Departments of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Strategic & Annual Performance Plans 2013; Committee Report on Departments Strategic Plans 2013

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Meeting Summary

The Committee was informed that the former Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs had been split into two separate departments, although financial control was still vested in a single Chief Financial Officer (CFO).  Officials from both the Department of Cooperative Governance and the Department of Traditional Affairs briefed members on the achievements of the 2012/13 financial year.  71 targets had been set, of which 53 had been achieved, 14 partially achieved and four not achieved.  Members were also briefed on the strategic objectives and performance plan for the following financial year.  A number of projects were listed, some of which would be a continuation of current projects.

Members were informed that the budget had been cut.  This was mainly due to Treasury reacting to the inability of many municipalities to fully utilise the conditional grants made to them.  The Department had also been instructed to make a 1% staff cut as part of savings measures.  Only a small fraction of the allocations from Treasury were retained for the Departments' administrative costs, and the Committee was urged to support lobbying for additional funding.

Members raised questions over the need for a larger budget, as most of the work done by the Departments was done in regional offices.  There was a question over the accountability of the Municipal Demarcation Board, and it was explained that the Board fell under Parliament in terms of policy but the Department in terms of financial control.  Members noted a high degree of unrest in the provinces and questioned whether proper consultation was occurring at local level.

Members felt that the Committee was being sidelined, as many Departments only seemed to be serious about the National Assembly, although the National Council of Provinces was more closely involved in local government. There was concern that the plans described were not being put into action.

Members raised concerns over the plight of the Khoisan people, feeling that these original inhabitants of the country were being sidelined. Financial controls in municipalities were questioned. Members also queried what basis was used to award bursaries to children in rural areas, particularly those of traditional leaders. They were assured that a means test was in place. The intention was to encourage studies in anthropology and related fields, as there was not only a lack of skills, but also concern that outsiders were writing the history of the people.

Members bemoaned the slow progress of legislation, and the status of various reports and Bills was explained. The Committee was aware of many disputes and petitions, and felt that much more consultation was needed. The Committee was told that major interventions regarding disaster relief, such as the replacement of infrastructure, were the responsibility of National Treasury. Members were also assured that data from the 2011 census would inform the allocation of the equitable share formula.

Meeting report

The Chairperson welcomed those present and called on all Members and guests to introduce themselves.

Briefing by Department of Cooperative Governance on Progress and Performance Plan
Mr Vusi Madonsela, Director-General (DG), Department of Cooperative Governance (DCoG) introduced the presentation. He reminded Members that the former Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) had been split into two separate Departments: the Department of Cooperative Governance, and the Department of Traditional Affairs.

Ms Keneilwe Sebego, Chief Operations Officer (COO), DCoG, outlined the presentation.  The mandate of the DCoG was to build an effective, efficient, responsive and developmental local government.  The vision was aligned to Outcome 9: A responsive, accountable, effective and efficient local government system.

The DCoG had adopted eight strategic goals:
• facilitate the implementation of a policy framework providing for a differentiated approach to municipal financing and planning support
• facilitate access to basic services and sustainable infrastructure development
• facilitate the implementation of the community work programme and sustainable economic development
• strengthen the effectiveness of cooperative government
• fight corruption
• strengthen and coordinate integrated disaster management and fire services
• deepen participatory democracy
• enhance the administrative and financial capabilities of municipalities. 

Ms Sebeuo said that of the 71 targets which COGTA had set itself for the 2012/13 financial year (FY), 53 (75%) had been achieved, a further 14 (20%) were partially achieved and only four had not been achieved.  Of the targets not achieved, two fell under the administration programme, one under governance and intergovernmental relations and one under infrastructure and economic development.

Under Programme One, Administration, all governance structures had been established and were functional.  The 2011/12 Annual Report, 2012/13 Annual Performance Plan (APP) and other plans had been submitted. The majority of targets for 2012/13 should be achieved.  An unqualified audit report was expected.  Strategic objectives included providing effective internal financial management; providing human resource services; strengthening integrated communications technology (ICT) capacity; conducting research to inform policies; strengthening monitoring and evaluation; and improving strategic management processes.  A number of projects that would be undertaken were listed.

Programme Two, Policy Research and Knowledge Management, was likely to achieve all four planned targets.  For 2013/14, research would continue to facilitate policy and legislation.  Four projects had been identified to implement the plan.

Programme Three was Governance and Intergovernmental Relations (IGR).  The draft framework for the assignment of powers and functions would be revised by the end of the FY.  The assessment report on the functionality of district IGR structures had been completed and would commence in the following FY.  In terms of progress, the draft framework for the assignment of powers and functions had been revised. Implementation of district IGR structures would commence in the next FY.  The Monitoring, Support and Interventions (MSI) Bill had been revised.  Of six targeted provinces, five had been supported to develop provincial frameworks on out of pocket expenses for ward committees.  The remaining province would be supported in 2013/14. 

Specific areas of progress on ward committees were described.  Local Government Sector Educational Training Authority (LGSETA) would be provided in all four targeted provinces.  Of 500 ward operational plans, 460 had been supported.  Credit control and debt collection policy guidelines had been implemented in 118 municipalities across seven provinces.  A draft report had been developed on municipal rating.  The draft Municipal Property Rates Amendment Bill had been finalised and submitted to the State Law Advisor (SLA).  There had been support to 92 municipalities in all nine provinces.  COGTA had facilitated 250 of 278 municipal public accounts committees.  Partnerships had been established with the Free State, the Hawks and the Special Investigative Unit (SIU).  Evaluations on functional ethics committees had been conducted in two of three targeted provinces.  An assessment report on corruption trends and the impact of interventions would not be completed by the end of the FY due to capacity limitations. 

The strategic objectives were: strengthening ward committees, improving the audit outcomes of municipalities, improved financial management, implementing policy and legislation to strengthen cooperative governance and strengthening anti-corruption mechanisms.

Programme Four was the National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC).   The Disaster Management Amendment Bill had been drafted.  The NDMC had developed an education and training framework and had finalised a discussion paper on fire services which had been published for public comments, along with Draft regulations on Disaster Response, Declaration and Classification.  The flood risk and vulnerability profile had been finalised.  Flood risk had been calculated on a national scale. 

Priorities included supporting effective disaster management assistance, reviewing the draft White Paper on Fire Brigade Services Legislation and the Disaster Management Amendment Bill (DMA).  A risk and vulnerability profile for drought would be developed by 31 March 2014.  The DMA Bill would be submitted to Cabinet by the end of the 2013/14 FY.  Disaster Management Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) would be developed by the end of the FY.  The Centre would develop and implement a public awareness annual plan.

In Programme Five, Provincial and Municipal Government Support, the performance of DCoG's entities were being monitored.  These were the South African Local Government Association (SALGA), the South African Cities Network (SACN) and the Municipal Demarcation Board (DMB). Much work had been done despite the withdrawal of German Technical Corporation (GTZ) funding. An assessment report on the fixed term contracts of municipal managers had been finalised. The Recruitment and Retention Strategy Tools had been developed. The target of supporting 70 municipalities in developing technical skills had been achieved. There were more achievements. Strategic objectives were: a differentiated approach to municipal planning, legislation on governance of DCoG entities being reviewed, strengthening legislative frameworks to improve institutional and administrative capacity, improving performance of municipalities and enhanced oversight, and effective and responsive accountable local government.

Programme Six was Infrastructure and Economic Development. Achievements included the Community Work Programme (CWP) being well on track, with support given in 140 municipalities to implement the Programme in at least two wards.  The target was to create 171 500 work opportunities, of which 139 778 had been created.  The balance would be created by the end of the FY.  The Ngangala Business Development Forum, West Coast District Development Forum and Sedibeng United Business Forum had been created.  COGTA had facilitated the signing of four memorandums of understanding (MoU) with business entities, and COGTA would sign an MoU with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to support the development of cooperatives.

Ms Sebeuo added that a number of district municipalities had been assisted with their performance on the non-financial aspects of the Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG).  The clean cities and towns programme was well on track.  A target of ten districts had been set to improve this monitoring, but fourteen had been reached by the end of the year.  Six of ten targeted districts were being supported on free basic service policies, and this target should be achieved by the end of the FY.  COGTA had supported ten identified district and local municipalities in implementing comprehensive infrastructure plans through the Municipal Infrastructure Support Agency (MISA). 

The initiative of improving reporting on basic services would probably not be achieved because of challenges regarding data accuracy.  The target for prioritised municipalities to be support in developing integrated support plans (ISP) was 108, but only 86 of these had been supported.  The assessment on the remaining 22 would only be completed in the following FY.

The programme for 2013/14 had five strategic objectives.  These were: the provision of 332 500 work opportunities by the end of the 2015/16 FY; increasing access to basic services; improving the delivery of free basic services by supporting 50 municipalities in the roll-out of the national indigent policy; promoting ownership of environmental health outcomes with a target of eight sites by the end of the 2015/16 FY; and promoting economic development within local government by supporting 25 municipalities over the medium term expenditure framework (MTEF).  There were projects that had not been completed in 2012/13.  A list was provided of several projects that would not be abandoned but would continue into the current FY. 

Briefing by Department of Traditional Affairs Progress and Performance Plan
Ms Reshoketswe Mogaladi, Executive Manager: Office of the DG, Department of Traditional Affairs (DTA), briefed Members on some of the progress made. There was new legislation in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) which made it difficult to monitor compliance at the time. The Kingship and Queenship Councils were being considered.  There would be consultation with all kings and queens.  The roles and functions of kings and queens would be considered.  Draft regulations were being considered by the Department.  A draft policy on male initiation had been approved by Cabinet, which had directed that consultation take place.  The fifth project was the National Traditional Affairs Bill.  It had been drafted and certified by the SLA.  It was found to be constitutionally compliant, and would soon be submitted to Parliament. 

An analysis had been conducted on the role of traditional leaders.  There was a mushrooming of these officials in provinces.  The research report had been drafted on the role of traditional leaders and informed a strategy to strengthen the coordination of traditional matters across the different spheres of government.  Training had been conducted on HIV/AIDS in four provinces. There had also been training on marine resources and fisheries, and in the Free State training on indigenous and customary law had aimed to empower chiefs on traditional leadership functions.  Rhodes University had presented the programme.  The aim was to assist traditional leaders in mining practices and to assist with sustainable development of resources.  There had been two awareness programmes in water and sanitation.  The Partnership Framework had been drafted and approved. 

249 out of a target of 300 traditional claims had been settled (a breakdown of the number of claims in each province was provided).  The goals were to empower traditional leadership, to develop an efficient department, and to develop an efficient governance system for Traditional Affairs.

The Chairperson asked Ms Mogaladi to move to the programmes and priorities.

There were thirteen priorities, including a traditional leader outreach programme, and a related action programme.  There would be a policy on needy children in traditional areas, as well as an empowerment programme on traditional affairs (TA) legislation.  Traditional councils would support local government.  There would be support to provinces to align legislation with the TA Act.  Outstanding claims would be settled.  Provincial inter-faith chapters would be set up.  Cultural tourism would be promoted.  Protocol guidelines would be developed.  Guidelines for kingship and queenship had already been developed, and it was time to move to the traditional leadership level.  There would be consultation for norms and standards in terms of trade in order to eliminate inconsistencies between the different provinces.  There would be norms and standards for the appointment of headmen and women.  There would be events to promote heritage and traditional heritage in the San and Khoi communities.  Governance would be strengthened.  A monitoring and evaluation framework would be developed. 

Two action projects had been identified.  The first was the traditional leadership outreach programme on all relevant policies and legislation.  The findings of the assessment report would be implemented and traditional councils would be prioritised.  Support would be provided to provinces in respect of the reconstitution of traditional councils.  This project was a continuation from 2012/13.  Traditional leaders had been wrongfully appointed under the apartheid government and yet some of these structures still existed and had to be reformed.  360 leadership disputes would be finalised.

The next targets revolved around tourism, moral regeneration through the inter-faith forums, guidelines for kingship and queenship, implementing partnership frameworks in eight provinces, developing capacity, gathering information on landless traditional leaders, and co-ordinating discussion forums.  A corporate governance framework would be developed.  A service delivery plan would be developed.  A monitoring and evaluation framework would be developed.

Budget Considerations
Mr Mawethu Mthuyda, Chief Financial Officer (CFO), COGTA, said that although the COGTA had been split into two departments, there was still only one budget vote. As CFO he was still responsible for both departments. Funds would be transferred to MISA once they complied with the Public Finances Management Act (PFMA).  The twin departments had received some additional funding, but still only R2 million had been given to DTA for compensation of employees, which was not enough.  There would be a lot of increases in terms of municipal government.  There had been R321 million in mandatory savings.  These savings had been spread across the departments and their entities.  R1 billion would be lost across the MTEF for the CWP.  This impacted severely on projects.  The baselines had been adjusted.  There were challenges with the municipalities spending the grants allocated to them, including MIG, and Treasury had felt this justified cutting the baselines.  About R2 billion of the MIG allocation had not been spent, and R1 billion had been offset by Treasury on conditional grants.  This was a consequence of municipalities not spending the funds allocated to them.  Money was being spent, but not always on the envisaged purpose.

The budget for 2013/14 was R58 billion.  Of this, R215 million was allocated to administration.  Some oversight was needed over municipal spending. The equitable share was distributed under Programme Three, Governance and IGR, and the budget for this programme was R40 billion.  There was an increase of R8 million for compensation, but this was not enough as many new people had to be appointed.  Transfers amounted to R57.8 billion out of a total allocation of R58.2 billion.  He asked the Committee to speak on the Department's behalf for full funding.  The operational budget for DCoG was R452 million, just 0.8% of the total budget.  Additional funding had been requested, but there was an expectation from Treasury that staff should be cut by 1% per annum.  All projects were funded.

Mr A Matila (ANC, Gauteng) noted that the allocations were speaking to both Departments.  R452 million was the operational budget for both.  There were people employed in the nine provinces with DCoG and DTA playing a coordinating role.  He felt that the presenters had glossed over their presentations, and he had wanted to hear what the common issues were.

Mr D Bloem (COPE, Free State) noted that on the IGR relations programme, five out of six targeted provinces had been supported.  Mpumalanga was one of these, but was now on fire with service protests. He asked for feedback on the partnerships established with the Free State, the Hawks and SIU.  There were no deadlines to go with the progress report. The Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB) was being monitored with quarterly reports. The MDB had appeared before the Committee a few weeks previously, and had told Members that in terms of the independence expected of them by the Constitution they did not report to the Minister.

Mr D Bloem (COPE, Free State) noted that on the IGR relations programme, five out of six targeted provinces had been supported.  Mpumalanga was one of these, but was now on fire with service protests.  He asked for feedback on the partnerships established with the Free State, the Hawks and SIU.  There were no deadlines to go with the progress report.  MDB was being monitored with quarterly reports.  The MDB had appeared before the Committee a few weeks previously, and had told Members that in terms of the independence expected of them by the Constitution they did not report to the Minister.
Mr V Manzini (DA, Mpumalanga) asked how spending would be monitored. 

Mr Matila said that a progress report had been requested on the Hawks investigations in the Free State, where there were two municipalities with serious problems. On the support given to municipalities, there had already been four interventions in KZN. In Mpumalanga, there were a number of protests taking place. He was not sure what support was being provided. At the start of the current term of Parliament, a rosy picture had been painted but there did not seem to be any conclusions. On TA, while the CFO talked about support from the Committee, there was only a reference to the Portfolio Committee (PC) in the National Assembly (NA). The trend in Parliament across several departments was focusing on the NA

Mr J Gunda (ID, Northern Cape) had listened to some of the issues.  He had a problem in that there were ethical issues at local government and officials were rude to citizens.  In one municipality in the Northern Cape (NC), there were over 300 surplus people on the books.  NC was seldom mentioned in these plans, but there were municipalities with some serious problems that were not receiving attention.  The Department should not tell the Committee about its plans if there was no action.  In Mpumalanga, the Premier was threatening to fire officials where there were disclaimers in their departments.  He wanted to see taxpayers' money being spent wisely.  It did not help if there was good governance at national level but it was chaos in the field.  The National Council of Provinces (NCOP) was responsible for local government, but was getting no respect from the Department.  The NA was not responsible for local government. 

Mr Gunda added that in 2009 or 2010, the Department was preparing a Bill on the Khoisan people, but nothing had eventuated.  He asked why the Bill was still not ready, and when the Khoisan people would be treated in the same way as any other indigenous group.  These people must be recognised as the first indigenous people of the country.  His mother was Khoi, and he could never disown her.  It was not enough simply to recognise their culture.  In the NC there was a traditional house, which had one co-opted Khoisan member.  He was not given the same privileges as the other members.  The Khoisan issue was close to his heart.  He would not play politics with the lives of these people.  He asked that the Department recognise these people.

Mr Gunda said that the Department must be honest on its finances.  With all the good plans, which had been on the table for some four years, some municipalities still had acting managers for more than two years.  CFOs were not qualified in many municipalities, especially in NC.  He asked how long the Department would take to rectify the financial issue in local government where there was no accountability for the millions being spent.

Mr L Nzimande (ANC, KwaZulu-Natal), asked what was happening with unspent funds in equitable share formula.  With DTA, he was worried over two issues.  The first was that bursaries would be provided to children in traditional communities, including those of the leaders.  This would be a cross-mandate with other departments, and he asked if there was any collaboration.  He asked if there would be a means test to determine who would qualify.  The second issue was with the inter-faith structures.  He felt that inter-cultural forums might have been a better option for social cohesion.  From what he had heard, the major focus should be on the Department.  There were two other departments dealing with traditional courts.  He had not heard what roles they would play.  Communities were raising the issue of elections for traditional councils although fewer people were interested in these bodies.  It would be interesting to see the APP talk to issues of gender.  He had not heard any reference to this in the list of priorities.  On compliance and assessment, in KZN the province had adopted a policy to include traditional courts and service centres.  One of the priorities should be for DTA to interact with the provinces.  More burdensome structures were being added by provinces, leading to a lack of service delivery. 

Regarding the community works programme, issues of economic development had been raised.  This was not talking to the non-functionality of Local Economic Development (LED).  The Department was talking more about other areas of development.  In the LED in municipalities, completely unqualified people were appointed as managers.  The LEDs were making no contribution.  On legislation and regulation, his own assessment from this presentation and that of the previous year was that there had been a few drafts mentioned.  The Committee was still waiting to see these things.  He asked if these documents really existed as the draft documents might not yet be something tangible.  From the middle of June Parliament was unlikely to accept any more Bills.  It was important to note that the CFO had indicated that the Department was required to reduce staff by 1%.  He did not know if the Department had ever been fully staffed, and that the required cut might well be covered by existing vacancies.  He asked how the issue of equity, particularly for those with disability, would be met.  A lot of what DTA had presented was related to the Khoisan issue.  He had heard a lot of projects involving these people.  He would be interested to see that there were many other communities who should be adopted by provinces.  Provinces were faced by alleged instances of xenophobia.  Tolerance should be treated as part of trans-cultural issues.

Mr Matila said that the Committee was sitting with many petitions.  The landless issue had to be finalised, as was the case with the economic role of traditional leaders.  The third issue was the 360 leadership claims being finalised.  This would have an impact.  He asked if there was communication between the departments dealing with these issues.  Was there consultation on the ground?  There was a long-standing unresolved leadership dispute in the Pilanesberg.  There were thirty communities in the Rustenberg area.  Other departments had different programmes.  The communities felt that Bafokeng leadership had been imposed on them.  What role was DTA playing?

The Chairperson said that intervention was a core function of the Committee, which was now dealing with about ten matters.  Legislation should be sent to the NCOP promptly rather than at the last moment.  Whenever discretionary intervention was discussed it betrayed a lack of capacity in the provinces.  Members of the Executive Committee (MEC) needed to have their capacity boosted.  Oversight at executive level needed to be strengthened.  Monitoring issues needed to be resolved.  The other issue was the delays in funding, especially regarding disaster relief.  He asked if it was DCoG or Treasury that was responsible.  Some bridges still needed to be rebuilt following floods.  On the Municipal Demarcation Bill, the DMB felt that their mandate was not from the Department but directly from Parliament.  There were areas where there had been protests and this affected demarcations.  Where would the final mandate come from?  When Parliament resumed in August a demarcation summit would be hosted.  Many challenges had been raised.  The PC would also be involved in this.  The organisation of the summit might be handed over to the Department at the discretion of the Minister.  He was not sure if the budget was informed by the 2011 census.  If not, there would still be a backlog in service delivery.  He recalled a provincial unit, but had seen no sign of it in recent oversight visits.  He was informed that this was the Technical Services Unit (TSU).  It seemed there was no communication with provincial governments.  He asked if there would be a clean audit report in 2014, and if not what the target would be.  This issue needed to be flagged.  The Committee had been made to run around to pass the Municipal Services Act, but it seemed this was not being applied.    More information was needed on the funding model.  Time would be needed with the department once the budget had been passed.

Mr Madonsela replied that many issues had been raised.  The experts present would answer most of the questions.  Provincial and municipal officials operated within a system of concurrent government.  The reporting lines did not always converge at the Minister's desk.  This did present challenges as to how far departmental officials could monitor the situation on the ground.  The Department had a mandate to deliver policies and norms.  Officials should interact with members of the community.  Behaviour on a daily basis could not always be regulated.  Ways and means were needed to see that the value systems espoused by government were implemented.  The Minister had noted that a great deal had been done on the focus on local government support, but inter-sphere relations were a critical area of intervention.  Although the system was not a unitary one, a way was needed to impact on how the spheres related to each other and how public services conducted the business of government.

Mr Madonsela said that the system was complex.  This had a direct impact on the TSUs which were to be located in all provinces.  Many MECs had been concerned that the presence of these units was beginning to encroach onto the space of provinces.  In this way the Constitution was being undermined.  Min Boloi had disestablished the TSUs, and what were now in place were service delivery evaluators, based in MISA.  These were on the lookout for service delivery challenges.  Possible blockages could be identified.  Operation Clean Audit had been the basis for one intervention.  The State of Local Government Report was being finalised, and the Minister would soon bring it to Parliament.  Once the report went to Cabinet in June 2013 it would be presented to Parliament.  This would also show how the acceleration of service delivery was progressing.  Both Houses would have the opportunity to interact with the report.

Mr Ken Terry, Deputy DG, DCoG, said that Treasury managed funds for disaster relief.  There was no outstanding funding with the Department, and all the funding for immediate relief had been processed.  There were still evaluations for long term repairs to infrastructure, but this would only be evaluated when the interim appropriation was tabled.

Mr Themba Fosi, Deputy DG, DCoG, said that the Bill stipulated the role of provinces and municipalities regarding intervention.  The SLA had made comments.  The Bill was currently with the Minister.  Once Cabinet had approved it there would still be a public comment phase.  On the equitable share formula, there had been a review but it had been approved by Cabinet.  The new formula was based on the 2011 census results and population shift as well as other challenges.  The metros would receive additional funding for poverty relief and urbanisation.  There was an attempt to balance the needs of rural and urban municipalities. 

Mr Fosi said that the CWP was focussed on creating jobs.  The LED programme was focussed on implementing the LED framework, which looked at assisting municipalities in their approach to LED and what it meant.  It was not a small project.  Economic opportunities had to be considered.  Entrepreneurs needed to be encouraged.  District business forums would be established across the country, with partnerships between district municipalities and the businesses located in their areas. 

Mr Fosi said that in NC, the challenges would be addressed in some way by the new equitable share formula.  Some issues were beyond the control of the Department.  There were a number of such municipalities in the country.  Where no clear decision had been made to merge municipalities, one had to work within the current system and how the different types of municipality could be supported.  They might not need to perform all the functions of a municipality, and should rather concentrate on certain functions while receiving national and provincial support for the others.  It was a question of support rather than getting rid of them.

Ms Shanaaz Majiet, Deputy DG: Provincial & Municipal Government Support, DCoG, said that the reports on municipal demarcations were done in terms of compliance with the PFMA.  For good governance, the Department had to hold entities available for their budgets.  There was no interference with the legislative mandate of the MDB.  A task team was concluding its work on advising the Minister on how the demarcation process needed to be reviewed and the implications on the existing Act.  With the implementation of the MSA, it was highly regrettable that the regulations had not been promulgated at the same time as the Bill.  On 7 March 2013, the Minister released the draft regulations for public comment.  Extensive comments had been received by the closing date of 10 April.  These comments were now being incorporated, and the regulations for senior managers and those under Section 56 would be published before the end of 2013.  These would deal with some of the disturbing trends reflecting a lack of competence of municipal officials.  The intent of professionalising local government would be put into effect.  There would be comprehensive regulations for all levels of municipal management.  This work was well advanced.  There was a matter before the Minister.  The South African Municipal Workers Union had offered a constitutional Court challenge.  The Minister was looking for an amicable way forward, and she was confident this matter would be resolved.

Adv Tommy Ntsewa, Deputy DG: Office of the DG, DTA, said that policy was being developed on the bursary applications.  The rationale was that there were fields pertaining to traditional affairs with a dearth of expertise.  Without immediate intervention, history would be repeated where the history of the people was written by foreigners.  Studies in these fields had been discouraged at a time in favour of natural sciences.  A means test would be conducted.  On the inter-faith structures, a commission had been formed for cultural affairs.  Chapter 9 of the Constitution enjoined the Executive to support Chapter 9 institutions, and the commissions should function effectively.  DTA was mandated to ensure that programmes arising from the Act should be fostered.  Section 96 of the Act called for the establishment of councils to preside over cultural affairs, including religious activities for all major denominations.  There was a national Khoisan council to pursue the rights of the Khoi-Khoi and San peoples.  The DTA had to ensure that the objectives of the council were pursued.  It was an insurmountable task for a single denomination to address these matters.

Adv Ntsewa said that on gender issues, one third of the members of traditional councils should be female.  There should be a 50/50 representation in all government structures.  This was a provincial matter.  The role of DTA was to support provincial government in achieving this.  Local economic activity was a national programme to encourage traditional leaders to be involved in the economic development of their communities.  There was an emphasis on the Khoisan peoples.  No communities should be left behind, as had happened under apartheid. 

Adv Ntsewa said that the President had emphasised the programmes that would make traditional leaders the centre of economic development, particularly cultural tourism.  Tourist activities should tell the history of the people.  Wherever possible such programmes should be put in place together with the preservation of heritage sites.  Traditional leaders were enjoined to be a part of this.  Claims were now being communicated immediately.

The Chairperson said that further questions be answered in writing due to time constraints.

Adoption of Committee Report
The report on the budget vote for COGTA was adopted without amendment.

The meeting was adjourned.


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