THE Democratic Alliance (DA) tried to stop what they call "the illegal process of unlawful appointments of the top five managers in the Kouga Council” last Friday.
"These appointments were already effected, and the council was expected to rubberstamp and legitimise the illegal actions of the municipal manager, the mayor and his mayoral committee,” said DA MP Elza van Lingen.
She said the DA will now approach the high court to file for an urgent interdict to have the appointments set aside.
"We will hold the municipal manager, the mayor, the mayoral committee and every single councillor who voted for the approval in council personally liable for the legal expenses of this case.”
The DA believes that the selection and appointment processes were flawed.
"We believe this for two main reasons – firstly, as the appropriate procedures, as laid out in the Municipal Systems Act, were not followed, and secondly, as a provincial circular issued by the MEC for the Department of Local Government and Traditional Affairs (DLGTA) was completely ignored.
"The mayor and his mayoral committee unlawfully assumed ‘delegated powers’ to appoint these managers,” said van Lingen.
Van Lingen said the DA further has proof that the mayor and his committee held a secret meeting on June 11, and that they called the successful candidates to inform them that their letters of appointment will be forwarded the following day.
They then apparently requested the successful candidates to take up their positions on July 1 without the required approval of the council, or the MEC.
However, a full council is required to approve such appointments.
The final outcome of the meeting last Friday was that the Kouga council resolved not to redo these appointments in compliance with the Municipal Systems Act.
Municipal spokesman Mfundo Sobelo said: "The DA has a significant representation in council and had an opportunity to raise such matters on that platform and such did not transpire. If there is any intention from the DA to follow such a course it has not been communicated to council.”
The contentious once-off R10000 riparian levy as proposed by the St Francis Bay Riparian Home Owners association, was not supported by Kouga council during a special council meeting on Friday, June 29. The amount of R4.5-million needed for the capital project by council will be excluded from the current budget. Council did however resolve to establish a project team that will investigate the method of funding the project, as well as research alternative methods of protecting the dune spit.
Although the DA strongly objected to council’s insistence that a 96% debt collection is viable council opted to stick to the original resolution. Current collection stands at 71% and the DA said it was "impossible to up the collection rate by so much”. The DA suggested budgeting for "a more realistic 90%”.