Reports on oversight visits to Emalahleni, Bushbuckridge, Abaqulusi, Mvoti, Ditsobotla, Matlosana, Mnquma and Maquassi Hills Local Municipalities in terms of Section 139 of the Constitution

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Meeting Summary

The Committee met to Consider and adopt Committee Reports on oversight visits to Local Municipalities Emalahleni, Bushbuckridge,  Abaqulusi, Umvoti, Ditsobotla, Matlosana and Maquassi Hills,  in terms of Section 139 of the Constitution.

Members issued cautionary measures about the similarities between certain recommendations as this could amount to a cutting and pasting exercise. There was agreement that certain issues could be reflected in different ways. However, there should be a standard approach so that the differences would be evident, and what was unique should be apparent. The Committee felt that there was a need to understand the nature of a report and why Members were there for intervention, follow-ups should be based on the recommendations. The Committee emphasised that the real issues at stake should be reflected in the reports. The Emalahleni Report was praised as it was structured in a coherent way. Members felt that the lack of capacity should be added to all recommendations. The reports for Maquassi Hills and Ditsobotla Local Municipalities needed intervention.  The Committee adopted all the reports except for Matlosana where certain Procedural Requirements had not been met.
 

Meeting report

The Chairperson tabled the reports from oversight visits to Emalahleni, Bushbuckridge, Umvoti, Abaqulusi, Ditsobotla, Mnquma, Matlosana and Maquassi Hills Local Municipalities.

The Chairperson stated that Members should check the research papers for observations and recommendations and if there were any other issues that required attention. 

Umvoti Local Municipality

The Chairperson tabled the report for consideration.

The Chairperson took the Committee through the observations and recommendations and requested Members to give their input.

Members were satisfied with the document.

Mr J Gunda (ID, Northern Cape) proposed the adoption of the report.

Mr A Matila (ANC, Gauteng) seconded. The report was adopted with no changes.

Abaqulusi Local Municipality

The Chairperson tabled the report for consideration.

The Chairperson took the Committee through the observations and recommendations and requested Members to give their input.

Members were satisfied with the document.

A Committee member proposed the adoption of the report.

Mr Gunda seconded the motion.

The report was adopted with no changes.

Bushbuckridge Local Municipality

The Chairperson tabled the report for consideration.

Mr Matila proposed the adoption of the report. However he advised caution as this was the third report so far where similar recommendations were made. While there were similarities, this exercise should not be reduced to a cut and paste operation as recommendations should reflect what had been observed in municipalities.

Mr T Mofokeng (ANC, Free State) agreed with Mr Matila and advised that perhaps the paragraph could be changed so that the same wording was not used all the time. Even though the problems were similar they could be expressed in different ways.

Mr Gunda said that the real issues at stake should be reflected in the recommendations, like for example in the Emalahleni Report. In this report the Committee knew exactly what went wrong in the municipality because the recommendations were structured in a coherent way.

The Chairperson agreed and added that paragraphs 1.1 and 1.2 should have a standard approach.

Mr Matila agreed that the approach should be standard. If one compared the North West and Mpumalanga provinces the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) in Mpumalanga was better organised than the one in the North West. Therefore the wording there could not be similar. Issues should be raised slightly differently where necessary.

The Chairperson said that the discussion was out of order because the meeting was not dealing with the North West province. In terms of procedure the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) must provide training, so certain things would be similar. Those things that were unique should be apparent so that the differences would be evident. The standard approach in training should not be opposed.

Mr Gunda agreed with the Chairperson and said that even though in paragraph 13.1, where the problems affecting the sewerage systems were outlined, the recommendations did not speak to the issue that the community had raised. He applauded the Chairperson for the way he had handled the situation especially for giving every stakeholder the opportunity to voice their concerns.

Mr L Nzimande (ANC, KwaZulu-Natal) said that it was important for Members to understand the context of the report. It was a procedural visit and therefore some issues were quite standard and quite technical so there should be a separation of issues of service delivery. In essence there was a need to understand the nature of report and why in the first instance Members were there for intervention. The Section on Observation allowed Members to do follow-ups and at a later stage conduct oversight visits because that was where the ethos of the whole functioning of the municipality was captured. The Committee was delegated by the House to solve those problems.

Mr Matila agreed with Mr Nzimande and emphasised the importance of follow-ups based on the recommendations.  

The Chairperson emphasised the importance of Procedural Compliance. This should be checked according to Section 139. Other Observations were there to assist and give directions but had to be there. The Committee always recommended and when there were follow-ups referrals could be made.

The Committee adopted the report thereafter.

Emalahleni Local Municipality

The Chairperson tabled the report for consideration.

Mr Gunda proposed acceptance of the Report.  He recommended that all other reports should follow this example.  

A Committee Member seconded the proposal.

The Report was accepted.

Mr Mofokeng asked for clarity about recommendation 15.1.3 which dealt with the misuse of municipal cars. He asked if the municipality could table this with the NCOP.

Ditsobotla Local Municipality

The Chairperson tabled the report for consideration.

Mr Gunda proposed the adoption and said that it was a good report.

A Committee Member seconded the proposal.

The Report was adopted.

Matlosana Local Municipality

The Chairperson tabled the report for consideration.

A Committee Member proposed that the report not be accepted.

Mr Mofokeng said that he seconded the ‘disapproval’ of the report.   

The Chairperson agreed and said that the Report did not meet the Procedural Requirements. Mechanisms had been introduced to end the ‘disapproval,’ and how to sort out this matter.

Maquassi Local Municipality

The Chairperson tabled the report for consideration.

Mr Gunda proposed the approval of the report.

A Committee Member seconded.

The Report was adopted.  

Mnquma Local Municipality

The Chairperson tabled the report for consideration.

Mr Matila stated that while he moved for the approval of the Mnquma Report, he felt that the MEC should be advised here because there was the question of whether it was legally correct in terms of the three month issue. The advice was for the Committee to visit again in 180 days. The Committee needed to be advised about this issue.

Mr Nzimande said that the Government seemed to accept as orderly that the Council would resolve to ask for Executive functions. Members should be cautious and wary given that this was happening throughout the Eastern Cape. This referred to the performance of COGTA itself. It was happening throughout the Eastern Cape where certain Municipalities were given the opportunity to ‘baptise themselves without a Pastor’. This could create problems and opened the door to tedious engagements which were unwelcome.

The Chairperson said that this matter – raised by Mr Nzimande - should be captured in the recommendations. This was what was happening and a recommendation should be made to the Minister to intervene because the Eastern Cape should be assisted generally.

Mr Matila agreed and added that the instability in the Eastern Cape should be addressed.

The Chairperson said that something should be added to each recommendation about the lack of capacity.

The Chairperson said that Maquassi Hills and Ditsobotla needed intervention, but the Procedural Requirement was still uncertain. The content of the challenges deserved intervention.

Prince M Zulu (IFP, KZN) expressed concern that his name had been omitted in the Report.

The report was adopted with amendments thereafter.

Meeting was adjourned.

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