The committee met to consider two reports relating to in-loco inspections that had been undertaken at two municipalities in KwaZulu Natal.
During the consideration of the reports it was agreed that the committee’s observations as recorded had to reflect that they had been made on the basis of submitted reports to the committee first, in both cases where section 139 of the South African Constitution had been invoked at municipalities and where the committee had gone for inspection afterwards.
The reports were adopted with minor substantive amendments.
The chairperson opened the meeting and thanked the stand-in chairperson and the committee for continuing the work in his absence during his leave of absence. He then outlined the agenda noting that the committee should have familiarised itself with the two reports on-loco oversights visits to two municipalities in KwaZulu Natal.
Report of the Select Committee on Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs in loco–Inspection in terms of section 139 (1) (b) of the Constitution in Inkosi Langalibalele Local Municipality
The chairperson noted a technical amendment that the numbering needed correction and asked for a motion to adopt the report.
Mr S Mthimunye (ANC; Mpumalanga) proposed that there should have been a qualification under the observations subtitle of the report to say that the committee observed on the basis of tabled reports by a particular individual to ensure clarity and distinction about how the committee would have concluded its observation. He thereafter moved for the adoption of the report.
Ms G Oliphant (ANC: Northern Cape) seconded the adoption.
Report of the Select Committee on Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Select Committee): In loco –Inspection in terms of section 139 (1) (b) of the Constitution in Mpofana Local Municipality
The chairperson reminded the committee that Mpofana Local Municipality had once been placed section 139 (1) (c) of the Constitution which spoke to dissolution of council and that had not be captured in the draft report. He asked that as part of the background that be included as an inherited intervention. He then asked for the committee for inputs. He proposed that with the report it be also noted that the observations contained within the draft report had been based on a tabled report by a specific person before the committee.
Mr Mthimunye moved for the adoption of the draft report.
The chairperson interjected that the role of the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) had not been captured anywhere in both reports that the association was the incumbent organisation at local government that also had to be engaged on local government matters.
Ms T Wana (ANC: Eastern Cape) recalled that during the in-loco oversight at Mpofana there had been one SALGA delegate and that in Langalibalele there had been none.
The Chairperson said his observation had been that as the Committee would be dealing with a situation where section 139 would have been invoked there was no way of completing them through quarterly reports without in-loco inspections by the Committee for verification about the truth of events. The committee had to draft its resolutions to reflect that in-loco inspections had to be done to follow-up on progress made when section 139 was invoked, over and above the quarterly reports.
Ms B Engelbrecht (DA: Gauteng) proposed that the quarterly reports had to be received so that whenever possible the monitoring of progress through in-loco inspections could be done, and that would give the committee some room without binding itself as there were many new section 139 invocations.
The Chairperson amended the proposal by Ms Engelbrecht to say whenever section 139 was invoked in a particular province the chairperson could liaise with whichever member of the committee would be available to ensure that in-loco inspection would be done because that section could not be invoked when the committee would find it difficult to go and inspect progress.
Ms Engelbrecht amended the proposal further that the resolution could be crafted then to allow all members to be communiqué with to have the option to accompany the chairperson so that no in-loco would happen without other members’ knowledge and confirmation.
The chairperson concurred that what Ms Engelbrecht had suggested had been what had been happening all along, unlike where the chairperson would be simply allowed to inspect alone. All that would be captured was a resolution to say embers from a province where section 139 had been invoked had to with the chairperson inspect in-loco the municipality under section 139 of the constitution. The arrangement was not to amend the rules as rule 91 simply allowed the chairperson to engage the distressed municipality and to then report to the committee on his findings.
Mr J Mthethwa (ANC; KwaZulu-Natal) proposed that the rules had to be applied because an arrangement was amenable to abuse.
Ms Engelbrecht said she supported the arrangement because for example, she had a wish to do the in-loco in the Northern Cape but there were only three DA members in the committee and it was only fair that there was always an opposition member that accompanied the chairperson. That was why she was proposing that everyone be given the opportunity to decline attending an in-loco inspection.
The Chairperson reiterated that rule 91 mandated the Chairperson to do the in-loco oversight but the Committee was arranging that where it was possible to have an additional member or two then that flexibility would continue as it had been done already. He asked for a motion to adopt.
Ms Wana moved for the adoption of the report.
The two reports were adopted with substantive and technical amendments.