Secret ballot for vote to oust Mlamleli

Executive Mayor of the Mangaung Metro Municipality, Olly Mlamleli. PHOTOS: PIERCE VAN HEERDEN
The speaker of the Mangaung Metro Council, Mxolisi Siyonzana, has greenlit the motion of no confidence vote against Mayor, Olly Mlamleli, to occur by secret ballot on Friday.

OFM News earlier reported that the Freedom Front Plus had filed the third motion of no confidence against Mlamleli on Thursday. The motion was submitted by the councillor of the party, Adriaan de Bruyn and it was seconded by this party’s councillor Elizabeth Snyman-Van Deventer.

OFM News reports that, the party has based their motion on what they deem to be the absence of service delivery in the metro.

Mangaung is the first metro in the country to be placed under administration.

Prior to the FF Plus’ submission the DA’s Dirk Kotze demanded the municipality to prioritise the needs of its residents and remove the Municipal Manager, Tankiso Mea from office. Kotze justified his claims by referring to the recent Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu’s report on municipalities as a clear indication of how the municipality remains in financial ruin despite, being placed under provincial care. The party says Mea’s management capability should be carefully scrutinized, together with that of Mlamleli. The party sees the duo as the genesis of the metro’s financial burdens.

In March 2020, Mlamleli survived her second motion of no confidence vote since being elected Mayor, which was tabled by the DA. The first motion of no confidence against both Mlamleli and Mea was tabled by the EFF in the metro in 2018. That vote was also unsuccessful despite opposition party members indicating that there were ANC members that wanted Mlamleli out but feared persecution should the vote not happen by secret ballot.

The cash-strapped Mangaung Metro which includes Bloemfontein, Botshabelo, Dewetsdorp and Wepener was placed under provincial care in December 2019, following Deputy Finance Minister David Masondo’s call for Premier Sisi Ntombela’s intervention.

The call for intervention came whilst Mangaung was reeling from two downgrades by credit ratings agency Moody’s, which was deemed to be a reflection of the municipality’s weak and declining liquidity position and meant there was a high risk the municipality will not be able to fulfill its obligations. This was evidenced by the metro being dragged to court by Bloem Water over its now more than R 1 billion water bill as well as a subsequent failure to pay salaries on time in January 2020.

According to National Treasury, the Mangaung municipality’s finances deteriorated substantially since 2018/19, leading to the adoption of a financial recovery plan, which the national department of Cogta and National Treasury agreed to. Twice the metro was downgraded by rating’s agency Moody’s.