Report on Interventions in Mafikeng Local Municipality; Termination of Interventions in Xhariep and Mohokare Municipalities; 2007/08 Eastern Cape Municipalities Performance Report

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Meeting Summary

The Committee met to consider and approve the report on Interventions in Mafikeng Local Municipality, the 2007/08 Performance Report of the Eastern Cape Municipalities and the report on the Termination of Interventions in Xhariep District Municipality and Mohokare Local Municipality.

In addition, the Committee briefly discussed the situation in the Thaba Nchu Municipality. It was agreed that the Committee would write to the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs after there was uncertainty about whether a new intervention had been issued for that area.

Meeting report

Opening Remarks
The Chairperson noted that the Committee was supposed to have met with the Eastern Cape Department of Local Government and Traditional Affairs and the Northern Cape Department of Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs. These engagements had to be rescheduled as the respective MECs had indicated that they were unable to attend the meeting due to unforeseen circumstances.

The Chairperson indicated that the Committee would nevertheless continue with the other items on the agenda.

Report on Interventions in Mafikeng Local Municipality
The Chairperson read out the recommendations and thereafter asked Members if they had any contributions to make.

Mr A Watson (DA, Mpumalanga) referred to section 10.1.2 and highlighted that there was no time frame given for the Hawks to pursue its criminal investigation. Consequently, he proposed that the Hawks should be compelled to pursue criminal investigations within one month of the House’s approval of the report.

The Committee supported this recommendation.

No further issues were discussed and the report was approved.

2007/08 Performance Report of the Eastern Cape Municipalities
The Chairperson referred Members to the recommendations and asked if they had any objections.

Mr Watson noted that things were in a terrible state in Kou-kamma Municipality and that the Administrator had even left the area.

Mr B Nesi (ANC, Eastern Cape) pointed out that municipalities did not receive any support from the relevant government Department and that things were in a chaotic state at many municipalities in the Eastern Cape.

Mr D Bloem (COPE, Free State) wanted the Committee to deal with the Kou-kamma and Sunday’s River municipalities separately.

The Chairperson agreed that both municipalities should be called to appear before the Committee. This engagement should take place immediately after the recess break.

The report was adopted.

Report on Termination of Interventions in Xhariep District Municipality and Mohokare Local Municipality
The Chairperson recited the recommendations and asked Members to comment.

No objections were raised and the report was adopted without any changes.

Other Matters
Mr Watson expressed concern about the situation in the Thaba Nchu Municipality and highlighted the recent dismissal of seven councillors in that area to emphasise this point. In addition, he sought clarity on whether the Committee had approved the intervention in the municipality. Lastly, he queried whether an intervention could be ongoing as this one had been in existence for almost a year.
 
Mr Moses Manele, Committee Secretary, clarified that the previous Committee had approved the intervention in the Thaba Nchu Municipality. He added that he would provide Members with a copy of the report that was tabled in the House.

Mr Watson pointed out that the previous intervention was terminated and a new one came into being in October last year when this Committee was already in existence. It therefore appeared as if a new intervention was started without the approval of the Committee.

A parliamentary official advised that he was not aware of any new intervention.

The Chairperson recommended that the Committee should not be restricted to municipalities where interventions had been approved but should visit and prioritise any municipality that experienced problems, as part of its normal oversight work.

Mr Bloem suggested that a letter be sent to the Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs to ascertain whether there was an intervention made at the Thaba Nchu Municipality. If found to be true, then action must be taken by the Committee.

The Chairperson said that the letter must be drafted immediately. The letter should include the Committee's concerns about other municipalities.

Mr Watson alerted Members to the fact that several pieces of legislation had been referred to the Committee. Given the time constraints, he advised that proper planning was necessary to make sure that the legislation was processed without impacting on the Committee's oversight work.

The Chairperson notified the Secretary to look into this matter

The Chairperson thanked the Members for their respective comments and input.

The meeting was adjourned.



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