Emfuleni mayor Jacob Khawe has resigned with immediate effect after being in the position for just six months.
Emfuleni municipality includes the towns of Vereeniging and Vanderbijlpark in Gauteng.
At least two sources have confirmed to News24 that his resignation is in retaliation to a decision to place the struggling municipality under semi-administration.
The sources said the decision was confirmed by the ANC Provincial Executive Committee that met this past weekend.
News24 has been told that Khawe, in his resignation letter, notes the decision to invoke section 139(5)a, which places the municipality under semi-administration.
Last week News24 reported that the decision was seen as an attempt to undercut Khawe‘s bid to contest the provincial secretary position at the upcoming ANC Gauteng elective conference later this month.
Khawe is expected to go against incumbent Hope Papo who is closely aligned with Gauteng Premier David Makhura.
However, other sources said at the time the municipality was cash strapped and struggling to deliver basic services, including paying utility bills and garbage collection, leaving Makhura no choice but to place it under administration.
Khawe was appointed mayor last year, replacing Simon Mofokeng after he was accused of sexually grooming a 14-year-old girl.