Bredell seeks court action to stop ‘unlawful’ transactions in Kannaland municipality

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Bredell seeks court action to stop 'unlawful’ transactions in Kannaland municipality

By Mwangi Githahu Time of article published 33m ago

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Cape Town – Local Government MEC Anton Bredell has launched an urgent court application against Kannaland municipal council representatives and senior officials to prevent “potentially prejudicial and unlawful transactions”.

Bredell has taken the ANC-governed council to task for its attempts to push through a raft of new “political” staff appointments as well as for its plans to outsource the provision of electricity and water services at a cost of R735 million despite not having the budget for it.

Bredell said: “The action is necessary to prevent the municipality from incurring massive liabilities that it simply cannot afford.

“There are ongoing efforts by the council to push through a contract with a private entity for the provision of electricity and water services and infrastructure at a cost of hundreds of millions of rand that would bind the municipality for more than 25 years. This when national and provincial treasury have advised the municipality that they have not followed due process nor ensured that the process followed was fair, transparent, competitive and cost-effective,” said Bredell.

He added: “It appears that the project will come at a cost of R735m which is clearly not affordable when the municipality’s entire available operating budget for 2020/21 is R174m.

“The latest conduct of the municipality is not only unlawful, it also undermines the hard-won gains made by the province in respect of improving the municipality’s financial stability and sustainability since 2017.

“The financial recovery plan put in place for the municipality introduced a cost-effective and cost-saving staffing structure which is now being ignored. This smacks of jobs for pals and is simply unacceptable,” said Bredell.

ANC provincial spokesperson Danville Smith said he would reserve his comments until he had all the facts of the matter. However, EFF local government spokesperson Melikhaya Xego laid the blame at the feet of both the DA and the ANC.

Xego said: “When Kannaland was under a DA and ANC coalition, the DA provincial government stayed far away from the continuous malpractices in Kannaland.

“It was only after the ANC dumped the DA as a coalition partner and formed a coalition with Icosa (the Independent Civic Organisation of South Africa) that the DA suddenly decided to place the municipality under administration and suddenly unearthed atrocities happening in that municipality.

“The DA had all along been aware of this theft of state resources but kept quiet. When the relationship soured, like a jealous partner they decided to spill the beans. None of the three political parties can be trusted. They are in competition with who can steal the best,” said Xego.

“A solution for this impasse can be reached without court cases, which will have an impact on the financial situation of both the provincial government and the Kannaland Municipality. The EFF proposes that impartial institutions must form part of these discussions to find an amicable solution,” said Xego.

Cape Argus

Original Article