The deployment of ANC members of the mayoral committee (MMC) in Free State’s Maluti-A-Phofung local municipality in QwaQwa has caused a rift that threatens to
render the embattled council dysfunctional.
So bad is the feud between the governing party’s provincial leaders and their subordinates in the Thabo Mofutsanyana region that the municipality is left with only four ANC coalition MMCs, while the ANC’s six MMC seats are still vacant five months after opposition party MAP 16 was ousted in the motion of no confidence.
ANC coalition partners such as ATM, Dikwankwetla, Sarko and AIC councillors have MMCs in place, while Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s ACM deployed its councillor as chairperson of the municipal public accounts committee. Key portfolios such as finance, infrastructure, human settlements, special planning, and corporate services, including sports and culture, remain vacant.
As a result, the commotion between the ANC provincial and regional leadership over the choice of suitable candidates has halted service delivery and clogged the operations and administration of the municipality.
However, insiders within the ANC and the council told Sunday World that since the interim mayor, Masechaba Lakaje-Mosia – who is serving her second stint after being at the helm as a mayor before the 2021 local elections took over, nothing is working at the municipality.
“The ANC got power back but constant fights between the leaders in the province and the region hamper everything from service delivery to operational matters of the municipality, including budget votes, ” said an insider within the municipality.
An ANC leader in the region said the problem of the selection of the MMCs is squarely blamed on the provincial executive committee (PEC) and regional leaders.“Both factions want to have their people in so that their interests can be taken care of. The PEC had the names of preferred candidates for MMC positions, but some leaders in the province do not want those people.
“Masechaba is also confused because she doesn’t even know what she is presiding over as her comrades are still fighting for positions and the drama is big.”
Dikwankwetla leader and chief whip in the municipality, Moeketsi Lebesa, said: “The non-appointment of members of a mayoral committee can significantly hamper service delivery in a municipality.
Without a full complement of committee members, key decision-making processes may be delayed or compromised, leading to inefficiencies in the allocation of resources and the execution of essential services.”
EFF leader in the council, Chicco Mkhwanazi, said: “The infighting in the ANC is deliberately causing trouble for the people. It is a frustrating situation where our people suffer because those who should be making their lives better are at the centre of the war, fighting for positions.
This brings chaos and a non-functional municipality.”
DA caucus leader in Maluti-A-Phofung, Alison Oates, said the municipality has stalled under the current executive mayor.
Lakaje-Mosia said: “The provincial office should decide regarding the deployment of the MMCs. We are waiting for the premier and his team to deal with the matter.
“If we do not have MMCs, this whole thing affects service delivery.”
ANC spokesperson in Free State Jabu Mbalula did not respond at the time of going to print.