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Security removes councillors from Joburg state of the city address for disruption

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Two councillors were removed from the state of the city address in Johannesburg for disruption following the walk-out staged by several ANC councillors on Tuesday, 30 April 2019.

Two councillors were removed from chambers and reported to the ethics committee following their attempts to derail the state of the city address in Johannesburg. Security was called in to remove the pair which allegedly disrupted the speaker, asking for a count of the councillors in the chamber to check if the meeting had reached quorum as there is a set minimum of councillors that need to be present for the address to proceed.

According to TimesLive, Patriotic Alliance councillor Lloyd Phillips said, “We are not going to be undermined nor are we going to be abused by this house. We want a count, that’s all.”

However, it was pointed out that a quorum did not need to be reached for the address to proceed.

“Then the mayor could have just invited the Democratic Alliance (DA) since he turned it into a campaign,” Phillips said prior to his removal.

“Why is he inviting us? If he doesn’t need a quorum, why is he inviting us? I think you just need to check on the rules again and try to assist us in an appropriate way.”

The pair was removed shortly after several African National Congress (ANC) councillors accused Johannesburg executive mayor Herman Mashaba of lying in his address, before they exited the meeting. The ANC councillors reportedly left because they were unhappy with Mashaba’s claims in the address that his local government had to struggle with “backlogs” after taking over from the ANC.

According to Mashaba, the backlogs were so great and left a severe legacy, saying that all would need to work harmoniously in overcoming them. He added that the infrastructure backlogs exceeded R170 billion as there were 4 000 km of broken roads and 700 crumbling bridges.

He also mentioned a “staggering housing backlog of over 300 000 units [which had] led to a legacy of land desperation, backyard dwellings, and shack farming”, and said there was a “R60 billion backlog in our electricity network resulting in over 170,000 power outages each year” and “a water network backlog of R18 billion which sprung over 45,000 leaks, losing 107 billion litres of this precious resource” annually.

MMC for public safety Michael Sun, who is also a DA councillor, said that the councillors would be referred to the ethics committee. “I want to request the house, through yourselves, that the two councillors that are misbehaving are formally referred to the ethics committee.”

Abenathi Gqomo
[email protected]

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