Department of Cooperative Governance on Quarter 4 performance, with Minister

Standing Committee on Appropriations

25 August 2017
Chairperson: Mr N Gcwabaza (ANC) (Acting)
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Meeting Summary

The Committee received briefings from the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) and the Municipal Infrastructure Support Agency (MISA) on their fourth quarter expenditure patterns for the 2016/17 financial year.

Cogta was primarily responsible for ensuring intergovernmental relations between government departments, stakeholders, and spheres of government, and was also the sole agent responsible for the distribution of the Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) to municipalities for the upgrading and maintenance of infrastructure.

Cogta had reported an under-spending of their 2016/17 budget. They had spent only 96.5%, or R69.84 billion, of their budget of R73.02 billion. The main reasons for the under-expenditure were transfers that were withheld, mainly for infrastructure development, where there was poor governance, political instability in municipalities, and inadequate skilled personnel.

The key challenges facing MISA were the high rate of vacancies across the organisation, capacity challenges within the supply chain management (SCM) functions, the lack of staff for internal audit, the risk management function impacting on performance in 2016/17, and the appointment of technical professionals on short-term consultancy contracts, resulting in instabilities.

Both Cogta and MISA had taken remedial action to counter the challenges. Community Work Programmes (CWPs) had been rolled out in all municipalities to provide work opportunities to communities. Learners and graduates were being trained by Cogta and MISA to fill vacant skilled posts, and municipalities were being assisted in their spending of the Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) funding, as well in reducing their debt.

Meeting report

Opening remarks

The Chairperson welcomed all in attendance, including Mr David van Rooyen, Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta), who was leading the delegation from the Department.

The Chairperson said that Cogta was an important and critical Department because it dealt with service delivery particularly on the ground, so that the citizens of South Africa could feel its effect. It was important to have skilled personnel so that they were able to deliver critical services. Cogta needed to have strong intergovernmental relations between the national and provincial governments, as well as intergovernmental fiscal responsibility, so that there was coordination between the different spheres of government for effective service delivery.

The Chairperson said that the Standing Committee on Appropriations (SCOA) measured service delivery by looking at the budget of a department, its spending, budget allocations, and the impact of the spending of the budget on the citizens of South Africa.

Apologies were received from Ms Y Phosa (ANC), Ms M Manana (ANC), Ms S Shope-Sithole (ANC), Mr B Topham (DA), and Mr A McLaughlin (DA), who would be arriving late for the meeting.

Mr Van Rooyen introduced his delegation and said that he appreciated the role that the SCOA played as an oversight Committee to ensure that the Department fulfilled its mandate. The medium term strategic framework for 2016/17 would coincide with the 2015/16 and 2017/18 financial years. 91% of the quarterly target had been achieved during 2016/17, which was an improvement from previous years. Cogta had a 95.6% expenditure for 2016/17.

There had been an improvement in the overall performance of municipalities through the municipal dashboard. Municipalities were confronted with challenges, such as aging infrastructure, poor maintenance, the cost of refurbishment, poor communication and accountability, and poor spending of the Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG).

Cogta Presentation

Dr Muzamani Nwaila, Director-General (DG), Cogta said that Mr S Molefe, Chief Director: Strategy, Cogta would be presenting Cogta’s performance report to the Standing Committee.

The Committee had made a few recommendations to Cogta on 5 December 2016 on their Medium Term Budget Policy Statement. It had recommended that the Minister of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME), the Minister of Cogta, and other relevant departments and stakeholders embark on a review of the Intergovernmental Relations Framework Act No 13 of 2005, and review the relevance and effectiveness of structures at national and provincial levels. A Presidential Commission would be established to review the roles and responsibilities of the nine provinces, and an interim task team comprising of Cogta, National Treasury, the DPME, the Department of Justice and Correctional Services (DOJ), and the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) would be established to steer the work of the Commission.

The Committee had recommended that all reports regarding the government’s job creation initiatives and public employment programmes should indicate the number of new jobs and existing jobs, the cost per job created or retained, the duration and occupation type, and productivity performance of supported businesses. As at the end of March 2017, 240 665 job opportunities in 238 sites had been established in 231 municipalities. An additional 1 500 job opportunities would be created in the 2017/18 financial year, with a cost per participant of R14 288.

The Committee had recommended that Cogta focus on enhancing public employment programmes in data collection, monitoring mechanisms, coordination, and the delineating roles and responsibilities of all partners and stakeholders. Cogta had started a process to develop the Community Work Programme (CWP) implementation model based on grant transfers to non-profit organisations which were supported by National Treasury. This initiative would improve data management.

The Committee had also recommended that Cogta develop systems and mechanisms to ensure that cost reflective tariffs were sufficiently communicated to communities and phased in with due consideration to the ability of households to absorb those costs. Consultation with National Treasury was currently under way to agree to a collaborative framework that would guide the roles and responsibilities of the various role players.

The Committee had also made recommendations regarding the Appropriation Bill [B5-2017] (National Assembly – Section 77) on 7 June 2017.

The Committee had recommended that Cogta and the Department of Social Development (DSD) develop and implement coordination mechanisms to enhance and strengthen government’s Early Childhood Development (ECD) programme and fast track the rollout of ESD centres in municipalities. The Community Works Programme (CWP) had a signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the DSD, and an implementation plan had been developed where the CWP had strengthened the rollout of ECD policy by placing CWP participants at ECD centres to provide support.

The Committee had recommended that the Ministers of the DPME, Cogta, Finance and DPSA should immediately embark on a programme that partnered each national and provincial department and municipality with Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges for the seamless provision of training and internship opportunities. The CWP had engaged with TVET colleges to collaborate on the provision of accreditation for training. TVET colleges in the proximity of CWP sites had been targeted so that participants could attend training without extensive costs on transport. Discussions to sign a MOU with targeted TVET colleges were under way.

Cogta had a budget of R73.02 billion for the 2016/17 financial year, and had spent only 96.5% of its budget, or R69.84 billion. There had been an available budget of R3.17 billion by March 2017.

The total unaudited expenditure of the Department amounted to 95.6% of the total appropriation. Cogta had underspent only by R700 052. R2.2 billion, or 3.3% of the total allocation, constituted the highest under-expenditure under transfers and subsidies. The Municipal Infrastructure Support Agent (MISA) was assisting municipalities to improve their MIG spending through their planning and project management capabilities.

The areas of slow expenditure were due to under-expenditure on transfers that had been withheld mainly for infrastructure development, owing to poor governance, political instability in municipalities, or inadequate skilled personnel.

Progress on the Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) 2014-2019 was provided. According to the 2016 community survey, access to reliable water was at 69.9%; 3 432 households had access to sanitation against the quarterly target of 5 700; 769 426 households were connected to the power grid, and 52 778 to the non-grid; 90% of the 4 392 ward committees had been established by the end of March 2017; competent and suitably qualified municipal managers and section 56 managers had increased from 233 in the 2015/16 financial year, to 288 in 2016/17; the collection of municipal revenues stood at 67.3%, which was much lower than the accepted norm of 95%; and 243 162 participants had benefited from the CWP programme.

Key audit findings from the Auditor General of South Africa’s (AGSA) report referred to predetermined objectives; expenditure management; procurement and contract management; asset management; and internal control.

In response to the audit findings, Cogta had assessed and strengthened the Technical Indicator Descriptions (TIDs) for the 2017/18 financial year, facilitated compliance of the departmental Annual Performance Plan (APP) for the 2017/18 financial year, enforced the adherence to the policy on Programme, Performance and Information Management, facilitated training of all senior managers, strengthened oversight over quarterly performance reporting and supporting evidence in collaboration with the internal audit unit, and reviewed and strengthened the existing processes and standard operating procedures for all types of payments for implementation.  The Department had implemented appropriate and effective internal controls in collaboration with all departmental role players, conducted awareness sessions on legislative and policy requirements, put measures in place to ensure suppliers were registered on the Central Supplier Database (CSD), facilitated the implementation of the approved consequence management actions, enforced the requirements for local content on designated sector procurement and the verification of all assets and disposal of intangible assets if required, and fast tracked investigations and implementation of consequence management actions.

The strategy to support municipalities was underpinned by the Back to Basics (B2B) programme. Cogta’s approach was holistic, informed by five pillars of B2B, especially governance, financial management, and building capability and resilient institutions. Soon after the 2016 local government elections, Cogta had held the 2016 Presidential local government summit which had highlighted the need to strengthen the B2B programme, and as a result it had been endorsed by the summit. Cogta was engaging sectors and provincial departments to ensure that the summit resolutions were affected in their plans.

The South African Local Government Association (SALGA) Academy provided training programmes for councillor development, traditional leadership, management capacity building, union leadership, information and data systems, and unique strategic initiatives.

The Department was also monitoring the establishment and functionality of Municipal Public Accounts Committees (MPACs), as well as the effectiveness of internal audits at the municipal level. A team for financial management support was currently being established to monitor and support municipalities to adequately respond to the Auditor General of South Africa’s (AGSA’s) audit findings, in collaboration with National Treasury.

Cogta promulgated competency regulations for local government in order to ensure that senior managers recruited had the requisite skills and capabilities to execute their functions. B2B teams in each province had been established to assist municipalities develop and implement their turn-around plans.

Six spatial contracts for key restructuring zones in districts and metros had not been signed because the officials appointed to perform that specialised function had resigned. Maluti-A-Phofung, Greater Kokstad, Umzimkhulu and Matjabeng local municipalities had been supported to implement one red tape reduction initiative. Only Buffalo City metro had been supported to develop an informal economy strategy. 517 MIG site visits had been conducted against the fourth quarter target of 335 site visits. A report on B2B interventions had been coordinated in identified municipalities and produced.

With regard to programme three, dealing with institutional development, a report on the appointment of senior managers had been concluded and corrective actions taken to enforce compliance had been developed; municipal staff regulations for lower level staff had been developed; 10 dysfunctional municipalities were supported to create effective community engagement mechanisms and to institutionalise management processes to deal with community complaints; and an annual report had been produced on forensic reports, National Anti-Corruption Hotline (NACH) cases, and other cases.

A report had been compiled on the implementation of the National Fire Safety Strategy with regard to the National Disaster Management Centre. Public advocacy and awareness had been monitored in North West, Gauteng, Limpopo and Mpumalanga.

With regard to the CWP, an additional 21 423 work opportunities had been provided and 243 162 work opportunities maintained; all municipalities had CWP sites, and 33 out of 37 municipalities had council resolutions; 18 029 participants had been trained by the end of March 2017; and one partnership had been established with a cooperative organisation for the upgrading of numeracy training.

Looking at the fourth quarter performance dashboard, 21 out of 23 objectives (91%) had been achieved.
It was recommended that the Standing Committee on Appropriations take note of the fourth quarter financial and non-financial performance report for 2016/17.

Municipal Infrastructure Support Agent (MISA): Presentation

Mr Ntandazo Vimba, Acting CEO, MISA, said the entity had received an unqualified audit opinion on their annual financial statements for the fourth consecutive year. AGSA had also expressed an unqualified opinion on the performance information for programme three (Technical Skills). A disclaimer opinion had been expressed on the usefulness of performance information for programme two (Technical Support). AGSA had said the reasons given for programme two were not valid enough. However, MISA had lodged an objection with the AG on two grounds -- the classification of irregular expenditure arising from the advertisement of certain tenders for less than 21 days, and the disclaimer opinion on performance information for the technical support programme. The matter was currently being considered by the AGSA, in consultation with National Treasury.

MISA had a budget of R349.9 million for 2016/17, and had spent only 85%, or R295.7 million. They had, however, requested National Treasury to maintain the same budget for 2017/18 because the main reasons for under-spending had been the filling of vacancies and delays in procurement.

Programme one: Administration

This programme had a total of 14 targets for 2016/17, of which seven (50%) were achieved and five (36%) were partially achieved. Two targets (14%) had not been achieved.

Programme two: Municipal and Sectoral Technical Support

This had a total of seven targets, of which six (86%) had been achieved and one (14%) not achieved.

Programme three: Capacity Development

This programme had a total of five targets, of which four (80%) were achieved and one (20%) not achieved.

Programme four: Strategic Support

There had been one target, which was not achieved.

In total MISA had achieved 63%, or 17 of their targets, partially achieved 36%, and did not achieve 18.5%. Corrective measures had been put in place to address the targets that were not achieved.

MISA had had conducted interventions in relation to the audit outcomes of their 2015/16 report. It had provided training of municipal officials on the General Condition of Contracts (GCC) and other short courses with the aim of improving capacity of municipal officials. As a result, 32 municipalities had improved their spending of the MIG up to at least 85% in 2016/17. There were issues of non-compliance with Supply Chain Management (SCM) prescripts in the procurement of goods and services for infrastructure projects.

MISA had rolled out the regional management support for contractors, focusing on institutional turnaround and framework contracts aimed at easing the burden of procurement on municipalities. The programme had commenced in the Amathole, OR Tambo and Sekhukhune district municipalities. Issues had been reported with the decline in the financial viability of municipalities due to low revenue collection. MISA had supported municipalities to develop and implement revenue enhancement strategies. As a result, Oudtshoorn local municipality had reduced its overall debt level from R101 million to R28.5 million, and the debt to Eskom from R54 million to R8.3 million.

MISA was championing the intervention to address the misalignment between bulk and reticulation infrastructure. The programme was a collaborative initiative involving national stakeholders such as Cogta, MISA, National Treasury, the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS), SALGA, the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Development Bank of South Africa (DBSA). Seven municipalities had been selected in the Eastern Cape, Limpopo and North West for the pilot phase of the programme. MISA had initiated the process of conducting an assessment of the impact of technical support to municipalities through an independent service provider.

Municipalities with a record of persistent under-spending on conditional grants had been identified for assistance through a direct delivery support programme. The initiative involved the conversion of MIG allocations for targeted municipalities into schedule 6B grants in terms of the Division of Revenue Act (DoRA) to enable MISA to implement approved projects on their behalf.

MISA’s Annual Performance Plan (APP) for 2017/18 included the deployment of qualified artisans in municipalities with limited capacity for infrastructure operations and maintenance. The target for 2017/18 was to deploy 100 artisans through the programme, and to increase this number in the two MTEF years to 170 and 200 respectively. General workers in selected municipalities would be trained towards qualifying as artisans over 2017/18 in terms of the Recognition of Prior Learning (RFL) framework.

The key challenges facing MISA were high rate of vacancies across the organisation, capacity challenges within SCM functions, a lack of staff for internal audit and risk management functions impacting on performance in 2016/17, and the appointment of technical professionals on short-term consultancy contracts, resulting in instabilities.

Remedial steps taken had been the implementation of a revised organisational structure, a strengthening of the capacity within the SCM unit and an improvement of SCM processes and systems, the filling of vacancies within the internal audit and risk management unit and complementing internal support through a co-sourcing arrangement, and the recruitment of engineers and planners as permanent staff in terms of the Occupation Specific Dispensation (OSD).


Mr A Shaik-Emam (NFP) said that he was disappointed that the Committee had not been invited to the B2B summit. He said that the strategic plans did not reach down to the communities. Provinces were coming up with strategic plans and benefiting from them more than the communities. Cogta was not advertising all the training they were providing to artisans and children to the public. They needed to tell South Africa. A lot of money was spent on MISA, and while their audit was acceptable, the Department as a whole had not done very well.

He asked how long the Committee would be hearing about a lack of capacity, because year after year they were going on oversight but there were no changes. Irregular expenditure seemed to be exploited at the local level. Did Cogta have a mechanism in place that checked how much was spent for the same item in different provinces?

Mr Shaik-Emam said political parties at the local level were appointing people who were affiliated to them, rather than people who were skilled and competent to perform the job. He found it irresponsible that public representatives were not accountable to Cogta, but rather to their political parties. He asked who the people violating the system were, and what was being done about it. People were complaining that if they did not belong to a particular political party they could not be given work in the CWP.

He asked if the delegation could tell the Committee about what was happening in Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality with regard to the motion to remove the Deputy Mayor. While the AGSA was good at their job, they were often informed by the Department where they were lacking, and it would not be very difficult to cook the books and submit the wrong information.

Ms D Senokoanyane (ANC) said that she was concerned that Cogta was putting measures in place, rather than tackling irregular expenditure. She was concerned when Cogta reported that they had under-spent due to unforeseen circumstances, such as the local government elections, and it raised the question as to why they could not implement their targets irrespective of the results of the elections.

She was surprised that the AG could make a mistake, since MISA had said that their disclaimer was under review. What reason had the AG given for not completing their work on time? She asked if municipalities really lacked capacity, because she was under the impression that people were being trained. What was the total number of municipalities, since only 32 had improved on their MIG spending?
What were the criteria for the training of learners and students?

The Chairperson said that it seemed as if Cogta was slow in expediting the responses to recommendations from the Committee, since they had requested responses within 60 days and it was now nine months since the recommendations had been given. He asked Cogta to explain their difficulty in adhering to the request. He was concerned about the under-spending on goods and services since it meant that service delivery would suffer, and those who conducted business with government were not benefiting from business with the state, and payments would take longer than 30 days. Spending 96% of the budget was still low, and Cogta needed to improve on that aspect.

The Chairperson asked what type of posts were not filled, how many were unfilled, and what steps the Department had taken to fill vacant posts. Was there a better mechanism to ensure that municipalities returned their unspent funds, rather than the Department having to withhold their equitable share?
Which municipalities had failed to return unspent funds to Cogta?

The Chairperson asked if MISA’s 100% performance translated to a good performance from the municipalities that they were responsible for, because his understanding of the presentation was that the two did not correlate.


Mr Van Rooyen said that the team would respond first and he would come at the end to make sure that everything was covered.

Dr Nwaila said that in 2011, the National Planning Commission had investigated the challenges facing South Africa and had come up with results that informed the National Development Plan (NDP). Cogta was responsible for Outcome Nine of the NDP, and they were coordinating a number of plans with other stakeholders. There was no direct correlation between the output and input with regard to the people they appointed, strategic plans, etc. He agreed that Cogta may be missing certain things on the ground, but through outreach programmes, they picked up on those issues and rectified them.

He said that there were 50 critical vacant posts, of which 32 had been filled, and 12 were in the final stages of being filled. The remaining would not be filled for the time being. Posts had always been advertised, but no suitable candidates had been identified for the posts. All identified vacant posts would be filled, but the Department was also busy with finalising current posts, as well as discontinuing other posts that were no longer necessary.

Cogta was becoming more active in the area of supporting municipalities with their audits, as well as monitoring and evaluation.

Mr Themba Fosi, Deputy Director-General: Local Government Support Intervention, Cogta, said that Cogta was responsible for dispersing R15 million for the MIG, and monitored the expenditure of the grant. They also provided support to municipalities and intervened when there were challenges.

Cogta was monitoring the developments in Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, and the various political parties were handling the process.

Cogta had conducted a comprehensive system review that looked at the three spheres of government, and a recommendation of the policy review had been submitted to the government. It was looking at reviewing the monitoring and role of provinces on municipalities. The Committee would be kept abreast of all the developments.

Some of the money that would not be returned to Cogta was in mostly spent on other programmes. One of the measures Cogta was putting in place was the conversion of funds meant for infrastructural development in rural areas to be handled at the national level.

Mr Tebogo Motlashuping, Acting Director-General: Institutional Development, Cogta, said that Cogta had established a quarterly forum where provinces were required to give a presentation on the progress made every quarter in employing senior managers in municipalities. In instances where municipalities were not reporting, Cogta ensured that the reported to Members of Executive Committees (MECs), and the MECs would in turn inform the National Minister. Since 2014, it had been difficult for municipalities to employ managers who were not compliant with the regulations for the post. Cogta was monitoring the employment processes on a daily basis, and was promulgating competencies for all staff members.

He said that Cogta had taken the initiative to meet with all service providers to ensure that there was no irregular awarding of contracts or tenders. Only accredited service providers were allowed to conduct capacity-building initiatives.

Ms Dorothy Snyman, CFO, Cogta, said that as part of the 2016 MTSF, Cabinet had decreased the funds available for the compensation of employees. Where it was possible, Cogta was using contractors, but within the limits stipulated. Cogta could not fast track the implementation of some administrative processes. The project had been awarded to a bidder, and it was now under implementation. Community development implementing programmes were responsible for employing community workers, and Cogta was monitoring their process to ensure that they were doing their work.

Mr George Seitisho, Acting Deputy Director General: CWP, Cogta, said that the noble intention of assembling stakeholders was in order to avoid the narrowing of participants in CWPs so that they countered the problem of having the dominance of one political party assigning participants for the CWP.

The Chairperson said the issue of dominance of one political party over others, often referred to as cadre deployment, was a matter that needed to be looked at very closely. Whether in the appointment of participants for CWPs, there needed to be standard criteria that qualified the person to be employed, or a mechanism where CWPs declared their interests. The Chairperson asked if there was legislation that disqualified people who applied for employment in the CWP while being committed to other structures within the community. The Chairperson said that Cogta needed to have a system that allowed them to recruit people who qualified, declared their interests, and also checked if there was legislation that permitted the deployment of such persons. He asked how they would determine whether a person who did not have any affiliation to a political party was neutral or not, since everyone had an equal right and opportunity to any job position.

Mr Vimba said that the issue of communication was an area that they would ensure was prioritized, because there was a lot of work being done that was not communicated to the public.

The issue with the disclaimer opinion was that they had provided the AG with audit files and then picked up later on that there were files that the AG had not looked at, and therefore AGSA had allowed for re-submission and a new audit would be done. Some of the transactions had not been in their control, such as the advertisement of tenders only through the tender bulletin, and AGSA had said that this had been due to poor planning on MISA’s side, so they were contesting some of the irregular expenditures that had been identified by the AG.

Mr Vimba said their spending was not at 100%. Employing technical experts in municipalities, such as engineers, focused only on ensuring projects were completed. Other areas that were neglected by only having technical experts were financial management, human resources, and SCM. MISA had therefore employed experts in each field to deal with issues.

Cogta had initiated a programme to ensure that municipalities did not have to go on open tenders all the time, but could have framework processes where they could just place an order.

The majority of the learners were absorbed into municipalities. They were more concerned with employing qualified graduates than learners who were not finished with their studies.

The Department had planned to support 40 municipalities with their MIG spending, but only 32 had improved on their spending.

Mr Vimba said that AGSA was outsourcing to Ernst and Young (EY) to conduct audits. After EY had completed their audit, the AG had felt that the audit had not been done correctly and therefore they had started the process afresh. They had requested an extension from Parliament, which had been granted, and they had submitted the audit report in December 2016.

Mr Freddy Sinthumule, Chairperson: Audit Committee, Cogta, said that the work that Cogta presented to the Standing Committee was work that they as an audit team audited before they embarked on any project. In the public sector, there were so many checks and balance in the financial process to ensure that the audit reflected what was happening on the ground.

The Chairperson asked the Mr Sinthumule to comment on the Department’s overall budgeting and spending, and also what their strengths and weaknesses were.

Mr Sinthumule said that the issue of budgeting was an internal process done by the DG and his top management. The risk committee came in afterwards to monitor the process.

The Chairperson said that the Committee was concerned with the extent to which government departments were engaged with middle men/service providers, and the resources that the Department could have used to carry out their work ended up being taken over by the middle men.

Ms Mohanuoa Mabidilala, Chief Director: Monitoring and Evaluation, Cogta, said that two grants had been given to the disaster management team. An emergency disaster grant was used for immediate disasters, and was dependent on whether disasters had been occurring.

Ms Snyman said that Cogta’s biggest service provider was involved in the CWP, and there was a long turn around time to ensure that invoices were thoroughly verified before service providers were paid.

Dr Nwaila said that some of the issues of elections impacted on resolutions, decision-making and procurement processes, since newly elected officials were now responsible for that particular area.

Ms Fezeka Stishi, CFO, MISA said that the 85% underspending of MISA was a consolidated amount for all programmes.

Mr Van Rooyen said that a Department like Cogta would not be expected to be a master of communication since they dealt with communities, but they had prioritised this challenge and were working on it.

He said that Cogta’s system was credible and appropriate, and they therefore could not cook the books.

The deployment of cadres was a global problem and not one just common to South Africa. As a political deployee, one’s mandate was to push his or her political mandate. What was needed was to manage the system so that competent and skilled people were appointed and remunerated accordingly. The South African political system was not constituency based, and therefore public officials were accountable to their political parties and not to their constituency. This was an aspect of the political system adopted by South Africa that did not afford Cogta the right to hold municipal officials accountable to them, but rather to their political party.

Mr van Rooyen said that there was a high trend of political instability in municipalities, and there was therefore a need to nationalise MISA as a department to deal with the distribution of the MIG, since they were more capable than Cogta. Where municipalities were unable to implement the MIG, MISA came in as an implementing agent. However, MISA did not have the capability to assist all the municipalities at once, and there was therefore a need to prioritise and render assistance where it was needed.

Consultants (middle men) were utilised only where the Department could not carry out the work themselves.

The Chairperson asked Mr Van Rooyen to give his closing remarks.

Mr van Rooyen thanked the Committee for their remarks, and said it was important that they met and discussed issues before problems occurred.

The Chairperson thanked Cogta for taking the time to appear before the Committee. He was aware that executives had busy schedules. He said that it would be very impressive if Cogta delivered on their targets by 2019, and they needed to build the confidence in communities and municipalities that fell under their domain. There were moments where a department would score well in one financial year but then regress in the following consecutive years, and this would undermine their budget. He stressed the need for intergovernmental relations and collaboration with other departments and spheres of government.

The meeting was adjourned.


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