Keep Faku out of city affairs

Service delivery in this metro will remain at an all time low until the ongoing political interference by former mayor Nceba Faku and the ANC’s Regional Executive, is stopped.

Organised business were correct in rejecting the municipality’s proposal to implement a local business tax until it has cleaned up its act and rooted out corruption and mismanagement.

It is virtually impossible to eradicate mismanagement, fruitless and wasteful expenditure whilst certain municipal officials are taking instructions from Faku in defiance of the new Acting Municipal Manager Mr Themba Hani and/or Executive Mayor Zanoxolo Wayile. Current examples of mismanagement causing fruitless and wasteful expenditure are the aborted Ward Committee Election process, the aborted attempt to recruit a new Municipal Manager, the court ruling on the Nationwide and Metro Security contract, the court ruling that the World Cup advertising gantries be removed,etc.

Then we have the vast list of incidents resulting in fruitless and wasteful expenditure as contained in the Kabuso Report and various Council minutes, such as Graham Richard’s suspension and settlements, the reinstatement of three housing officials after being suspended on full pay for almost two years, the leasing of offices in Kwantu Towers, the Automatic Meter Reading project, municipal grants for returning exiles ( PE Co-operative Development Trust ), providing accommodation and a hire vehicle for Councillor Mafana for more than a year, failed events, East Cape Soccer Challenge and International Music Festival. The list is unfortunately endless and rather depressing to contemplate.

The DA has always suspected that the Kabuso Report would open a can of worms. As the DA Caucus Leader and a member of the Municipal Public Accounts Committee I always knew that there was massive fraud and corruption in this metro and at last the cat is out of the bag. The Kabuso Report implicates former mayor Nceba Faku on numerous occasions and MEC, Mlibo Qoboshiyane has suggested that various criminal charges and civil claims be instituted against him.

So it is not surprising that Nceba Faku and Regional Executive Committee of the ANC are now attacking Executive Mayor Wayile. On 1 September 2011 the REC resolved that the Kabuso Report should be presented in Council and the matter should be closed.

As the ruling party have always claimed to act as a collective, the DA believes that the ruling party in this metro and this province have some explaining to do. They must be held accountable for the mismanagement of this municipality and for the total lack of transparency. Those persons who looted the valuable resources that could have been used to provide services to the poorest of the poor, must be brought to book.

One of the recommendations was that independent legal opinions be obtained on some of the findings contained in the report. Such opinions have been obtained and they confirm the findings of the report.

In a number of cases municipal employees were suspended, faced disciplinary proceedings and, when the disciplinary hearing was about to be concluded, the suspension were lifted.

The report investigated a number of tourism projects which included Madiba Bay, Beachview Development and Van Stadens.

Other projects that were investigated include the Automatic Meter Reading, Kwantu Towers, Swartkops Power Station, Red Location Museum, Housing Roofs and PE Co-operative Development Trust for returning exiles.

A list of decisions allegedly taken by the ANC’s Regional Executive Committee was recently leaked to me and it details decisions not implemented by the current Executive Mayor. Whether the list is authentic or not , is actually irrelevant. The contents thereof confirms the ongoing interference by Nceba Faku and his determination to undermine Mayor Wayile. Faku has succeeded in creating a dysfunctional municipal administration and he is determined to keep it that way, irrespective of the cost.

Amongst his demands on Wayile, Faku calls for an extension of Ntoba’s contract, the continuation of a moratorium on advertisements in the Herald, the retention of Dr Vatala and Roland Williams in the Bid Committees, the employment of ANC volunteers, ex ANC councillors and MK veterans, the charging of the CFO, Kevin Jacoby with the intention to terminate his contract, etc.

He even accuses Wayile of harassing ANC members perceived to be carrying out the REC mandate and goes onto to name Comrades Vatala, Naicker, Mleve, Mgxoteni, Dano, Williams, Ntshona and Mbebe.

It is high time that the ANC deals with Nceba Faku and all those officials and politicians who are aligned to him. Their ongoing interference and divisive tactics are sabotaging the efforts of those who seek prosperity and good governance in this metro. It is very clear that this municipality will remain dysfunctional for as long as Faku and Co are allowed to interfere.

On the brighter side, the Minister has on 5 July 2011, amended the Systems Act which will start to correct some of the major ills in local government and this is indeed good news.

Some of the main concerns that are addressed by the Amendment Act are to eliminate political appointments, restricting acting positions to three months, multi-party interviewing panels to select municipal managers and managers directly accountable to municipal managers, performance contracts must be concluded within 30 days of the commencement of a financial year, no person may be employed by a municipality unless the post in which such a person is to be appointed has been provided for in the fixed establishment of the municipality, the staff establishment of a municipality must be approved by the relevant municipal council, so this will also help to prevent bloating of municipal administrations in areas that do not constitute the core business of municipalities. It is now a breach of conduct for councillors to vote in favour of, or agree to a resolution which is before the council or a committee of council which conflicts with any legislation applicable to local government.

Leon de Villers
DA Caucus Leader in Nelson Mandela Bay