Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Budget Review and Recommendations Report

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Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs

20 October 2015
Chairperson: Mr M Mdakane (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

BRRR Archive: BRRR 2015-2010: Budgetary Review & Recommendations Reports

The Committee deliberated on its draft Budgetary Review and Recommendations Report (BRRR).

The deliberations revolved around the following issues. The Committee had not received a response from the previous year’s BRRR, money budgeted for by the Municipal Demarcation Board for 28 municipal amalgamations appeared insufficient, that provinces be included in the Annual Report of the Department; and debate on whether SALGA was an independent body and whether the Minister was responsible and could be held accountable for the remuneration of SALGA executives.

Three additional recommendations to the report were proposed; that the provinces submit Annual Reports to the Committee so that it could be part of the BRRR;  that the Minister and Treasury review Supply Chain Management processes to minimise irregular and fruitless and wasteful expenditure;  and that vacancies at senior management levels be filled as a matter of urgency.

The Committee, with the exception of Mr Matlhoko (EFF), adopted the amended report. 

Meeting report

Deliberations
Mr K Mileham (DA) said the Committee should express its displeasure at not having received a response from the previous year’s BRRR.

He said the amount of money budgeted for municipal amalgamation over a three year time frame was insufficient. A municipality that had amalgamated into Tshwane had cost Tshwane R1b, yet the incorporation of 28 municipalities had been given a budget of only R130 or R150m. This was not enough.

Mr P Mapulane (ANC) said one needed to get information before an opinion could be expressed on the matter. He suggested that the Department give a briefing on amalgamation costs.

Ms Maluleke (ANC) felt that if Mr Mileham had issues with the budget it should have been raised the previous week when the Committee met with the Department.

Mr Mileham said he had twice asked for briefings from the Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB) on the amalgamation and at the meeting with the Department the previous week, he had been denied to ask additional questions.

Mr B Bhanga (DA) said there were problems of funding for the amalgamation of municipalities.

The Chairperson said the Department would be invited to take the Committee through the issues in the following week.

Mr E Mthethwa (ANC) said the issue of withholding funds and delaying transfers to entities had become a trend and the Auditor General (AGSA) had also complained about this.

Mr A Masondo (ANC) said the sentence concerning the Nhlapo Commission need to be phrased better as it was an issue of accountability.

Mr Mapulane asked why the MDB financials were not set out programme by programme.

The Committee Researcher said that sometimes no programmes were available.

Mr Mileham observed that there was no reporting on the Annual Reports of provinces. The Department was within its mandate to do so and needed to include provinces if it were to claim to look at all spheres of government.

Mr Mapulane said the MDB had not provided a report it was supposed to give the Committee.

The Committee Researcher said the MDB did send the report and the Committee Secretary had circulated it

Mr Mapulane said he did not received it.

Mr Mileham said Municipal Infrastructure Support Agents (MISA) had performed the worst of the entities of the Department with regard to the Annual Report. A progress report on its action plan should be requested by the end of the financial quarter.

Mr Mapulane queried whether the Minister had to give the report because the Committee would be interacting with SALGA and its independent remuneration committee.

Mr Mileham said SALGA was an entity and the Minister was responsible for the entity.

Mr Mapulane said SALGA was an independent body that determined its own remuneration.

Mr Mileham said SALGA was an entity similar to the CRL so the Minister was politically responsible for the misuse or misappropriation of funds.

Mr Mapulane said the CRL was a Chapter 9 Institution, which was independent, and the Department was just the conduit to disburse funding.

Mr Hlengwa (IFP) said this was not the first time the SALGA CEO’s remuneration was raised as an issue. It had to be closely looked.

Mr Matlhoko (EFF) felt the Minister was the relevant person and the Committee should avoid protecting people who had to account to the Committee.

The Chairperson said a decision was taken at the previous meeting to call SALGA and its remuneration committee because only SALGA could provide detailed information.

Mr Bhanga suggested that both SALGA and the Minister be invited.

The Chairperson said SALGA should brief the Committee. It did not consult with the Minister when deciding the remuneration of the CEO.

Ms Maluleke said the support staff should rephrase that section of the report as well as the phrasing of the section on the equitable share.
There could not be only one recommendation when there had been several observations. The recommendations should be informed by the observations.

Mr Mileham said he had some recommendations; that the provinces submit Annual Reports to the Committee so that it could be part of the BRRR; that the Minister and Treasury review Supply Chain Management (SCM) processes to minimise irregular and fruitless and wasteful expenditure; and that vacancies at senior management levels be filled as a matter of urgency.

The Chairperson said he would apply his mind regarding the issue of the provinces, as it was an issue of accountability.

Mr Matlhoko was not happy with the report, there were a lot of outstanding issues and he would not vote in favour of the report being adopted.

Mr Mileham said the provinces was not about provincial COGTAs but about the provinces as a whole.

The Chairperson said he had to seek legal opinion.

Mr B Bhanga felt that if municipalities could be called to the Committee then so provinces too could be called.

Mr Hlengwa said that the issue of the financials of municipalities, which for the past five years had been problematic’ was something that had to be spoken about.

Mr Matsepe (DA) said he was not happy with the report because recommendations had not been acted upon.

Mr Hlengwa said that tie frames had to be put on the outstanding matters and that the recommendations of the current report would have time frames.

Mr Mileham said he could not take a decision without a hard copy of the final report.

The staff then brushed up the draft copy and sent it to be printed.

The Committee, with the exception of Mr Matlhoko (EFF), adopted the amended report.

The meeting was adjourned.

 

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