South Africa News

ANC clash with DA over minister’s visit to troubled Beaufort West

The DA and the ANC have clashed over a visit to the cash-strapped Beaufort West municipality, by Human Settlements Deputy Minister Pam Tshwete, in her role as district champion for the national government’s District Development Model (DDM).

DA Western Cape local government spokesperson Derrick America said the DDM would subvert the provincial government’s Joint District and Metro Approach (JDMA) programme by “outsourcing the failing municipality’s responsibilities to an already failed national government”.

“If this policy is fully implemented, we do not foresee how this would benefit the residents and lead to improved service delivery in the area.

“National government has set a terrible example of not being able to effectively fulfil its very own mandates, so it is impossible to think that they would be able to manage the onset of more centralised bonds,” said America.

Western Cape ANC elections head Cameron Dugmore, who accompanied Tshwete on the visit, said: “MPL America must take the blame, along with the DA, for denying the people of the province the benefits of cooperative government – where national, provincial and local government work together.

“Our challenges as a province are huge. We should be supporting the district model, as it will benefit the people on the ground, ensure joint planning, and bring all spheres of government closer to the people,” said Dugmore.

Meanwhile, the ANC is backing the Karoo Democratic Force (KDF), their coalition partner in the Beaufort West Municipality, in pushing for Local Government MEC Anton Bredell to take action against a DA councillor, who they claim owes the council more than R680 000 in arrears.

This emerged during Dugmore’s digital news conference on the situation at the cash-strapped municipality, where ANC mayor Quinton Louw, and his predecessor, the KDF’s Noel Constable, are facing fraud charges.

Dugmore shared Constable’s letter to Bredell with the media and said if Bredell did not act, they would take the matter up with Premier Alan Winde and, possibly, even further up the ladder to Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma.

Since the 2016 elections, when neither the ANC nor the DA managed to get enough councillors for a majority on the council, the KDF has played kingmaker – switching from working with the DA between 2016 and 2018, to working with the ANC in the last three years.

-Cape Argus

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