The ANC Youth League Ward 10 branch has reacted with indignation to statements made by Ward 10 councillor and DA Ndlambe caucus leader Ray Schenk in a press release yesterday.
In it, Schenk said the DA opposed a 6.25% wage increase for municipal workers, and that council had approved it without considering the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the municipal budget.
The ANCYL said it was appalled by Schenk’s “utterances” as a member of the Ndlambe exco with the portfolio of finance.
The ANCYL cited a quote from the press release, in which Schenk said: “The DA will not tolerate corruption, maladministration or financial misconduct on our watch. Municipal finances must be utilised to benefit the residents of the municipality, not to benefit the connected few.”
ANCYL branch coordinator Cathy Schenk (no relation) said in response that there was a “fundamental absence of logic” in the reasons advanced by the DA in opting not to support the 6.2% wage increase for municipal employees, which was agreed upon by all parties in the Central Bargaining Council.
“Further the DA councillor has just accepted 4% increase of upper limits in his salary and the DA contingent. What an inconsistency! Hence the councillor didn’t object to that.
“It might be that the councillor wants to appease the ratepayers on the eve of the 2021 Local Government Elections in order to redeem himself and his party,” Schenk said.
“The leader of the DA volunteered to cast aspersion about corruption in the municipality. He went further to cite specifically the same department he has been apportioned a responsibility by council to oversight (sic) for two consecutive terms, if not more.
“In essence the councillor is telling the public the he has observed misappropriation of funds, inefficient supply chain personnel and corrupted systems for approximately ten years, if not more, and opted not to do anything about it. This to us is a breach of oath of office, a vote of no confidence to himself, a sign of political fatigue and deflection of principle in pursuit of political expediency,” Schenk continued.
“The councillor could have acted long time ago and correct[ed] all the ills that he is talking about. Instead the councillor enjoyed the salary he is getting [at] the expense of the people. In his reign as the portfolio head of finance, the municipality remains stagnant on qualified audit, worse off in the 2018/19 financial year with aggravating mishaps.
“To us, as young people, this is a sign of fatigue, clear demonstration of evaporation of ideas from the old man and an application of reshuffle, hence he has been sleeping on duty,” she said.
The ANCYL appealed to the council of Ndlambe Municipality to “consider reconfiguring its exco and relie[ve] the old man of oversighting the critical portfolio that deals with the finances that must be aligned with service delivery and attach that responsibility to a younger person with energy and vigour”.
The youth league further appealed to ratepayers to distance themselves from “the constant abusive relationship by the councillor and the DA”.