Dear Ratepayers, Business and Civil Society,
Following the failure of MEC of Local Governmenet Mlibo Qoboshiyane in September 2013 to deliver on his promise to place the NMB Metropolitan Municipality under administration for failure to comply with important regulations, mainly the appointment of key personnel including a City Manager, Chief Financial Officer and Executive Directors, the NMB Ratepayers Association proceeded with the submission of over 3000 ratepayer dispute forms. Six days following such submissions, the Acting CM, Mr. M. Mbambisa was in fact approved by the NMB Council as the permanent City Manager. When such a move was queried, the NMBRA was informed it was in reaction to the pressure the submitted dispute forms had.
With the appointment of the new City Manager, the NMBRA decided to give him a chance to address the various issues requiring his attention. We met with the CM late January 2014 and placed various issues on his desk. The sheer amount of issues we presented him was a great surprise to the CM and we made a clear case that these issues required urgent attention if this city was serious about attracting investments and job creation. We also warned the CM that political interference, allegations of corruption and mismanagement were going to be some of the issues he will be facing. He needed to prepare himself for these eventualities and remain strong in the face of possible intimidation.
The CM has been very accommodating and been willing to meet with us at short notice. Our last meeting last week was to convey a message to the CM that various matters of mismanagement have come to our attention and we are busy investigating.
Unfortunately, following the comments reported in the Weekend Post on 21 June, 2014, by certain councillors which were allegedly agreed with by Mayor Ben Fihla and Dep. Executive Mayor Chippa Ngcolomba. The comment “make white people live in shacks” uttered by UDM Councillor Mongameli Bobani during a council meeting was not contested by the Mayor or the Deputy Mayor. Receiving calls from numerous, angry & concerned ratepayers it had become clear that all the hard and responsible work done by the NMBRA to positively impact the turnaround of this city had come to nothing. It has become painfully clear that the politicians of this city have been embarking on their own hidden agenda.
When NMBM Director of Communications Mr. Roland Williams was contacted for clarification, he said he would call for an urgent meeting with the Mayor Ben Fihla and Deputy Mayor Chippa Ngcolomba.
It is presently confusing since Mayor Fihla said “the ruling party recently took a decision to develop a strategy that would spearhead investments and economical growth in the Metro”, yet he doesn’t object with UDM Councillor Bobani that “white people should be removed from their mansions to live in shacks”. Does this now mean that their strategy to spearhead investments and economic growth hinges on the irresponsible, illegal & unconstitutional removal of whites from their property for so-called economical growth?
Mayor Fihla, Dep. Mayor Ngcolomba and Cllr. Bobani have shown complete lack of respect to the Constitution of South Africa even though they have taken an oath to respect and uphold such a Constitution. Rather than the Mayor and his council focusing on corruption, mismanagement and incompetence, they have declared their total lack of respect for the law, the cornerstone of investor confidence. Their statements are also in glaring opposition to the ANC’s own Freedom Charter and that they are focusing on disadvantaging a minority group is a very worrisome & dangerous development. Therefore it is only fair to demand their immediate resignation, as they have failed to perform in accordance with their mandate of upholding the very laws they have been elected to uphold and protect.
Kobus Gerber and Committee.
NMB Ratepayers Association
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