One blunder after the other by the City of Tshwane has resulted in R14 million in taxpayers' money going down the drain and the municipal electoral officer and presiding officers getting axed.
Ward committee elections were supposed to commence this week until the end of January but have been surrounded by controversy.
Ward committees should play a vital role in bringing government closer to the people yet in Tshwane it seems the two are moving further and further apart.
On Tuesday night moments before the first elections were supposed to take place the speaker’s office cancelled the elections.
Mobilitate’s CEO Lionel Bisschoff were nominated in ward 91 and attended the election but had to go home after it was cancelled.
Yet on Wednesday night elections in other wards went ahead.
In the run-up to the elections the Democratic Alliance (DA) in the City raised various concerns, the most important being that the proposed bylaw that the City had to use to regulate the elections had not yet been promulgated.
Based on this the DA in Tshwane decided not to support the currently scheduled ward committee elections.
“Our task as watchdogs of the administration requires that we must act in order to protect the residents of the city from invalid decisions which can cost the city large amounts in future legal disputes and delays due to challenges to the validity of the ward committees,” said cllr Brandon Topham, leader of the DA in Tshwane.
The budget of the entire ward elections is alleged to be R14 million of which R7 million were allocated for marketing. Yet many wards did not have posters to inform residents about the details of the elections and in many wards where posters were in place the details were wrong.
In ward 91 posters were never put up and residents had to enquire about the date and venue of the elections. The details provided by Tshwane were wrong. Read more here.
In the same ward SMS’s were sent to ANC members to turn out at the election in masses to vote.
The DA now demands that Tshwane promulgate the bylaw and publish it in the Gazette.
In 2011 government stated that all ward committees had to be elected within three months after the local government elections in May took place.
The Tshwane metro did not respond to any queries