HOUSING and Urban Development Minister Prince Simelane yesterday announced the appointment of an interim Matsapha Town Council with effect from April 18.
The eight-member interim council was appointed in terms of Section 110 of Urban Government Act of 1969 for a period not exceeding the life of the current term of counciLlors after the gazette dissolving the town council led by Sandlane Zwane.
The minister’s media statement read: “In exercise of powers conferred by Section 110 of the Urban Government Act of 1969, I hereby issue the following notice to the public.
The following persons are appointed interim councilLors for Matsapha Town Council with effect from April 18, 2019, for a period not exceeding the life of tHe current term of counciLlors.”
The new council is led by Alice Russo as Chairpeson, whilst deputy chairperson is Steven Khumalo.
Members are; Joseph Olaf Toepfer, Steven Motsa (chairman of the Matsapha Rate Payers Association), Dumsani Phumuza Gadlela, Zwakele Dlamini, Olga Monalisa Figueredo and Nkululeko Dlamini (the US in the ministry of commerce industry and trade).
The minister also announced amendments in the composition of local authorities in other towns, constituted under Legal Notice No. 200 of 2017.
The Pigg’s Peak Town Council is amended by replacing Thulani Msimango with Tshepiso Mthimkhulu while Malkerns Town Board is amended by replacing Kheselina Tholiwe Tsela with Sabelo Mngomezulu.
Meanwhile, Ezulwini Town Council was amended by replacing the names Gwen Hadfield and Tony Sibandze with Miliswa Mamba and Sandile Dlamini.
Meanwhile, the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) will tomorrow hold a sitting, where the Matsapha issue will be deliberated upon and the powers of the minister to dismiss council based on the Urban Government Act of 1969 tested.
The minister insists that he had authority to dismiss the council without consulting the EBC because they conduct the Local Government Elections in 2017.
However, EBC, Head of Secretariat Richard Phungwayo recently stated that local government elections were conducted by the EBC who delegated the responsibility to the ministry of housing and urban development.
When contacted for comment he said he would no longer comment as there was now a commission in the office. EBC Deputy Chairperson Winnie Magagula echoed Phungwayo, emphasising that all elections were conducted by them and they had delegated this exercise to the ministry of housing and urban government in this case. She said in their files as a commission, they had a report from the ministry of housing, where they reported that everything went well in all the country’s towns as delegated in 2017.
In dealing with the Matsapha case, Magagula said EBC Chairperson Prince Mhlabuhlangene gave them the letter from Matsapha Town councilors with the view to consider it ahead of their meeting on Wednesday (tomorrow).
“We only received the letter from Matsapha today, because we were in South Africa observing their elections when this letter was delivered. On Wednesday we will meet to discuss the complaint or nature of their letter in detail with the view of ascertaining the nature of the concern. We can only deal with the concerns afterwards. At this stage, there is nothing we can say on the matter until we have fully ascertained what the Matsapha councilors are saying,” she said.