Still was go-to guy in previous administration, expert says.

 

Mayor Herman Mashaba’s removal of Anthony Still as the City of Joburg’s Member of the Mayoral Committee for Environment and Infrastructure was a move that has possibly been long in the making.

Still said he was sacked as head of the department that oversees Pikitup, Joburg Water, City Power and other service delivery entities because he would not suspend City Power managing director Sicelo Xulu while investigations into allegations against him were under way.

The former MMC said claims that he was not keen to stop corruption were false, but ‘it should be done one step at a time’.

Sociologist and local government expert Dr Liela Groenewald said there is no indication that Still preferred a softer approach to corruption. Groenewald, however, said Still was integral to the previous administration’s approach to public management. He was executive director of Joburg Water from 2001 to August 2004, and consulted widely with city utilities or entities. “Prior to that he also worked as transition manager in the City of Joburg, and in the significant Municipal Infrastructure Investment Unit,” she said.

This meant his views on governance, and specifically insourcing of City entities, might differ from those held by Mashaba, Groenewald said. “Still’s historical public commentary on City entities reflect these areas of potentially deeper disagreement, as do the two particular differences of opinion cited in the most recent statements from the mayor and from the ANC Greater Joburg. These differences relate to the top management of Joburg Water and Pikitup.”

Still was removed as MMC but will continue to serve as a PR councillor within the administration and the DA. Mashaba’s dismissal, Groenewald said, was legally acceptable. “This is because when the DA, in 2001, led a court challenge against the exclusive composition of mayoral committees, the court ruled that a mayoral committee was not formally legislated as a political structure, and that MMCs are therefore appointed at the discretion of the executive mayor, who remains responsible for all decisions,” she said.

Read: Mashaba fires MMC Anthony Still

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