20 March 2024


The South African Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU) calls for the dissolution of Kopanong Local Municipality in the Free State province under Section 139(1)(c) and (5)(b) of the South African Constitution. The Municipality’s persistent financial turmoil and failure to deliver essential services warrant urgent intervention to protect the welfare of the community.

The dire state of Kopanong Local Municipality demands urgent action: it must be dissolved under Section 139(1)(c) and (5)(b) of the South African Constitution. Persistent financial turmoil, crumbling essential services, and mismanagement jeopardize the community’s welfare. Mayor Xolani Tseletsele’s leadership failures, nepotism, and embezzlement of pension funds underscore the need for immediate intervention. Dissolution is essential to protect residents and restore effective governance.

Under the leadership of Mayor Xolani Tseletsele, the Municipality has plunged into chaos, with critical services deteriorating to unacceptable levels. Tseletsele’s tenure has been marred by financial mismanagement, evidenced by the Municipality’s inability to meet its financial obligations and the embezzlement of pension funds meant for municipal workers. Over R50 million is still owed to the pension fund by Kopanong Local Municipality under Councillor Tseletsele’s leadership. This misappropriation of funds not only jeopardizes the livelihoods of workers but also compromises the delivery of essential services to the community.

Furthermore, Kopanong Local Municipality is currently under Section 139(1)(b) relating to water, effective from September 2023. Despite this, the situation has worsened, with the community enduring days without water. The water tank truck, which was meant to provide water to the community, lies broken and neglected, exacerbating the suffering of residents.

Tseletsele’s disregard for proper governance is evident in his preferential treatment of cronies and family members, including his girlfriend, at the expense of qualified municipal employees. Such nepotism and favoritism have no place in public service and only serve to exacerbate the Municipality’s woes.

The non-functioning of Kopanong Local Municipality directly impacts service delivery, leaving residents without access to vital services such as water, sanitation, and electricity. This failure to fulfil its obligations not only undermines the well-being of the community but also erodes trust in local government institutions.

Intergovernmental relations are essential for effective governance, and the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) plays a crucial role in fostering collaboration between different spheres of government. Given the severity of the situation in Kopanong Local Municipality, COGTA’s intervention is imperative to restore order and ensure that the needs of the community are met.

Therefore, we urgently call on the MEC of COGTA to intervene and dissolve the Kopanong Local Municipality within 14 days to avert further harm to both workers and the community. SAMWU remains resolute in its mission to safeguard the interests of all stakeholders and hold accountable those who betray the trust placed in them.

Issued by SAMWU Free State

Tiisetso Mahlatsi,
Free State Provincial Secretary
079 152 9648


Papikie Mohale
National Media Officer
076 795 8670