FAILURE TO COMMUNICATE
It could be said that as it was a new term there was nothing to report but that would be inaccurate as local government had clearly been chaotic preceding the elections – the Municipal Manager had been placed under investigation, the Chief Financial Officer had quit and the Knysna-Plett Herald had gone wild in support of what seems to be the losing side.
Why did Mayor Eleanore Bouw-Spies and Speaker Georlene Wolmarans not report on the chaos? After all, they were in office, ironically occupying each others current positions before the election i.e. Wolmarans was Mayor and Bouw-Spies was Speaker.
COPE Councillor Elrick van Aswegen was questioning the Mayor’s blank page which had been repeated in the agenda for The Ordinary Council Meeting of August 25. When he made particular mention of the Financial Department having an Acting Head that Council had not voted on, he was disturbingly told that there was no official Acting Head and that the matter would be brought before a Special Council Meeting on Tuesday, August 30.
The unspoken elephant in the Council Room was the fate of Municipal Manager Grant Easton. The investigation is rumoured to be complete. It’s highly likely that the biggest item on Tuesday’s agenda will be that elephant.
This will likely be a Green Paper Meeting (i.e. a meeting banning the public). However, the Knysna Municipality is required to follow the law which requires them too post the date and the agenda (at least the parts that are not printed on green paper). That would have, at the very least, listed the topics being discussed.
Consequently, it must be asked why they have failed to do so? Even more so since Mayor Eleanore Bouw-Spies’ first newsletter of her term in office spoke so strongly about better communication.