Two George officials quit, mayoral post still vacant

Municipal manager Michele Gratz tendered her resignation on Friday.

Municipal manager Michele Gratz tendered her resignation on Friday.

Published Jun 12, 2024


Two senior officials at the George Municipality have resigned, while the position of mayor is also vacant.

Municipal manager Michele Gratz tendered her resignation on Friday, followed by the director of planning and development, Lauren Waring, on Monday.

A total of about four vacancies will need to be filled, and deputy mayor Raybin Figland is expected to assume the acting mayoral role.

Former mayor Leon van Wyk and Mayco member for finance and strategic services Dirk Wessels will be among the DA’s new members who will be sworn in at the Western Cape legislature’s first sitting of the seventh administration on Thursday.

George municipality spokesperson Chantèl Edwards said council will need to approve the advertising and filling of the positions.

“Dr Michele Gratz tendered her resignation as municipal manager for George Municipality. The council will deliberate and announce the final date of her contract at a special council meeting. A date yet to be determined. Dr Gratz has been with the municipality since January 2021. She indicated that she has worked exceptionally well with mayor Van Wyk and as a team they have taken George forward due to their common vision and good working relationship. She wishes to leave at the same time as him.

“Ms Waring also tendered her resignation on Monday given the municipal manager’s resignation, compounded by the mayor’s appointment to the legislature. Waring has indicated that the new mayor and municipal manager be given the opportunity to build a team that will be aligned with their vision and management requirements. Ms Waring joined the municipality in May 2021,” said Edwards.

She said that in the meantime a “strong” team developed by Gratz will continue running the administration to ensure continuity in service delivery to the community.

The SACP in the Lizo Nkonki District welcomed the sudden resignations.

“In light of the above, which has suppressed the transformation agenda and development in the municipality, the SACP calls for the appointment of suitably qualified black women on the vacant positions including that of the mayor. Now that both enemies of the working class have left, this presents an opportunity to the council to rescind and amend the oppressive and anti-poor electricity policy of the municipality in particular,” it said.

Meanwhile, Van Wyk said it had been a tremendous honour and privilege to serve as mayor and working with his team in dealing with the challenges facing George.

Wessels expressed excitement for the journey ahead as MPL. “It has been an honour to serve the George community,” he said.

Cape Times