On 8 November 2021 the Government Gazette declared all councillors as elected to their respective councils and all councils had to have their inaugural meetings held at the latest 23 November 2021.
Notice of the Ray Nkonyeni statutory meeting was then scheduled for the 16 th November 2021. The municipal manager called a meeting with all party representatives for the 15 th so as to discuss the procedures of the day.
The brief we received included a report from the RNM communications department that Cogta sent a directive that the meeting must be held later and the date of Friday, 19 November was communicated to us.
We were also told that the directive from Cogta was not available and will come later.
On the 17 th November we again received notice that the inaugural meeting was further delayed until Tuesday, 23 November 2021. I immediately called both the Municipal Manager as well as the Communications manager who both conceded that there was no directive from Cogta and the real issue lay with the ANC`s internal battles.
I recorded my dismay at this disclosure and when council eventually met on 23 November I raised it again as a matter of record. We received an unqualified apology from the municipal manager and he assured the councilors that this will not happen again.
The meeting then proceeded and the Speaker was elected by secret ballot with the following result, ANC 37 and IFP candidate 34. Worth noting is that everyone in the opposition benches voted as a block against the ANC. Shortly after this
took place the ANC requested that certain items be removed from the agenda and that these items be discussed at the next full sitting of council.
They were items relating to the election of the mayor, deputy mayor and Executive committee councilors. No reason was given on why the ANC wanted to remand these important items. The speaker and MM failed to elicit reasons from the ANC.
After numerous points of order from the opposition benches nothing but insults were forthcoming from the ANC benches.
At that point the DA led the opposition out of the meeting to show our unhappiness. We then returned after a few minutes to conclude the business of the day.
What I want everyone to know is that the ANC in RNM received a fraction over 51% in this past election and that a higher turnout at the polls could have brought them under that magical 50%. There is hope for the future of our region in times to come.
I can assure you that the DA and other opposition parties are going to keep the ANC on their toes and that this will translate into better service delivery to all the residents and ratepayers of our area.
It has become clear that factionalism within the ANC together with their inability to elect their own leaders is hampering progress at RNM. The question we must ask ourselves is if the ANC can`t sort out their internal affairs, how will they
manage to run the municipality?
Is the “New Dawn” a sunset for the ANC? We certainly think so. What we are witnessing is the last kick of a dying ANC.
Article written by: Doug Rawlins
Photo credit: Polity