For another consecutive week, the meeting dealing with the Nquthu local municipality & Mkhanyakude district municipality section 139 intervention was once again postponed. The meeting was postponed as the Committee wanted to hear the final court judgment on the Nquthu Local Municipality and because of the non-attendance of municipality stakeholders despite invitations having been sent.
Members voiced their disappointment with the non-attendance and said reasons for this should be provided at the next meeting.
The KZN Cogta MEC called on the Committee to reconsider the decision by the Nquthu municipality to recall the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Executive Council (PEC) to court
The Chairperson welcomed everyone present and said that the meeting today was rescheduled from last week as important stakeholders were not present. One of the two municipalities that were supposed to appear before the Committee will not be present because of ongoing litigation so the Committee decided to not go ahead with the processing of the intervention until the final court judgment was heard on the Nquthu Local Municipality.
The Chairperson recognised the KwaZulu-Natal COGTA MEC, Mr Sipho Hlomuka, and apologised for the repeated rescheduling of the meetings which resulted in the MEC and the delegation from the provincial Department not being able to attend the meetings.
Mr X Ngwezi (IFP, KwaZulu-Natal) asked whether the Municipal Manager and the Administrator from the uMkhanyakude municipality were present.
Mr Thando Tubane, HOD: KwaZulu-Natal Department of Cooperative Governance, said that the uMkhanyakude municipality’s Administrator is Mr Bamba Ndwandwe and he is supposed to be in the meeting.
The Chairperson asked whether the councilors from the municipality were present and why some of the councilors were not present.
Mr Tubane said that the invitation was extended to all the councilors and that communication had been sent out to locate the municipality’s representatives and councilors.
The Chairperson raised concern that the provincial government representatives were present but the municipal government representatives were not. All stakeholders need to be present so that if the Committee makes a decision, the decision is well-informed. The Chairperson said that it was disappointing that the necessary stakeholders were not present especially since the Committee is supposed to be their constituencies now.
Mr S Zandamela (EFF, Mpumalanga) expressed disappointment that some stakeholders were not present and said that the meeting cannot continue without these stakeholders.
Ms C Visser (DA, North West) supported the proposal for the meeting not to continue and said that the reasons for the stakeholders not being present need to be explained to the Committee.
Ms S Shaikh (ANC, Limpopo) expressed disappointment at the absence of the stakeholders and said that the meeting should be rescheduled to ensure that there is a full engagement.
Mr Ngwezi highlighted that the meeting is being postponed for the fourth time and raised concerns on the period of the ratification process by the NCOP. He agreed that a follow-up should be done before the meeting is set up.
The Chairperson said that the Committee will await the final court judgment for the Nquthu District Municipality. The dissatisfaction of the Committee should be noted by the MEC and a full explanation on the non-attendance of uMkhanyakude municipality representatives should be provided in the next meeting. A decision will be taken whether to approve the Section 139 (1) (b) interventions or not and recommendations will be made by the Committee. The Chairperson said that once a municipality is placed under administration, the provincial government has an obligation to inform the NCOP on the matter and the NCOP has to either approve or disapprove the intervention. A follow-up will be done on the whereabouts of the uMkhanyakude municipality representatives.
The MEC welcomed the decision to postpone the meeting and said that all the relevant stakeholders were sent invites to the meeting. The Chairperson will be responsible for verifying why the representatives from the municipality were not present. The MEC said that the Committee should reconsider the decision by the Nquthu municipality to recall the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Executive Council (PEC) to court because when the PEC implemented Section 139, the Minister for COGTA and the NCOP have to be sent letters within 28 days and responses from the Minister must be received within 14 days then the Provincial Executive can take a decision. The MEC said that the NCOP is given 180 days to respond to the PEC’s decision and expressed concern that the Nquthu municipality mentioned that the NCOP has not approved or disapproved the intervention. The MEC requested that the NCOP deals with the matter before the 180 days were over so that the decision of the PEC can either be approved or disapproved.
The Chairperson said that all the matters raised by the MEC will be considered because the Committee still has an obligation to consult with the legal processes of Parliament. Feedback will be provided to the KwaZulu-Natal PEC and a new date for the meeting will be communicated.
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