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Makhura places Emfuleni Municipality under administration

Gauteng Premier David Makhura says the municipality has been facing major economic, financial and service delivery problems.

Gauteng Premier David Makhura. Picture: Ihsaan Haffejee/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng Premier David Makhura has placed the Emfuleni Municipality under administration, saying the metro cannot fulfil its executive obligations.

He says the municipality has been facing major economic, financial and service delivery problems.

The municipality’s mayor Jacob Khawe stepped down last week after the provincial government indicated its plans to intervene but later withdrew his resignation.

He was appointed last year, replacing Simon Mofokeng who was accused of sexually grooming a 14-year-old girl.

Service delivery issues in Emfuleni have been a challenge for years now, with the municipality struggling to deliver services, including paying utility bills and rubbish collection.

Makhura says he was left with no choice but to step in.

“The financial position of Emfuleni Local Municipality is continuing to deteriorate to a point where the municipality is not able - alone - to guarantee the provision of a minimum standard of services to communities without an intervention from the national or provincial government.”

He says the provincial government’s comprehensive intervention will involve the current leadership of the metro to address minimum requirements and financial problems over the next six months.

‘CASH-STRAPPED EMFULENI’

The Gauteng premier has defended his decision to place the Emfuleni Municipality under administration, saying it has nothing to do with politics.

Khawe's supporters believe Makhura took the drastic decision to target the mayor because he plans to contest the position of ANC provincial secretary at the party's Gauteng elective conference next month.

The Emfuleni mayor will face off against incumbent Hope Papo who is close to the premier.

Makhura says he decided to place the municipality under administration because it's cash-strapped.

“It has nothing to do with internal politics of the ANC, I don’t exercise the responsibility of governance that way.”

But he confirmed that the mayor was initially unhappy about the decision that led to his resignation, which he later revoked.

“I think the mayor has withdrawn his resignation letter in discussion with his organisation, the ANC.”

The mayor was not present at this briefing despite Makhura’s office saying he would be there.

The premier said his absence was due to “technicalities”.

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)