Premier Helen Zille has written to Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane calling for an urgent resolution to national government’s role in funding bulk water supply interventions in Cape Town. The letter follows the Minister’s visit to Cape Town on the weekend, during which it was revealed that bulk water supply funding would not be forthcoming from national government, and that the Berg-River Voëlvlei scheme to augment Cape Town’s water supply would only come online by 2021.
National government has the mandate for bulk water supply, Local government is responsible for reticulation, and Provinces have oversight, support, monitoring and disaster management powers. In the letter, the Premier calls for a joint task team representing national, provincial and local government, working together under the executive leadership of the national Minister, Premier and Deputy-Mayor of the City of Cape Town. Minister Mokonyane has in the interim agreed to a meeting with the Premier next week.
“At the outset I wish to confirm my agreement with you that all three spheres of government should refrain from politicising, or further politicising, the crisis. No purpose is served by pointing fingers and attributing blame, politically or otherwise. We share a constitutional duty to safeguard our citizens’ fundamental rights, which must inform any action that we take,” says Premier Zille in the letter.
Bonginkosi Madikizela, DA Western Cape Leader,
The ANC in the City of Cape Town has, this morning (31 January 2018), withdrawn their motion of no confidence against Mayor Patricia de Lille that was to be debated in Council today.
While they had initially claimed that their motion was brought on by numerous allegations of maladministration against the mayor, they have demonstrated today that they would much rather engage in petty party politics than do what is best for the people of Cape Town.
The DA’s Federal Executive had taken an unprecedented decision to place narrow political interests aside and vote for the motion of no confidence due to the prima facie evidence against the Mayor brought to the fore by an independent council investigation and the Auditor General.
The ANC has been fully appraised of these facts. They are aware that the independent investigation took the view that the Mayor had demonstrated behaviour and actions which constituted gross misconduct, gross dereliction of duty, and conduct that amounted to deceiving Council.
In addition, they have full knowledge that the AG downgraded the City’s audit status from clean, to unqualified with conditions. These findings include:
– Failures of leadership at the first level of assurance, which includes the Executive Mayor, and the subsequent governance breakdown that flows from that. It is worth noting that:
– The vast majority of financial findings relate to the Transport and Urban Development Authority (TDA) which the Mayor has routinely and very publicly defended;
– The AG found regression within the control environment as a result of poor leadership. These include:
Poor consequence management of senior managers, namely the Commissioner: TDA, in the execution of her duties as Mayor;
Poor leadership and degeneration of trust. This finding by the AG directly correlates to the Executive Mayor’s failure to allow officials to do their jobs and follow the control procedures of the law and regulations, as confirmed in the testimony of the former City Manager in the independent investigation mandated by Council;
Consistent loss of revenue within the TDA, which was allowed to continue systematically for years despite the AG alerting the City to this risk multiple times. It is worth noting that the Mayor has consistently denied this fact and has given credence to the explanation of the Commissioner TDA, who has in fact been suspended and the subject of a disciplinary; and
Irregular expenditure, namely the preferential bias in favour of a supplier in the matter of the procurement of the BYD buses. This has been determined to be irregular by the AG and now constitutes a realized and dramatic risk to the City.
Public statements that the AG had vindicated her on upgrades to her home. However, the AG in the disclosure and listing of irregular expenditure in the financial statements has in fact found that these upgrades were irregular- exposing previous claims by the Mayor as blatantly false.
It is not surprising that the ANC have ignored these crucial facts in the interest of politicking.
The DA has tabled its own Motion of No Confidence against the Mayor based on the reasons stated above and this should be debated within 10 days of the motion being tabled with the Speaker of Council.
The decision to support today’s motion was made with the realisation that the findings by the AG and the independent investigation are damning and variant to the principles of DA governments which seek to be free of corruption, efficient and focused on delivery to the people that we serve.
This has been informed by the understanding that the governance failures which have been allowed to thrive under Mayor de Lille have completely compromised the City’s ability to deliver effectively. This is particularly concerning in light of the current drought crisis we find ourselves in. That is why the DA moved to remove her from the management of the drought as she sought to actively undermine the efforts to deal with it effectively.
She actively withheld information, misdirected officials, delayed budget decisions, interfered with project plans and undermined the rollout of augmentation projects as a result. Furthermore, she failed to push national government to fulfill its legal responsibilities – at the cost and risk to the residents of Cape Town. This is in of itself has posed a massive governance risk.
While DA Federal Executive believes in the presumption of innocence until proven otherwise, and agreed for the mayor to be subjected to internal processes to clear her name, continuous acts of defiance from her and new damming revelations have resulted in her own caucus tabling this motion.
Commitment to the principles that the DA stands for is never easy. Putting the residents of Cape Town first is our number priority, something that the ANC has never been able to do. We will therefore move ahead with this motion in order to restore Cape Town to the best run City in the country.