The Select Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs considered its report on whether to intervene in eMadlangeni Local Municipality in terms of Section 139(1) (b) of the Constitution (1996).
The Committee resolved to disapprove the intervention. Members adopted the report after redrafting some of the paragraphs and make minor changes.
Mr J Mthethwa (ANC, KZN) (Alt) welcomed everyone and remarked that the Chairperson had sent his apologies due to ill health and asked him to chair the meeting. He stated that the purpose of the meeting was to consider and adopt the report of the eMadlangeni Local Municipality issued in terms of Section 139(1) (b) of the Constitution (1996).
Consideration of eMadlangeni Local Municipality Report
The Acting Chairperson asked for comments on the report but stated that the Committee had to decide on approval or disapproval of the intervention in eMadlangeni Local Municipality issued in terms of Section 139(one) (b) of the Constitution (1996) as stated in paragraph 15.1.1.
Mr M Chetty (DA, KZN) recalled that the Committee had reached a consensus that the intervention in eMadlangeni Local Municipality be disapproved in the last meeting.
Mr M Monakedi (ANC, Limpopo) agreed with Mr Chetty but made comments concerning paragraph 15.1.2 of the report. It was not appropriate to use the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) to facilitate training and capacity building for Municipal Councillors at eMadlangeni Local Municipality since SALGA was a voluntary organisation. He suggested that the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) should be used to facilitate the training and capacity building of the Municipal Councillors in conjunction with the Local Government Sector Education and Training Authority. Hence he suggested that Clause 15.1.2 should be re-phrase to suit the Committee’s amendments.
The Acting Chairperson asked Mr Monakedi to re-phrase the paragraph.
Mr Monakedi replied that the support officers should re-phrase provision taking into account his comments.
Mr Chetty stated that if the Committee agreed to disapprove the intervention then paragraphs 15.1.3 and 15.1.4 should be removed from the report. He also remarked that since CoGTA had done the initial training SALGA should do the follow-up refresher course.
Mr Nkosana Mfuku, Committee Content Adviser, stated that the recommendation in paragraph 15.1.2 was correct because SALGA was a coordination window with Municipalities and Provinces. Hence the recommendation that SALGA should in co-operation with the Local Government Sector Education and Training Authority facilitate the training and capacity building of the Municipal Councillors at eMadlangeni Local Municipality was correctly written. Referring to paragraph 5.4, he stated that although the Municipality had challenges the advertisements for senior managers were rolled out at the end of May 2017. In addition other challenges in terms of the performance of the Integrated National Electricity Programme could be addressed by supporting the Municipality in terms of Section 154(1) of the Constitution. Hence the Committee had to check if new issues had come up after the intervention. The Committee could then undertake a follow-up visit to check the functionality of the Municipality instead of invoking Section 139(1) (b) to allow the intervention as stated in paragraph 14.2 in the Committee’s observations.
Mr M Mhlanga (ANC, Mpumalanga) suggested that the Committee should keep paragraph 15.1.4 and request that the Member of the Executive Council (MEC) must submit reports to the Committee based on Section 47. This phrase should be included in the paragraph to ensure that the Committee is able to monitor and evaluate possible institutional challenges. In addition, the Committee needed to substantiate the reasons for the disapproval because Section 139 gave the factors that could lead to an intervention however none of the factors were observed by the Committee.
Mr Monakedi remarked that the Committee could disapprove the intervention based on findings and observations made during its oversight visit. He agreed with Mr Chetty’s proposal that paragraph 15.1.4 should be deleted and SALGA should do the follow-up refresher course.
Mr Chetty suggested that, the Committee should keep paragraphs 15.1.1 and15.1.2 but delete paragraph 15.1.4.
Ms G Manolope (ANC, Northern Cape) stated that the input made by Mr Mhlanga was critical but the Committee’s position was captured in paragraph 15.1.1. She suggested that the following addition to paragraph 15.1.1: ‘after the consideration of the application, the Committee disapproves based on Section 139” and this would cover why the Committee disagreed.
Mr Mkhuseli Mbebe, NCOP Procedural Adviser, stated that paragraph was captured well and should not include Section 47 as suggested by Mr Mhlanga.
Ms B Engelbrecht (DA, Gauteng) made minor corrections to paragraphs 5.2 and 5.5.
The Actig Chairperson asked Ms Manolope to assist with rephrasing paragraph 15.1.1 and asked members to give a draft to the Content Adviser. He remarked that changes would be made after the meeting.
Mr Mhlanga stated that paragraph 14.5 should be deleted because it was a contradiction of what the Committee observed. The paragraph mentioned that there was infighting in the Municipality and this was an allegation.
Mr M Monakedi agreed that the point was an allegation.
Ms Manolope stated that the paragraph should be re-phrased instead to show that although an allegation of infighting was made, the Committee had not observed the infighting. The paragraph should read “the organisation alleged there was infighting but the Committee had observed…” If the paragraph was captured in this manner then the Committee would not contradict itself.
Mr Monakedi stated that the submission was correct since the Committee was addressing what should be done and not the recommendations of the MEC of CoGTA.
Mr Mhlanga stated that Section 51 of the Municipal Systems Act detailed the entire functionality of the Municipality. During the oversight visit the Committee had observed that, the Municipality and CoGTA were issuing contradictory statements hence’ the Committee had to make a decision to approve or disapprove the intervention in terms of Section 139(1) (b) of the Constitution (1996). He submitted that paragraph 14.5 had to be re-phrased or deleted.
Mr Chetty submitted that, the Committee could delete the paragraph.
Ms Manolope submitted that it should be re-phrased instead.
The motion for approval of the report was moved by Mr Chetty and seconded by Mr Mhlanga.
The meeting was adjourned.
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