Council sessions were supposed to be CLOSED until after the elections but a Special Knysna Council Meeting has been called for 2pm today, June 30 2016. This follows a controversial Special S80 meeting held last month. As elections draw very near, the battle for decisions and power continues…
An important topic on today’s agenda is the Planning Tribunal, the shortened name for the Knysna Municipal Planning Tribunal (KMPT). It’s purpose will be to decide land disputes in Knysna, making it one of the more important bodies in our town.
As the S80 Committee was prevented by the pro-Administration ANC from making a decision on the members of the Tribunal, i’m assuming that there is a legal loophole bringing it onto the agenda today.
How will the Special Knysna Council Meeting play out???
- The ANC and DA will be in dispute. The DA will propose other candidates for the Tribunal.
- COPE’s Elrick van Aswegen may accept the importance of this moment rather than refuse to vote (as he did for the important budget vote last month).
- The big grey area is disgruntled DA members. In a major reshuffle, the DA councillors supporting Mayor Georlene Wolmaran’s pro-Administration have been pushed out of contending the next election. This may be their final chance to give the middle finger to the DA.
- Deputy Mayor Esme Edge is one of those dropped by the DA. Will she vote with or against them? Will she turn up (she didn’t for the Budget vote)?
- Will Independent Councillor Ntombizanele Jantkies (ex-Sopeki) turn up this time?
Other issues today include:
- Knysna Municipality intends taking more loans. This time, it’s for R19-million. Last time, we took R15-million in loans for which we have to pay back R30-million. Will we still owe that and, possibly, R38-million more (interest to be determined).
- Performance reviews: At a quick glance of the extensive documentation, controversial Municipal Manager Grant Easton has scored 4/5 i.e. 80%. The panel reviewing him included Mayor Wolmarans and Deputy Mayor Edge. Some must be wondering if the result would’ve been the same if the reviewers had been the DA members who recently won the internal faction battle.
- The ANC will be asking questions regarding the ABSA Housing Development that was intended for Hornlee. They will also question the status of sport clubs leasing municipal properties.
Will any party bring forward any emergency issues not included in the agenda?
Will any Councillor mention Parliament’s request for the Public Protector to investigate Knysna?
Will us, the few public who care enough to turn up, be kicked out of Council Chambers again so that discussions can be held in secret?
Whatever the direction of today’s Special Knysna Council Meeting, all point towards it being interesting.