The Committee had convened the meeting with the intention of considering outstanding issues and discussing a letter that had been received from the Development Bank of Southern Africa relating to a feasibility study for the Siyathemba municipality. However, due to a lack of quorum, these items were deferred to a later date.
Members mainly discussed the state of the South African Local Government Association for the remainder of the meeting. There was a general concern that an entity, which was supposed to assist distressed municipalities, was itself in a poor financial position. As a result, there was agreement that the entity should appear before the Committee to address the concerns, however Members could not reach consensus about when the engagement should take place.
The Chairperson noted that the Committee had convened the meeting with the intention of considering outstanding minutes and discussing a letter that had been received from the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) relating to a feasibility study for the Siyathemba Municipality. In addition, Members had planned to debate some of the outstanding issues pertaining to the Phokwane and Renosterberg municipalities in the Northern Cape. However, due to a lack of quorum, all the aforementioned issues would be deferred to a later date.
The Chairperson reminded Members that the Committee had undertaken an oversight visit to Mpumalanga in September 2009. At the time, it was determined that the Committee needed to revisit the province again. 4 June 2010 was tentatively set aside as a possible date for such a visit.
Mr T Harris (DA; Western Cape) suggested that Members be notified when there are problems about reaching a quorum as they could perhaps make arrangements to resolve the matter.
Mr B Mashile (ANC; Mpumalanga) addressed two issues. Firstly, he pointed out that the report that had been received from the Siyathemba Municipality was lacking in many respects. Information that should have been included in the report had been omitted and there were several issues that needed to be clarified. Secondly, he enquired whether the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) would be invited to address the Committee or whether a visit to SALGA was in the pipeline.
On the first issue, the Chairperson suggested that the DBSA should be called back to the Committee to shed light on a number of issues. On the second issue, he referred to two recent newspaper articles which had mentioned that SALGA had appeared before SCOPA and had shown a loss of R8 million in the 2008/09 financial year. Municipalities also owed SALGA R14 million. In light of these issues, the Chairperson asked the Committee researcher to conduct further research on SALGA. The Committee needed further information about the organisation's state of affairs.
Mr Mashile commented that that if SALGA were to perform its function, as it should, it would be financially healthy. In addition, he stated that the Committee needed a comprehensive report on SALGA and that the entity should be called in to account for its state of affairs.
Mr Harris wondered whether the main problem resided with SALGAs 2008/09 financial statements.
The Chairperson questioned how SALGA was supposed to assist distressed municipalities when it was not financially healthy itself.
Mr T Chaane (ANC; North West) asked how the Committee was going to slot SALGA into its programme given its hectic schedule during this term. As a result, he suggested that the Committee prepare to host SALGA during the next parliamentary term. SALGA could be requested to present on its Annual Report at such a meeting.
The Chairperson suggested that the Committee finalise the present meeting’s agenda items after the conclusion of the Select Committee on Appropriations’ next meeting scheduled on Tuesday 20 April 2010. The Select Committee on Appropriations meeting was scheduled to end at 1pm. Thereafter, the Committee would convene to deal with the outstanding matters of the present meeting. The advantage was that both Committees comprised of the same members. Only the chairpersons differed.
Mr Harris informed the Committee that he would not be able to attend the meeting if it was to be scheduled at 1pm as he had another commitment at that time.
Mr Mashile suggested that Mr Harris could send an Alternate Member in his place.
The Chairperson agreed that an alternate was good enough to fill in for Mr Harris.
The meeting was adjourned.
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