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Kannaland municipal governance crises play out in Parli…

The appointment of Keith Jordaan because the performing municipal supervisor of the Kannaland municipality has made native headlines — the newest in a municipality that has endured heightened media scrutiny in current months. This week, these points got here to a head in Parliament, the place questions have been requested about assist, service supply, unstable management, and a row about its performing municipal supervisor, who had been dismissed from the George municipality. 

Kannaland is about 400km from Cape City and includes the cities of Zoar, Calitzdorp and Ladismith.

On the similar time that questions have been raised about Jordaan’s non permanent appointment, Parliament heard of a litany of issues within the municipality, together with a poor audit discovering, potholes that want fixing, ageing water infrastructure and just one out of 4 senior administration positions having been stuffed. 

Western Cape MEC for Native Authorities Anton Bredell mentioned he didn’t know if the Kannaland municipality had thought of Jordaan’s dismissal earlier than providing him his new job.

Jordaan was appointed as performing municipal supervisor on 21 October on a three-month contract. Bredell did say, nevertheless, that he wrote to the municipality on 11 November “that in mild of Mr Jordaan’s dismissal at George Municipality he could also be prohibited from being re-appointed in a Municipality for a interval of 10 years”. The knowledge is printed in a query posed by ANC MPP Cameron Dugmore to Bredell which was printed on the provincial parliament’s website.

Jordaan’s Kannaland appointment was initially flagged by Dugmore, who wrote to the Public Protector, alleging interference from DA Western Cape chief Tertuis Simmers within the appointment of Jordaan.

Learn extra in Each day Maverick: “ANC Western Cape heads to Public Protector in latest Kannaland municipal drama”

Jordaan’s historical past in George

Jordaan was dismissed from the George Municipality after he was discovered responsible of three of 4 prices towards him associated to an ill-fated funding take care of Previous Mutual.

In line with Bredell, it was alleged that Jordaan had contravened municipal funding laws in that Previous Mutual was not a registered financial institution, which meant the George Municipality couldn’t make investments cash with it. Jordaan confronted disciplinary motion and sanctions. He was discovered responsible of gross negligence on three prices and acquitted on one cost.

“On account of the findings on Costs 1, 2, and three, the Arbitrator made an award that the dismissal of Mr Keith Jordaan as Chief Monetary Officer (CFO) of George Municipality was each substantively and procedurally truthful and ordered that Mr Jordaan’s declare of alleged unfair dismissal is dismissed,” learn Bredell’s response.

In April 2019, citing ‘VBS-style corruption’,  the Good get together and its chief Patricia de Lille took this matter to the Public Protector. In February 2022, Jordaan was named within the Public Protector’s report. In line with the report, Jordaan didn’t touch upon the discover issued by the Public Protector’s workplace in regards to the investigation.

In line with the report, the Nationwide Prosecuting Authority (NPA) declined to prosecute anybody concerned within the deal, together with Jordaan. 

When Each day Maverick approached Jordaan for remark, he referred to a letter he had despatched to George municipal supervisor Dr Michelle Gatz. 

Within the letter, Jordaan mentioned the George council “injudiciously terminated my employment and inflicted undeserved injury on my individual and my character and my profession after serving the municipality with distinction”. Jordaan would additional say within the letter: “falsely accused, I had been cleared by the NPA”. 

The Jordaan letter signed off with: “be suggested {that a} assessment of this scandalous cost, course of, discovering, and termination is launched”. 

Go to Daily Maverick’s home page for extra information, evaluation and investigations

Political management 

Kannaland municipality’s political management has modified arms a number of instances because the November 2021 municipal elections, when convicted rapist Jeffrey Donson was elected as mayor. Donson was ousted as mayor in January 2022, and changed by council speaker Nicolaas Valentyn (ANC). By October 2022, News24 reported Donson donned the mayoral chain once more following a number of motions of no confidence within the ANC management.

Jordaan and Kannaland municipality seem earlier than Parliament

On Wednesday, 23 November, the municipality’s representatives — together with Jordaan and Donson — appeared earlier than Parliament’s oversight committee on cooperative governance to debate the municipality’s state of affairs. Current on the digital assembly have been representatives from the municipality, the Backyard Route District Municipality, the Western Cape provincial authorities (Finance and Native Authorities), the Auditor-Basic and the South African Native Authorities Affiliation (Salga), and the Division of Cooperative Governance and Conventional Affairs.

All through the assembly, a number of municipal points surfaced: unstable management with three governance modifications because the November 2021 municipal election, the municipality’s qualified audit outcome and a R32.4-million debt to energy utility Eskom.

A number of points raised

Through the assembly in Parliament, the Western Cape provincial Treasury highlighted a number of service supply issues, together with:

  • A lot of the municipal fleet is in a poor state and unroadworthy;
  • Excessive ranges of standby and extra time claims;
  • Pothole repairs, normal highway upkeep and instruments, plant, and tools all must be addressed;
  • Aged water infrastructure resulting in stress issues within the networks, leaks and pipe bursts, water losses, defective pump valves and meters;
  • Vandalism is a significant drawback, as is a scarcity of correct record-keeping and administration throughout the technical companies directorate;
  • Three out of 4 senior supervisor posts are vacant, together with that of municipal supervisor, and govt managers for infrastructure, funds and group service; and
  • A senior municipal director is alleged to not have the required {qualifications}, which is being appeared into.

Jordaan mentioned since his appointment, he had been working an motion plan that checked out points reminiscent of Eskom debt administration, service supply, authorized motion, employees appointments, organisational buildings, employees self-discipline, adjustment budgets and a land audit. He mentioned the municipality owed collectors R69-million, however had R852,000 in its checking account. The municipality was in search of a chief monetary officer and finalising its 2021/2022 audited monetary statements.

The municipality was additionally engaged on its picture, in keeping with Jordaan, who added, “it appears the municipality is consistently within the information for the fallacious causes”.

‘It is a mess’ — and questions over Jordaan’s appointment 

Throughout a query and reply session, committee member and DA’s constituency head for Kannaland Eleanore Bouw-Spies mentioned the municipality had acquired monetary assist a number of instances and questioned how the municipality could possibly be poor. 

“For the longest time, this municipality has acquired all that and extra,” she mentioned. “It is a mess,” she advised the committee.

Gordon Gcinikhaya Mpumza (ANC) mentioned it was “disheartening” that leaders within the municipality performed a task in its instability. He requested about consequence administration and the appointment of Jordaan — and what remedial motion was to be taken for the appointment. The ANC’s Bheki Hadebe was considered one of two different MPs who questioned the appointment.

Donson replied: “Council took a call to get a authorized opinion in regards to the municipal supervisor” and added that the council was busy placing programs in place to show Kannaland round. Donson additionally questioned if there was assist, as acknowledged, by varied buildings and mentioned an investigation can be performed accordingly.

Donson mentioned he had written to the Nationwide Treasury about underfunding of their budgets and likewise the AG’s workplace in regards to the municipality’s financials, however had acquired no responses. “They don’t need to speak to me,” he mentioned.

Hadebe requested committee chairperson Fikile Xasa if he might ask Donson to increase on the details about Jordaan’s appointment.

Donson mentioned after Bredell despatched a letter in regards to the appointment, the council determined to get a authorized opinion and was ready for the response. DM

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