Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba has severed ties with the South African Local Government Association (Salga).
The DA-led metro is one of Salga’s highest financial backers and has been making notable impacts right from the time the ANC was in charge of the metro.
Mashaba, who broke the news on Tuesday, said the metro took the decision after it discovered that Salga is being used to promote the interests of local government authorities and has been a political tool of the African National Congress (ANC).
The DA mayor also accused the association of overlooking the biggest metros in its decision-making executive during its Provincial Elective Conference, despite the fact that these metros constitute the association’s biggest funders.
To him, the Salga has strayed from its mandate, which is to empower local government councillors and to act as their spokesperson in the national arena.
“Over the years, Salga has, in my view, strayed from its mandate. It has become bloated and top-heavy. It has spent too much money on nice-to-haves and on projects of dubious utility,” Mashaba added.
The move to withdraw from funding Salga comes barely one week after Mashaba’s predecessor, Parks Tau, was elected as interim chair of the association.
Reacting to the development, Municipal workers union, SAMMU lamented that the decision by DA mayor Mashaba will have a negative impact on workers, as they will not be represented in the local government bargaining council.
Another speaker, Papikie Mohale, of the SAMMU alleged that the aim of the move is “an attempt to financially collapse the association, in a sense that the association relies heavily on the subscription from these metros.”
Salga’s major role is to represent interests of municipalities in the extended Cabinet and the NCOP. Following Mashaba’s decision, many believe the future of the association now hangs by the thread.