Conflict of interest claimed in Midvaal municipal merger

FILE PICTURE: The Chairperson of the Municipal Demarcation Board, Landiwe Mahlangu. Picture: Christine Vermooten

FILE PICTURE: The Chairperson of the Municipal Demarcation Board, Landiwe Mahlangu. Picture: Christine Vermooten

While questions continue to be asked about the proposed merger of Gauteng’s Midvaal and Emfuleni local municipalities and Sedibeng district municipality into a single metropolitan, political parties upped the ante yesterday.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) called on the Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB) chairman Landiwe Mahlangu to step down immediately.

The DA candidate for premier in Gauteng, Mmusi Maimane, accused Mahlangu of holding a conflict of interest in the province’s current municipal mergers.

The ANC rejected the DA claims and said the party was opportunistic.

Repeated queries for comment from the MDB and Mahlangu went unanswered at the time of going to print.

Maimane claimed Mahlangu was involved in a businesses that had secured housing contracts within the Emfuleni municipality.

“It is highly unethical therefore for Mahlangu to make decisions over the merging of municipalities in which he has business interests,” he said.

Maimane said the merging Midvaal with Emfuleni will only hinder service delivery and kill jobs.

“The people of Midvaal know the DA difference and we believe that the rest of Gauteng deserves the same,” he said.

“The DA will do everything in its power to ensure that Midvaal continues to provide excellent service delivery to the people who reside there. We will bring this same level of delivery to Gauteng as a whole if elected to govern in 2014.

“We cannot accept an obviously flawed decision made by someone who currently has an interest in government contracts in the area and may well continue to benefit from them in the future.”

Freedom Front Plus leader in the province, Jaco Mulder, said the proposed re-demarcation of the municipal boarders should be scrapped.

“The fact that Mahlangu apparently, amongst others serves on the boards of Sea Key Holdings and Interwaste which do business with the Emfuleni municipality draws a line through the credibility of the demarcation board and should be investigated,” Mulder said.

“It is now clear that Mahlangu could not make any objective contribution to the process.” ANC Gauteng spokesman Dumisa Ntuli said the merger process was fair and objective.

“The decision was not influenced by one person. Those allegations against are still to be tested in court,” he said.


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