History was made on Monday in Lekwa local municipality, Mpumalanga, as the ANC supported a Democratic Alliance (DA) motion to remove their Mayor and Speaker.
In November 2018, the DA submitted a motion of no confidence calling for Mayor Linda Dlamini and Speaker Harriet Khota to be removed from Council based on the following reasons:
Mayor removed because of:
- Failure to provide political guidance on the spillage of raw sewage in the Vaal River;
- Failure to provide basic services;
- Inability to service creditors like Rand Water and Eskom which led to over R1 billion electricity debt;
- Inability to maintain and upgrade existing infrastructure;
- Inability to adjust billing systems which sent wrong bills to consumers.
Speaker removed because of:
- Inability to ensure that council resolutions are implemented;
- Biased and not competent to handle council sittings.
The DA’s 2018 motion was only dealt with on Monday (10 February 2020) in a special Council sitting where (through a secret ballot), 10 ANC Councillors voted with the opposition to give the DA a majority of 16 – which led to the successful removal of the Mayor and Speaker through a vote of no confidence.
This marked a milestone in the history of our democracy and it is a victory for the people of Lekwa, not just the DA and its supporters.
The last few years have been really frustrating for the residents of Lekwa as they continue to live under horrible conditions inflicted by the current administration.
Residents are still supplied with bad quality water; the roads are full of portholes; raw sewage is flowing directly into the Vaal River; and street lights are not maintained at all.
The incompetence of the Mayor and Speaker crippled the municipality and rendered Council ineffective and dysfunctional. It is for this reason that the DA saw both their removal as justified.
An interim Mayor and Speaker will be appointed soon and the DA hopes that they will do justice for the community of Lekwa.
We will continue to keep a very close eye on them and holding them accountable.