By Zolile Menzelwa
The ANC Youth League in the Chris Hani region has come out guns blazing questioning why cooperative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) MEC Xolile Nqatha was hellbent on returning administrator Vuyo Mlokothi to the Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality and also challenging the duo to publicly demonstrate what Mlokothi had achieved since September 2018.
Speaking during a press briefing at Chris Hani House, the ruling party’s regional headquarters in Komani on Friday, ANCYL regional secretary Aphiwe Mkhangelwa called on young people in the region to “ensure Nqatha and his cronies fail in the alleged advancing of their personal interests in an unscrupulous manner”.
Mlokothi was placed by previous Cogta MEC Fikile Xasa using Section 139(a)(b) of the constitution. “The primary aim and focus of the administrator should be on the Financial Recovery Plan and Revenue Enhancement Plan to improve the financial position of the municipality,” he said.
Mkhangelwa said Nqatha wanted to make municipalities within the Chris Hani district unstable as a way to suck their resources. Reading from a statement of the leadership collective of the league, he said Nqatha had not taken any action against the embattled Amahlathi Local Municipality as a means to protect his place of origin. Amahlathi has been rocked with violent service delivery protests leading to the burning down of municipal offices in Stutterheim. Mkhangelwa said it was unconstitutional for Nqatha to withhold the Equitable Share funds of the municipality as they were meant for service delivery to locals.
“There is no demonstrable improvement in the financial position of the municipality and on service delivery. A case in point is the Eskom debt that has increased and the failure to mobilize financial resources for the municipality. According to clause (v) of the terms of reference of the administrator, he was supposed to ensure the implementation of financial systems, policies and procedures and the preparation and implementation of cost cutting measures,” Mkhangelwa said. He said the strained relations among the political principals, management and Mlokothi were a matter of concern.
League regional executive committee member Yanga Zicina said if Nqatha was forcing to bring Mlokothi via the back door, then Mlokothi would operate at the back door. “We will make sure he is highly defied. An administrator doesn’t replace council but should support council. Council is not appointed by the MEC, council doesn’t serve at the behest of the provincial government but voted by people. We challenge the MEC and Mlokothi to publicly demonstrate what they have achieved. We are willing to debate with them publicly,” Zicina said.
Responding to a question from HotNews, Mkhangelwa said:”We fully agree with the intervention for financial recovery and revenue enhancement. This will improve lives of our people and better service delivery. But what is the fuss with Mlokothi? Why can’t the MEC send someone else? Why bring him when stakeholders are not happy with him? People are now losing patience with the ANC,” he said. The youth leaders said they will mobilize young people, voice their unhappiness on the streets and give support to the unions as they fight Mlokothi’s presence. They said they had a problem with Mlokothi as a person who failed to compile monthly reports for council but instead made a report for Nqatha.
Zicina said Nqatha had made reckless statements in front of opposition councillors by publicly questioning the processes of the ANC. He said Nqatha told councillors that he would defy the ANC provincial and regional officials and do what he thinks is right. “He thinks he is a superpower and forgets he serves at the wisdom of the ANC, he is a deployee of the ANC. If he continues to defy, we will meet him on the streets,” Zicina said. At the time of writing, Samwu members working for the municipality were locked in a meeting with sources saying there was a brewing strike.
Nqatha could not be drawn to comment on the matter except to say he was doing work in line with the ANC manifesto.
“The mother body of the league is better placed to respond to such allegations as the work we are doing is in line with the ruling party manifesto for clean governance,” he said.