The administrator appointed by the ANC government in Gauteng to run the Tshwane municipality announced on Monday morning that Pravin Gordhan, the Minister of Public Enterprises, would be deployed “to lead the city in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic ”.
This is in accordance with the government’s district development model, which stipulates that ministers and deputy ministers can be deployed in municipalities nationwide.
Mpho Nawa, the chief administrator of the Tshwane municipality, welcomed the announcement.
Pres. Cyril Ramaphosa recently announced that the fight is district-based and will respond to hotspot areas. The city of Tshwane has been identified as one of these hotspots.
Nawa said Gordhan, who has worked in various positions over the years,’s experience will help the city in its fight against the pandemic and he will also assist in other aspects where there are weaknesses. “He has an excellent career in the civil service – first as the most successful president of the South African Reserve Bank and as Minister of Finance and Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs,” Nawa added. “We will draw inspiration from his good management and financial prudence as a dedicated civil servant.”
The team of administrators and senior management of the city have already convened two meetings with Gordhan. “We are excited to use his experience to lead the city in the right direction. We will have many more conversations with him and we are already motivated and inspired from the last two meetings we had with him. He has provided proven guidance in what needs to be done to combat the rapid spread of the coronavirus. ”
Cilliers Brink, DA MP and shadow minister of co-operative governance and traditional affairs, meanwhile, said it was not yet clear what role the ministers and deputy ministers would play or what they should do. “For example, will Minister Gordhan take over some of the powers from the province’s administrator in Tshwane, or will he just look at the city’s response to Covid-19? It is clear that Gauteng is stepping on clay in its response to the pandemic, but it is not clear how Minister Gordhan, whose hands are full of SAA and other unsuccessful state-run entities, will be able to lead the effort in Tshwane or anywhere else. , ”Brink added.
The administrator also refers to ‘ward-based war chambers’ that have apparently already been set up in Tshwane to combat the Covid-19 pandemic. Councilors in other municipalities have also been notified of these war chambers and that they will report to the district governing bodies. However, there is nothing in national legislation or Covid-19 regulations that refers to ward-based war chambers at all, let alone their powers or functions related to municipal councils and councilors. ”
Brink said since a confidential document from the department of co-operative government leaked two weeks ago, the DA has expressed its concern about what exactly the government’s plan is under the guise of the district model. “The document proposes that the district model should be adapted to appoint permanent governing bodies with executive powers. We are awaiting the President’s response to parliamentary questions on this secret document.
“The more obvious point is that the government certainly does not have the time or the resources for political experiments in the heat of the fight against Covid-19. Every sphere of government must fulfill its obligations, and where they are unsuccessful, the government must enforce either Article 100 of the Constitution (for provinces) or Article 139 (for municipalities). The Pretoria High Court has already ruled: Tshwane is not a candidate for intervention within the provisions of the law. The province is supposed to focus on the fight against Covid-19, but is now fighting in the Supreme Court of Appeal to regain control of a city it has already proven it cannot govern.
“If Minister Gordhan wants to make a difference in his hometown, he should rather persuade the Gauteng government to drop its appeal on the ruling and allow Tshwane councilors to reconstitute the city’s government.”