Municipal Systems Bill; Municipal Structures Amendment Bill: voting

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MUNICIPAL STRUCTURES BILL; MUNICIPAL SYSTEMS BILL: VOTING

LOCAL GOVERNMENT SELECT COMMITTEE
22 September 2000
MUNICIPAL STRUCTURES BILL; MUNICIPAL SYSTEMS BILL: VOTING

Relevant Documents:
Local Government: Municipal Structures Amendment Bill [B51B - 2000]
Proposed Amendments to Local Government: Municipal Structures Amendment Bill (additional amendments - see Appendix 1)
Local Government: Municipal Systems Bill (B 27B - 2000)

SUMMARY
The Municipal Structures Amendment Bill and Municipal Systems Bill were both agreed to by the Members. Members of the NNP and the DP abstained from voting on the Municipal Systems Bill.

MINUTES
Local Government: Municipal Structures Amendment Bill
Members of the Department went through the Municipal Structures Amendment Bill, to explain its key points. They pointed out that the main idea of Clause 1 is that capacity must follow function. Chapter 2 is to facilitate transition, especially after the elections. Clause 6 is to clarify definitions of what the functions are: clause 6(a), (b), (c), (d) and (i) says the functions enumerated there are now being given to the Minister, since they are national powers. The other powers will remain with the MEC.

The Chairperson, Mr Bhabha, read the Motion of Desirability to which all members agreed. They also all agreed to each clause of the amended Bill and the proposed amendments.

Municipal Systems Bill
Ms Jackie Manche of the Department went through the Bill, chapter by chapter, explaining their aims to the Members and giving a brief overview of each chapter and how they work together as a whole.

Mr Sulliman (ANC) noted that the Bill is not clear on how public participation will work and asked if the local authority will have the power to pass by-laws?

Ms Manche responded that the Bill is flexible and not prescriptive in that it allows municipalities to come up with their own processes.

Ms Manche was asked by an ANC member about time frames for the implementation of the Bill, and what will happen to present provincial Integrated Development Plans (IDPs)?

Ms Manche replied that the number of municipalities was being reduced so the Bill will have to be phased in in stages. Therefore, the current IDPs will be gradually phased out as new ones are developed.

In response to a question on what service areas will coincide, Ms Manche said only electricity boundaries will not be the same.

The Chairperson pointed out that before, in terms of interventions, there was no early warning system. Now, the Bill is filled with "reporting" requirements. Ms Botha (DP) wondered what would happen if the MEC doesn't respond to the information it gets from the IDPs. This was not picked up.

The Chairperson, Mr Bhabha, read the Motion of Desirability to which all members agreed, with the exception of the NNP and the DP, who abstained. They then proceeded to vote on each chapter of the Bill. The Bill was passed with the NNP and the DP abstaining.

Appendix 1:
LOCAL GOVERNMENT: MUNICIPAL STRUCTURES AMENDMENT BILL
[B 51-2000]
PROPOSED AMENDMENTS

CLAUSE 15
1. That the clause be rejected.

NEW CLAUSE
1. That the following be a new clause to follow clause 14:

Transitional application of section 14 of Act 117 of 1998
15. For purposes of the transition-

(a) section 14 (2)(b) of the Structures Act must be regarded as permitting the regulation of any of the legal, practical and other consequences of the disestablishment of an existing municipality, to be effected by way of an amendment to the section 12 notice disestablishing the existing municipality, provided the notice is amended before the date on which the disestablishment of the existing municipality takes effect; and

(b) section 14 (5) of the Structures Act must be regarded to read as follows:

"(5) (a) The MEC for local government in a province, by notice in the Provincial Gazette, may make provision for transitional measures to facilitate the disestablishment of an existing municipality and the establishment of a new municipality.

(b) The measures contemplated in paragraph (a) may include measures-
(i) establishing a committee to advise the MEC on any matter affecting the transition; or
(ii) in relation to the existing municipality, restricting or regulating the
(aa) alterations to the staff establishment;
(bb) appointment of staff or the filling of vacancies;
(cc) upgrading of posts or promotions;
(dd) increases in salaries or wages;
(ee) disposal or acquisition of assets;
(ff) conclusion of contracts with a duration longer than one year or the renewal of such contracts; or
(gg) use of reserve capital.

(c) The MEC must consult the existing municipality before publishing the notice contemplated in paragraph (a)."

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