Picture:- Executive Mayor Levael Davis believes that the opposition parties are playing politics to the detriment of Knysna.
Three votes of no confidence – or ‘Motions to Remove’ – have been submitted for the agenda of Knysna’s Special Council Meeting set for Monday, 31 January 2022. As a result, Executive Mayor Levael Davis (DA), his Deputy Mark Willemse (KIM), and Council Speaker Julie Lopes (DA) all have their heads on the political block.
It was expected that this would happen eventually. With the Knysna Council seats held by no less than six political parties, there is bound to be some shifting in the seats of power. But Knysna residents could be forgiven for hoping that there might be a little more than fifty-odd days to test the mettle of the current leadership before the first vote of no confidence was tabled.
It seems that of the four smaller parties, whose votes can easily swing the positions of power, three have declared their allegiances. The motion to remove the Mayor was submitted by PBI Councillor Alberto Marbi and seconded by the PA Councillor Beauty Charlie, whilst the motion to remove the Deputy Mayor was submitted by Councillor Waleed Grootboom (PA) and seconded by Councillor Marbi. The motion to remove Speaker Lopes was also proposed and seconded by councillors from these two parties.
KIM – one of the other two smaller parties – is in coalition with the Democratic Alliance – hence Willemse’s election as Deputy Mayor.
So the ‘swing vote’ lies with EFF Councillor Neil Louw – the ‘king-maker’ who holds the power to either save the current leadership or condemn it to the seats of opposition.
Last year in November, Louw voted with the DA / KIM coalition, adhering to the instruction from the EFF leadership NOT to work with the ANC. But who knows what has been agreed in Knysna’s political corridors since then?
Mayor Davis is incensed and frustrated by this latest political move, clearly believing it has not been done with Knysna’s best interests at heart. “The motion is purely politically driven and has no substance, bearing in mind the amount of time we’ve been in office. In these few short months, we have been providing strategic direction and have already started addressing key service delivery issues throughout Knysna. We are well into achieving our 100-day plan, and key objectives are being addressed to lay a foundation for our town’s progress moving forward,” he said.