BCM breaking law, says DA

The DA has accused BCM of being in contravention of the Municipal Structures Act (No 117 of 1998) due to their failure to provide minutes for recent council meetings.

GRAVE CONCERNS: DA councillor Sue Bentley says the legallity of the recent BCM budget is in doubt
Picture: FILE/SUPPLIED

According to DA councillor Sue Bentley, the municipality has held a number of virtual meetings since May following the easing of the national lockdown.

“The first such council meeting held in BCM took place on May 7. Since then, four council meetings have been held, with the focus of the sessions at the end of May and during June being the Integrated Development Plan (IDP) processes and the passing of the 2020/2021 municipal budget,” Bentley said.

However, no minutes for any of these meetings have been supplied by the municipality.

Minutes for a council meeting held on February 26 are also still outstanding.

The DA also raised two criticisms which, they say, have possible legal implications.

First, the party says that under the Municipal Structures Act, the public participation process for the IDP should take place over 21 days. However, the council limited it to only five days.

Second, the DA said circumstances surrounding the municipal budget were dubious.

For a budget to be adopted, it requires a 51% majority of council votes (51 councillors).

“There is grave doubt that this was attained, due to the number of apologies.

“Additionally, the 22 DA councillors and eight EFF councillors dissented on the matter, and no actual vote was taken,” Bentley said.

She said they had raised the issue in a letter to both the late speaker Alfred Mtsi and city manger Andile Sihlahla.

They have also escalated their concerns to minister of co-operative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who then referred the matter to EC MEC Xolile Nqatha.

BCM speaker Samkelo Ngwenya had not responded to questions sent by the GO! & Express at the time of going to print.

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