Lepelle Northern Water Board Annual Report for 2015/16: meeting postponed

Water and Sanitation

24 February 2017
Chairperson: Mr L Johnson (ANC)
Share this page:

Meeting Summary

Annual Reports 2015/16 

The Committee was scheduled to be briefedby the Lepelle Northern Water Board on its Annual Report 2015/16. However, Members decided that the meeting should be cut short becauseonly the Chairperson of the Board was present in the meeting, despite the Committee clearly emphasising the need for the entire Board to appear before the Committee. The Committee was supposed to be discussing an important issue on the status report on interventions implemented to deal with water problems in Giyani, Limpopo. The recent negative media report about Lepelle Northern Water was a further reason for the entire Board to be present to provide a full account of what is happening.

Members agreed that the meeting should be rescheduled to Wednesday, 1 March 2017. It was perhaps acceptable sometimes for the entire Board not to be present in the meeting, but not during the presentation of the Annual Report. The Annual Report was non-negotiable as it went directly to the concept of strengthening accountability. A Member even suggested that the Board should perhaps pay for the fruitless expenditure incurred for travelling and accommodation. However, some Members felt that the Committee should firstly conduct an investigation as to why the entire Board was not present in the meeting before arriving at conclusion whether the Board should be paying for the fruitless expenses.

Meeting report

Chairperson’s opening remarks
The Chairperson noted apologies from the Minister and the Deputy Minister as they had to attend an important meeting in Durban. The Member of the Executive Committee (MEC) for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) in Limpopo also submitted an apology.

Mr Anil Singh, Deputy Director-General: Regulation and Oversight, Department of Water and Sanitation; represented the Department

Mr Thovhele Tshivhase, Chairperson: Lepelle Northern Water Board; indicated that he was the only Board member present but the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) tendered an apology as he was to attend an important funeral.

The Chairperson explained that the Committee was scheduled to be briefed by the Lepelle Northern Water Board on its Annual Report for the 2015/16 financial year. It was concerning that only the Chairperson of the Board was present, despite the Committee clearly emphasising the need for the entire Board to appear before the Committee. The Committee was supposed to be discussing an important issue on the status report on interventions implemented to deal with water problems in Giyani, Limpopo. It was perhaps acceptable in some meetings for the entire Board not to be present, but not during the presentation of the Annual Report. The Annual Report was non-negotiable as it went directly to the concept of strengthening accountability.
           
The Chairperson emphasised that the Committee had already communicated with the Department as early as last year about the programme and the requirement for the entire Board to be present when appearing before the Committee. It was totally unacceptable that only one member of the Board appeared before the Committee. The Committee could accept the reason for the absence of the Chief Executive Officer, but not the entire Board. The recent negative media report about Lepelle Northern Water was a further reason for the entire Board to be present to provide a full account of what is happening. The suggestion is that the Board should rather be send back and then the Committee reschedule another meeting where the entire Board would be present.

Ms M Khawula (EFF) supported the decision not to continue with the meeting as the purpose of the presentation was to ensure accountability. The reality is that people on the ground do not have access to water, which was supposed to be discussed by the Board. The Board should perhaps pay for the fruitless expenditure incurred for travelling and accommodation.

Mr T Makhondo (ANC) also supported the suggestion that the meeting should be rescheduled as it was pointless to interrogate a single Board member. However, the Committee should firstly conduct an investigation as to why the entire Board was not present in the meeting before arriving at conclusion whether the Board should be paying for the fruitless expenses that had been incurred.

Mr L Basson (DA) fully supported the decision not to continue with the meeting and requested that the Board should write to the Committee as to why the full complement of the Board was not present in this important meeting.

The Chairperson concluded that it was indeed early for the Committee to discuss who was supposed to pay for the fruitless expenditure. The decision was clear that the Board should be sent back as it had been the case to other entities that did not present the entire Board during an important meeting. The meeting would be rescheduled for Wednesday, 1 March 2017. 

The meeting was  adjourned.







 

Share this page: