During a Special Council meeting held this morning (25 October) in Knysna Council Chambers, a Motion of No Confidence against Deputy Mayor Peter Myers was successful, with 11 councilors voting for and ten against.

This motion was proposed by members of his own party, the Democratic Alliance, after weeks of internal headbutting.  The main catalyst of this discontent was the recent signing of the Service Level Agreement between Tourism and the Municipality, a move which Myers was vehemently against and resulted in his storming out of a council meeting, leaving his party colleagues to apologise for his behaviour.

The council meeting of 25 October took a different turn when another vote of no confidence was proposed, this time by ANC Chief Whip Victor Molosi, who suggested that Mayor Eleanore Bouw-Spies and Speaker Georlene Wolmarans be removed from office. A vote of 12 to 9 against this motion made sure that it was not carried.

Myers retains his seat as Ward 10 Councillor.

Meanwhile, Knysna Municipal Manager, Kam Chetty, has assured residents that as far as municipal administration is concerned, it will be business as usual.

“I would like to assure residents of Greater Knysna that the removal of the Deputy Mayor will in no way impact on the functionality of the Municipality,” he stated.

He added: “When I took office on 1 July, 2017, the first thing I said was that I am not interested in politics and that my job was to ensure that the administration of the municipality is run well and according to legislation, and that is exactly what we are doing.”

The Municipal Manager explained that a municipal council has various responsibilities. “These include making the laws and policies, providing financial oversight, planning the budget, and hiring the municipal manager. It is further responsible for ensuring that the municipal administration fulfills its duties to the community.

Council has not yet decided on who will fill the position of Deputy Mayor.

“It is important to note that Council is not the only oversight body of local government. The Auditor-General of South Africa (AGSA) is the Supreme Audit institution (Sai) of South Africa. It is the only institution that, by law, has to audit and report on how the government is spending the South African taxpayers’ money.

“All local government administrators need to answer to both the Council and the AGSA, so rest assured there is competent oversight in place. Residents must not lose sight of the fact that the Knysna Municipality received a clean audit by the AGSA during the last financial year,” concluded Chetty.