freedom  Fighters (EFF).

His stay from power was however short-lived as the relations between EFF and DA took nosedive.

The red berets had complained that the DA had made a U-turn on the non negotiables agreed to when the partnership was conceived.

In particular, EFF believed DA was not committed to the issue of addressing land question leading to the party switching allegiance.

Nqaba Mbanga, DA’s Eastern Cape leader welcomed the move, saying it was a step in the right direction.

“Remember that the DA is one party that has been vocal about this matter. Of major concern is that this important metro has been turned into a shadow of it former self with junior officials running the municipal affairs. Citizens are at a receiving end of this misgovernance as crucial services are compromised,” said Mbanga.

(Compiled by Inside Politics staff)

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