Creating stability and enhancing service delivery in Bitou is the order of the day for the newly established council elected during a special council meeting on Tuesday May 23. This, after more than a month of uncertainty following a decision by the Active United Front (AUF) to terminate its coalition with the ANC in Bitou on the heels of a series of issues between the two parties.
The AUF has in the meantime forged a new coalition with the DA based on a “pro-poor” approach to governing Bitou. This coalition became official during a meeting held at the local council chambers earlier this week. During the meeting ANC deputy mayor Euan Wildeman was replaced by DA councillor Jessica Kamkam and ANC speaker Phakie Mbali made way for DA councillor and former speaker Annelise Olivier.
New mayoral committee members Nomphumelelo Ndayi and Bill Nel – both from the DA – were elected replacing the ANC’s Sandiso Gcabayi and Monica Seyise. The nominations were not opposed by the ANC .
Following their election Nel thanked the ANC councillors for their conduct during the meeting and reiterated the coalition’s commitment to “work together in serving the community of Bitou”. During a media briefing following the council meeting mayoral spokesman Dumisani Mweba said that one of the main issues raised by officials and residents over the past month was concerns over service delivery coming to a halt as a result of the change in coalitions. “We just want to make it clear that this will not be the case. Service delivery is one of the council’s top priorities,” Mweba said. He added that another concern was the possibility of “another divorce down the line”. “There are however structures in place for times when the parties can’t reach consensus over issues or if there is a disagreement of some kind.
He added that council would be hitting the ground running, delivering on its promises to enhance and speed up service delivery, to create unity and stability and to grow the local economy.