“The merger of Tlokwe [Potchefstroom] and Ventersdorp is politically motivated. It [is] aimed to prevent the DA from gaining a majority in Potchefstroom during the 2016 election,” said McGluwa. He said Ventersdorp would be a financial burden on Potchefstroom tax payers.
“[The] Ventersdorp municipality has been stripped by the ruling party. Their collection rate is almost non-existent and they are virtually bankrupt with no cash reserves [and] with an outstanding debt of R40 million. The DA will therefore be opposing this move through every and all legal means,” he said.
He said indications were strong that the DA would win Potchefstroom in the 2016 municipal election. “We are going to stop the ANC from gaining 50 percent of the vote and we will take control of the municipality again.” The DA controlled Tlokwe for seven months in 2013, after Annette Combrink was voted in as the mayor.
The African National Congress had won Tlokwe through local government elections in 2011, but the DA-led coalition of opposition parties took charge in June 2013, after some ANC councillors participated in voting out former mayor Maphetle Maphetle by a motion of no confidence.
“The party [DA] has a track record of excellent, clean governance and who brought positive change while we were governing Tlokwe for seven months a short while ago,” he said.
Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Pravin Gordhan said a third of all municipalities were not financially viable and another third was at risk, hence his proposals for redetermining municipal boundaries – which would possibly see some municipalities be disestablished.