Residents locked out as Emfuleni municipal offices close due to failures of ANC’s coalition of corruption

Issued by Dennis Ryder MP – DA Vaal Regional Chair
14 Mar 2023 in Press Statements

The DA in the Vaal Region notes the disruptive and avoidable closure of the offices of the Emfuleni Local Municipality in Vanderbijlpark due unmet rental payment obligations by the Municipality.

Residents of Emfuleni were taken aback yesterday by the appearance of a notice attached to the municipal offices of the Emfuleni Local Municipality in Vanderbijlpark, indicating that the offices will be “locked and inaccessible from 13/03/2023 until further notice”. The notice further indicates that this is by order of the landlord and due to the non-payment of rental.

Information relayed to DA councillors indicate that these offices are rented by the Municipality for R1 500 000 per month and that rental payments are in arrears for the last three months.

The closure of this facility is of great concern to the people of Emfuleni as these offices are where residents go to pay their rates and taxes, and where service consumption municipal accounts are managed and related queries attended to administratively. These offices now being inaccessible makes the effective operation of these key components of local government and service delivery to residents impossible.

Once again, the ANC and its accomplices in parties like the PA and PAC, illustrate a shocking incompetence when it comes to even the fundamental basics of local government.

Instead of ensuring effective management of the fiscal resources of the Municipality to at least keep the structures of local government functioning in service of residents, the ANC and its accomplices sought to spend hundreds of thousands of rands of ratepayer’s money on a lavish event for councillors of the ANC’s coalition of corruption to discuss fanciful and unrealistic ambitions related to the Integrated Development Plan. The DA led opposition to this, and with the help of residents applying pressure on the ANC-coalition, managed to have the even cancelled.

The DA in the Vaal Region has been consistently calling for the National Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) to intervene in the administration of the Emfuleni Local Municipality, following the failed intervention by the Gauteng Province. The DA in the Vaal Region has also called for the urgent dissolution of the Emfuleni Council to give residents the opportunity to elect a Council that will work for the people of Emfuleni.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced during his recent State of the Nation Address that such interventions would be prioritised. The President subsequently removed Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as Minister of CoGTA. So-doing, President Ramaphosa has cleared the way for the new CoGTA Minister to put into practice the intention of the national government to act constructively and honestly in the interests of the people of Emfuleni.

The DA in the Vaal Region therefore re-iterate our demand for a national intervention in Emfuleni and welcome the imminent oversight visit by the National Council of Provinces Select Committee.  We will use all resources available to us to ensure that their report to Parliament will recommend such an intervention for the benefit of the people of Emfuleni.

The DA will keep fighting for the people of Emfuleni to have a local government that delivers services and treat residents with dignity. If the national government is unwilling to step in, then residents of Emfuleni deserve the opportunity to step up and elect a new Emfuleni Council.