The DA is deeply concerned about a “highly secret” document by Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s department is proposing, among other things, a system of government similar to the current national coronavirus command district for municipal districts following the coronavirus pandemic.
Cilliers Brink, DA MP and one of the party’s spokespersons on Collaborative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta), said on Monday that his party regarded the 46-page document as so serious that it was presiding over the president’s office. Cyril Ramaphosa will inquire about its authenticity, as well as whether it reflects his government’s plans.
According to Cilliers, the document, titled South Africa Economic Recovery Plan for Municipalities in Response to Covid-19 , came into the DA’s possession recently.
It was labeled as “highly secret” and as a draft document.
Brink said the “government document describes the coronavirus pandemic as an opportunity for the state’s macro reorganization”.
“It suggests that the so-called command council, the government system established by Dlamini-Zuma (Cogta minister), be made permanent even after the restriction,” says Brink.
The document states, among other things, that the pandemic deepened the economic crisis in the country. It describes how it places enormous pressure on existing municipal resources and capacity and will aggravate already struggling municipalities’ problems.
It states that Cogta is working on a pragmatic, workable and action-oriented municipal economic recovery and service recovery plan.
“The district development model (for municipalities) becomes the primary institutional mechanism through which we will be able to coordinate economic regeneration and social security mechanisms nationwide.
“However, we need a centralized decision-making body, which functions exactly like the central command council, so that the entire government can be involved. District centers must be established and operated nationwide to coordinate the action at ground level, ”the document states.
According to Brink, the document is essentially the only way to save municipalities and improve services, is for the national government to apply more centralized control. “The DA is very concerned about the constitutional implications of the document.
“Just think of the types of offenses we saw during the containment, as well as the previous ANC proposals for a single civil service and the abolition of the provinces.”
He added instead that the ANC acknowledged that the deterioration of services and bankrupt municipalities “is the handiwork of its own cadres, it now seems that it now wants to attack the Constitution again”.
“This is how provincial and municipal elections can eventually be abolished,” Brink said.
Cogta spokesman Mlungisi Mtshali said he could not respond to the document because “it is a draft document I have never seen”.
“I can talk about the district model that is currently being launched in the OR Tambo, eThekwini and Waterberg municipalities.
“The model has already shown how the different spheres of government work more closely together and improve the coordination of the government’s efforts to stimulate socio-economic development (in municipalities).”