The Democratic Alliance (DA) has made an urgent call on the Ga-magara Council to fire the acting Municipal Manger (MM) and Chief Finan-cial Officer (CFO), Moses Grond, said Melinda Hattingh MPL and the DA Con-stituency Head of the Kalahari.
Ms Hattingh said that whilst the finan-cial state of the debt-ridden Gamagara municipality has spiraled completely out of control, Mr Grond has become a law unto himself. He reports to himself and he alone signs off and approves pay-ments.
The lavish lifestyle of Mr Grond, better known as the “Maserati man” due to his penchant for luxurious cars, including a Maserati and a newly purchased BMW X6M, is an insult to a community suffer-ing under the municipality's service deli-very failures.
Ms Hattingh said that the DA believes that financial mismanagement and sub-sequent poor service delivery can be tra-ced back directly to Mr Grond.
Shocking details pertaining to the mu-nicipality's mounting debt are being ex-posed.
In a very selective and manipulative media statement, the municipality re-leased figures relating to debt owed to Eskom (R55-million) and Sedibeng Water Board (R8,4-million) on Tuesday 28 November 2017. At the same time, the municipality insinuated that residents are somehow responsible for Gamaga-ra's self-made financial crisis. This is despite the municipality's billing system which is wrought with flaws. The truth is that residents, some of whom are willing to pay outstanding municipal debt in a single swipe, and who stand in long que-ues, are unable to do so, due to the lack of available accurate billing information.
Ms Hattingh says that the DA considers the municipality's sudden communica-tion via the media to be a ploy to distract attention from the worsening financial situation in the Gamagara municipality. Pointing to its revenue streams as being its only problem, is a feeble attempt to di-vert attention away from obscene expen-ses. In fact, says Ms Hattingh, the DA knows for certain that the debt owed to Eskom and Sedibeng are just the tip of the iceberg and that the full extent of the municipality's financial state has not yet been disclosed.
Other municipal debt include R62-mil-lion owed to Anglo American after it lost the court case against the disastrous property evaluations ; R7.6-million ow-ed to John Taolo Gaetsewe district muni-cipality after at least two payment agree-ments were not honoured by Mr Grond ; and the municipality is also believed to be in arrears on its repayments to the De-velopment Bank of South Africa, with whom it has a loan agreement. It is further believed that an attempt to rene-gotiate the terms of this loan, and re-con-solidate its debt in order to meet its burn-ing obligations, has not been sanctioned.
DA councillors in Gamagara municipa-lity have submitted a motion with notice, demanding that Mayor Edwin Hantise immediately removes Mr Grond from the positions of acting MM and CFO. They are also seeking a full disclosure of the financial situation of the municipality.
“The motion is expected to be tabled at a Special Council Meeting, however, if the DA's demands are not met, we will not hesitate to report the matter to the Public Protector for further investiga-tion,” said Ms Hattingh.
“It is increasingly clear that vitally im-portant financial information is being will-fully, and possibly illegally, withheld from councillors,” concluded Ms Hattingh.
DA demands MM & CFO’s head

Fltr : The new ANC regional leadership structure after the recent conference held in Kathu. Councillor Neo George Ma-segela - Chairman, Councillor Nelson Hantise - Deputy Chairman, Peace Kagi-so Leserwane - Regional Secretary, Siz-we Mlangeni - Deputy Secretary and Vio-let Jordaan - Treasurer .
The much awaited seventh ANC re-gional conference was convened as stipulated on December 01 - 03, December 2017 at Gamagara town hall.
The conference, according to the provin-cial executive council representative Ms Patricia Witbooi was well organised. “The conference did collate, meaning the branch delegates reached the required quorum to conduct it. Out of the total of 111 delegates, 79 attended the conference. This was a good and well attended conference as justi-fied by the numbers.”
Asked about the electoral process, about the top five office bearers and the twenty additional members, she said that there was a high level of consensus in both processes. “Both the top five and the twenty additional members were not contested, meaning there was no contestation at all. The proposed candidates were unanimous-ly endorsed by the conference,” Ms Witbooi said.
In response to the alleged factional dis-putes prior to the conference, Ms Witbooi candidly said, “The PEC members are here to render support and encourage unity am-ong members. If the leadership within the region requests any form of support, we have the requisite structures to help. We provided guidance from the beginning of the exercise to ensure there is a dignified pro-cess in the whole exercise, hence we are endorsing the conference and its outcomes in its entirety.
“The conference did not only look into el-ectoral processes, but also looked into commissions to ensure the structures of the party remain strong, by meeting the expect-ations of the electorate. These were deliber-ated in groups and later brought to the main platform as a finalised synchrony.”
Ms Witbooi does not believe in factional-ism and said that members are simply divergent in views, and as a result, they lob-by from different platforms to cascade their
views. Now that the conference is over, members must come together and embrace one another to strengthen the party.
The new regional structure is as follows: Chairperson Neo George Masegela, deputi-sed by Nelson Hantise, Secretary Peace Ka-giso Leserwane, deputised by Sizwe Mlan-geni and Treasurer  Violet Jordaan.

Joined by the Northern Cape provincial leader, Andrew Louw and the DA's whip in the Northern Cape Provincial Legisla-ture, Harold McGluwa, the leader of the Democratic Alliance (DA) party, Mmusi Maimane visited Kathu on Saturday 22 July 2017. His visit formed part of the party's national #Change19 tour.
Mr Maimane conducted a door-to-door walkabout in the township of Mapoteng where he met with residents. Thereafter he ad-dressed the people from Mapo-teng along with a lot of DA sup-porters donning DA apparel. He later also addressed the com-munity and many DA supporters at the taxi rank in Kathu.
Mr Maimane told the crowds that what he saw in Kathu and particu-larly in Mapoteng, pointed to a gov-ernment that does not care about the people at all once they have their vote in their back pocket. Because a caring government would not let their people live in filth.
“A caring government would not let raw sewage run down your streets and in between your homes where your children play. A government that truly cared for you would not allow this to go on for days without doing anything about it, let alone the months, even years, that you've had to put up with it,” he said.
“The problems with the contin-uous sewage spills here in Mapo-teng aren't because of complex,
unfixable issues. These problems aren't because of sabotage or even lack of budget. They are sim-ply problems of poor governance,” he went on to say.
He explained at length about the state of poor maintenance of equipment used for service deli-very, with special reference to the problem of overflowing sewage reservoirs where overflow sensors needed to be replaced but when left too long, the ANC run munici-pality could only afford to replace some of them instead of all of them, while simultaneously enrich-ing their preferred suppliers.
“The sensors in these reservoirs that are meant to prevent over-flows should have been replaced as soon as they failed. But, like almost everything in this town, it was simply ignored by this ANC government.
I am told, following relentless pressure from the DA, that they have gone out and bought seven new sensors for these reservoirs. But even these seven new sensors won't solve the problem, as there are up to twenty that need repla-cing. And of course, in true ANC style, they have completely over-paid their connected “preferred suppliers”, which means they don't have the budget for the rest.
“Unfortunately this is how this ANC government responds to a crisis. They ignore it for years, and when they cannot possibly ignore it any longer, they make a weak attempt at fixing the bare minimum
while making a few cadres rich along the way. Then you don't see them again while your streets run thick with sewage. The same goes for the water supply issues across large parts of Kathu ,” Mr Maimane ex-plained.
Refering to the 2019 national and pro-vincial elections in two years' time, Mr Maimane said “Many of you are going to have to do something you have never done before: You are going to have to turn your back on the ANC and vote for a new government.”
Mr Maimane also referred to the up-coming by-election in ward 7 on 20 Sep-tember. He said that DA had won it in last year's municipal election by a very small margin but that it would be a huge set-back for the community if it were to return to the ANC.
The communities of Mapoteng and Kathu were very excited to meet with the DA leader and many people took selfie cellphone photographs with Mr Mai-mane.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) the official opposition party in South Africa, welcomes the firm standpoint taken by the Green Scorpions to advise the Northern Cape Department of Environment and Nature Conservation to lay cri-minal charges against Gamagara municipality, following their failure to address the long standing sewage problem in Kathu.
The DA officially reported the mat-ter to both the MEC of the Depart-ment of Environment, Tiny Chotello, and the Green Scorpions on Thurs-day 23 November 2017.
According to Melinda Hattingh, MPL and DA Constituency Head of the Kalahari, the DA sincerely appre-ciates the urgency with which they are dealing with this matter.
by overflowing sewage pumps, which have effectively soiled their properties with filth.
Ms Hattiingh says that the DA expects that Gamagara munici-pality, and especially its acting Municipal Manager, Moses Grond, and Mayor Edwin Hantise, will not only be held to account for exposing residents to unhygienic and inhu-mane living conditions, but more importantly, that this will culminate in a speedy resolution of the problem.
“Children are soon going on school holidays, whilst families are expec-ting visitors. They need to be able to enjoy the festive season without the stench of sewage hanging in the air,” concluded Ms Hattingh.
The lives of residents of Mapoteng and Kathu have, for extended pe-riods of time, been rudely disrupted by overflowing sewage pumps, which have effectively soiled their properties with filth.

The newly-elected ANC Provincial Executive Council (PEC) members led by its chairperson Doctor Zamani Saul, undertook an official visit to the John Taolo Gaetsewe region on June 10, 2017. The team has already visited other regions to extend their sense of appreciation and to strengthen relations and unwavering support derived from them.
Similarly, the visit was broadly to intro-duce the new executive, as well as to ac-knowledge the integral role being played by the region in the activities of the movement.
The new provincial team is almost evenly represented by the regions - a clear show of balance of power. The John Taolo Gaetsewe region has seven PEC members, namely Mr Kenny Moiemmang, Mr Gibson Anthony, Mr Lebogang Motlhaping, Ms Fufe Ma-katong, Mr Lazarus Tefo Seikaneng and Ms Dineo Leutlwetse.
In his keynote address to the regional structures, the articulate and vibrant provin-cial chairperson said that this region is the nerve centre in the political successes of the ruling party and, particularly, in the electorial processes.
Without mincing his words, he candidly said that many a time the district goes through political turmoil during the electoral period where members and contestants want to tear one another apart. He therefor appealed for harmony.
He emphatically dwelt on the abuse of power by office bearers within the party structures, municipalities and departments. He said that deployed cadres must understand clearly that the deployment exercise is a mere privilege that can be abdicated from an individual if there is non-compliance and non-delivery of expected results.
On the last conference debacle, he said that those who did not make it must not be delusive in expecting a re-run. In any contestation there must be a side that leans on a falling wall, that winners must not be over-excited and those in the mixed feeling bracket who belong to the island of the plebiscite, all belong to the ANC and need to be embraced in good spirit to resuscitate the movement. He clearly stated that purging of fellow members is intolerable and condemnable.
The ANC, at this juncture, needs a team
of ideological builders that can debunk the insidious isms like factionalism characterising its image. He also confirmed that the regional conference will be held in August this year.
Finally he said that the cabinet reshuffle that happened on the doorstep of the provin-cial conference has been reversed in totality. The ousted MECs were sworn in again on June 11, 2017 and that was a polished decision reached.

There was confusion on November 14, 2017 spilling to the next day when a media statement was released to the effect that the regional secretary of the ANC, Mr Peace Kagiso Leserwane had been suspended by his executive committee during its regional executive committee meeting held on November 13, 2017.
The press release was issued by the regional chairperson Mr Sewedistwe Gaobusiwe to media houses. The Kathu Gazette editor received the media release and spontaneously liaised with her senior journalist based in Kuruman to confirm the latest developments. Taken by surprise the senior correspondent had to verify the information from the ANC provincial office that quashed the rumour as baseless and malicious. The following day the regional office invited the local media houses for the withdrawal of the press release. The vice regional chairperson of the ANC Mr Neo George Masegela said that the released statement was false propaganda aimed at dividing the people.
“The regional executive has no powers to remove the secretary in any way and, in this case, for what reason”, he rhetorically questioned. “We are preparing for the regional conference and those not prepared enough shouldn't come with fallacies that are aimed at delaying the processes. We have numbers in terms of branches because we worked thoroughly and when we harvest, people must understand that we planted” he said in the presence of many supporters, chairpersons and secretaries of the branches that also converged at the office to confirm their support and legitimacy of their secretary. The regional conference is set for December 01 - 03, 2017.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gamagara rejects the municipal budget tabled in council on 31 May 2017.
According to Harold McGluwa, MPL and DA Provincial Chairperson in the Northern Cape, the budget did not follow the prescribed processes and the proposals will not stimulate economic growth in the municipality.
The DA's strongest objection is to the proposed tariff increases, which they believe are completely unjustifiable and do not meet the guidelines suggested by the National Treasury. The average municipal account will increase by 32%, which the DA be-
lieves is simply unaffordable for the majority of consumers. Instead of exploring alternative options for revenue generation, the municipality intends to place an unbearable burden on residents.
Another point of contention, according to the DA, is that three of the municipality's wards were excluded from the public participation processes, which means that the budget and its proposals did not get input from all members of the community. The DA wonders whether perhaps the possible strong resistance to the budget proposals from these three wards had prompted the municipality to take a shortcut on public participation.
Until such time as all wards have been consulted and their comments taken into consideration, the DA cannot approve the budget.
Besides, the agenda was also given to councillors fairly late, resulting in them not being able to prepare or highlight items of interest to look out for.
The Democratic Alliance believes that the budget processes must therefore start from scratch, follow the letter of the law and create proposals that are fair for all.

The DA is celebrating phenomenal growth after its outright win of Gama-gara ward 7 during a by-election held in Kathu on Wednesday 20 September 2017.
According to Melinda Hattingh, the DA Constituency Head of Kalahari, the DA sup-port grew from 275 votes in the local govern-ment elections last year, to 402 votes on the day. The ANC won only 288 votes and the EFF 11 votes.
Ward 7 continues to be dogged by endless service delivery problems under the ANC-run Gamagara municipality. This, the DA believes, has motivated the people of the lo-cal community to lend their vote to the DA, who has proven time and time again that they care for the people and prioritise ser-vice delivery.
The DA's Hennie Fourie will take up the position of Ward Councillor. He replaces the late Shadrack Moreeng, who previously re-presented the DA in the ward.
Mr Fourie is dedicated and passionate about the community he is to serve and will not rest until he can see a more visible im-provement in the living conditions of the people of ward 7.barrows to residents of ward 7 by the mayor and the ANC ward candidate.
At the same time, the ANC's defeat comes despite the ANC's abuse of state resources in a desperate attempt to win additional votes. In this regard a SUV (with number plate CNR474NC) that is registered in the name of the Northern Cape Provincial Legi-slature, was seen being driven around by VIP Protection Service staff members, transporting ANC voters to and from the vo-ting station in Deben. According to the DA's count, the ANC secured at least 23 votes in this way.
Ms Hattingh confirmed that the DA will re-quest the Office of the Public Protector to investigate the abuse of legislature resour-ces by the ANC for party political gain at the expense of taxpayers.
Considering that the VIP Protection Ser-vices is a branch of the SAPS and that this service is meant to secure the protection of public representatives, not to be misused for party political purposes on the instruction of politicians, the DA will also report this abuse of police resources to the Independent Po-lice Investigative Directorate for investiga-tion.
The DA is confident that the result of this by-election clearly indicates that the people of the Northern Cape have grown tired of the corrupt, self serving and inefficient ANC and that they are hungry for change.
The DA will continue to work hard in the communities, as they have done in ward 7, to spread hope of a better future without the ANC, under a DA government. This is be-cause where the DA governs, they govern well and they have a track record to prove this, according to Ms Hattingh.

Former ANC Northern Cape Secretary, Zamani Saul, was elected unopposed as the party's new provincial chairperson on Friday 12 May 2017 during the ANC's elective conference held in Colesberg. Other candidates, including the provincial premier, declined the nomination.
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the conference, telling members that the ANC's renewal must start in the Northern Cape. "It must start here," said Mr Ramaphosa, who used the opportunity to tout his idea for the renewal and rebirth of the ANC.
Many supporters agreed with Mr Rama-phosa that the ANC must undergo a metamorphosis to survive.
He told the gathering a mythical story, about an old eagle preparing for its next phase of life. "We must go through this painful process of removing the blunt claws and the blunt beaks. So that we may be
stronger again - that is what the ANC must do," Mr Ramaphosa stressed.
When the electoral contest officially got under way, it was one-way traffic, with Northern Cape Premier Sylvia Lucas and all candidates aligned to her declining nomination.
"Unfortunately, I will not accept," said Northern Cape Premier Sylvia Lucas when she was nominated, making Mr Saul the new provincial chairperson.
However, Ms Lucas promised the outcome of the conference would be appealed within ANC structures due to electoral irregularities.
It's too early to tell who the Northern Cape's newly elected leadership will officially support come the national ANC elective conference in December, but if Mr Ramaphosa's reception and the election of his apparent supporters are anything to go by, the province might well be running with the deputy president. eNCA

The Economic Freedom Fighters' (EFF's) vote of no confidence secret ballot campaign was shattered on August 8, 2017 in the late hours of the day.
Party members gathered at ABSA plain in Kuruman town around 08:00 singing and chanting before they picketed at 11:00, escorted by the police to the bus rank.
The picketing took two and a half hours be-fore dispersal. At 14:00 every political mem-ber was glued to the television and radio watching and listening to the parliamentary proceedings that eventually dampened their spirits.
While the EFF picketing numbers were not as convincing as was projected, the level of confidence that the African National Con-gress members of parliament would betray their party was conspicuous. The betrayal was indeed manifested, but not deep enough to cascade the no-confidence vote wishes aimed at the ousting of the state president Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma. Yet again,  a wild goose chase.
There are 400 members of parliament and 201 members were needed to vote against the ANC to effect the ousting of the president who allegedly has built a bulwark of loyalists
within his dynasty. There were 177members (a collective of opposition plus fed-up pro-ANC members who wanted radical change of the president) that voted against and 198 ANC members who voted for the retention of the president. Numerically there are 151 opposition MPs and 249 ANC MPs at par-liament. Work out the resultant permuta-tions . . .
This is not the first attempt by the opposi-tion. The hidden blessings from the ruling party legislators that shared the same drums of dissent are telling another debacle in the political space.
While the politically perilous exercise could be seen as a victory by the president and his allies over a miscellany of allega-tions levelled against himself, cronies and his style of governance where corruption is touted as the common denominator of all of the accusations, ANC numbers are un-doubtedly shrinking because one ANC legi-slator who voted against him represents se-veral thousands.
The secret ballot further revealed that fac-tionalism within the ANC is still a “septic wound” that needs a strong antibiotic with immediate effect. Certainly it would be dis-
respectful of the late statesman Nelson Mandela and other fallen heroes and hero-ines if the ANC had lost its political mandate through the opposition secret influence.
While the current president Jacob Zuma has allegedly been described as directly po-rous in guarding the sovereignty and state resources, thereby disillusioning the mass-es, the meticulous and prudent way to deal with him is through the internal processes of the ANC. The ruling party has both the au-dacity and tenacity to restore its waning po-pularity by telling the truth and coming up with a new formula to win back the discon-tented electorate.
The opposition needs to concentrate on smart ways to outvote the ANC within its respective political demographics, not by in-fluencing ANC top structures to tow the line. If indeed Mr Zuma has become a stumbling block to good governance, he must not be crucified alongside the ANC's trajectory em-blem. It is no secret that the ANC leadership knows the ailment affecting the party and its corresponding remedy.
Good quote : “The earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal.”

The Northern Cape has become the first province to declare support for Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to take over from President Jacob Zuma as leader of the governing party during the conference.
The ANC's newly elected Secretary, Deshi Nxanga, read out the provincial conference declaration on Saturday 13 May 2017. It stated that when the ANC opens its succession race, the Northern Cape would call for the tradition of the ANC deputy succeeding the president to be followed.
The resolution by the party in the province has made it the first province to declare support for Mr Ramaphosa during a conference.
“Delegates unanimously agreed that when the debate is opened by NEC [national executive committee], the ANC Northern Cape … will insist on the adherence to the tradition that [the] deputy president should be elected as president when the current president's term comes to an end,” Mr Nxanga was quoted as saying.
The ANC will elect its new leader later this year in December at its 54th national congress when Mr Zuma's term as party leader ends. Citizen

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