SCOPA 2021/22 Annual Report Resolutions Document

Public Accounts (SCOPA) (WCPP)

07 February 2023
Chairperson: Mr L Mvimbi (ANC)
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Meeting Summary


The Committee considered its draft minutes for October and November 2022, and its second and third quarterly reports for the 2022/23 financial year, which were all adopted without any amendments. It also considered its draft annual programme, which would be subject to change.

Members questioned whether the Western Cape legislature was making any financial contributions to the Municipal Public Accounts Committee (MPAC), and what would empower the Western Cape to work with them. The Committee also questioned why there was a differentiated approach in the Western Cape, and if this was due to a legislative premise which excluded the Western Cape from engaging with municipalities. Members referred to the recent oversight and engagement with the Bitou Local Municipality, and the capacity issues which were raised regarding the regulations on a municipal standard chart of accounts (MSCOA), and asked which other provinces had experienced similar capacity issues. The Committee was concerned that it had constantly requested financial statements from the MPAC, but had never received them. It resolved that it would seek legal and procedural advice on withholding funds to the MPAC, and issues relating to this would be properly ventilated at its next meeting.

Meeting report

The Chairperson opened the meeting and welcomed all present.

Mr Dustin Davids, Procedural Officer, said resignations had been submitted to the Announcements, Tablings and Committees (ATC) for Mr M Xego (EFF) and Ms N Makamba-Botya (EFF) from the Committee.

Mr A van der Westhuizen (DA) has been replaced by Mr I Sileku (DA).

Draft SCOPA annual report resolutions document for 2021/22

Minutes for October and November 2022

Mr Davids took the Committee through its draft minutes for 11,14,17,18,19,20,21,25,27 and 28 October, and for 1, 3 and 4 November 2022.

Ms L Maseko (DA) proposed adopting the draft minutes without amendment.

Ms N Nkondlo (ANC) seconded the proposal. She appreciated the follow-ups that had been done. She asked for clarity on some engagements the Committee had requested, such as the National Treasury regulations which had impacted the court case on broad-based black economic empowerment (BBBEE). She said the Committee needed to follow up on this with the National Treasury regarding government procurement regulations.

The Chairperson said all the relevant stakeholders should be invited to meet with the Committee for it to gather as much information as it could.

All the draft Committee minutes were adopted without amendment.

Second quarter report for 2022/23 financial year

Mr Davids took the Committee through the report.

The report was adopted without amendment.

Third quarter report for 2022/23 financial year

Mr Davids took the Committee through the report.

The report was adopted without amendment.

Draft annual programme

Mr Davids took the Committee through its draft annual programme, and noted that it was a living document which would change according to the resolutions of Members during meetings.

The Chairperson said it was a draft programme, and Members would be informed timeously of any changes.

Mr Davids said that the Secretary General of CAPAC had requested that the Cape Town and Durban component indicate if there were appropriate venues, and it would then decide where the meeting would be held. National Parliament would still be consulted on this, as it had more capacity.

He said that Mr D America (DA), as leader of local government oversight, had been contacted on CAPAC wanting to revitalise the NAMPAC strategy. The Western Cape was the only legislature where SCOPA did not engage directly with municipalities, while the other eight legislatures did.

The Chairperson said the conference held in Johannesburg was not finished and he needed to engage with the Secretary on when it would be concluded. He had been in contact with the Speaker on this matter as the provincial legislature did not make any financial contributions.

Ms Maseko said that the national leadership needed to deal with this, since the legislature was not making any financial contributions. She asked about other legislatures working with NAMPAC, and what would empower the Western Cape to work with them.

Ms Nkondlo asked why there was a differentiated approach in the Western Cape, and if this was a legislative premise which excluded the Western Cape from engaging with Municipalities. She referred to the recent oversight and engagement with the Knysna municipality and the capacity issues which were raised regarding the municipal regulations on a standard chart of accounts (MSCOA). Until the ecosystem is able to function, they might find themselves pointing fingers. She asked what other municipalities were suffering a similar fate to Knysna, to improve the negative findings.

The Chairperson said this was Bitou Local Municipality, and not Knysna. He suggested that this be placed on the agenda for the Committee’s next meeting. He emphasised that there needed to be seamless accountability processes. This was a transversal issue which cut across local government, and he would engage with Mr America on this.

Ms Maseko said she agreed, but Mr Davids needed to find out what was empowering other legislatures. SALGA then needed to engage with the various legislatures to find out their responsibilities in empowering the Municipal Public Accounts Committees (MPACs).

Mr Sileku said it would assist the Committee to look at what was happening in other provinces, and not interfere in another sphere of government.

Mr Davids asked if he could present procedural advice at a later stage, after consulting with legal services.

Ms Maseko said procedural and legal aspects must be considered. She asked if the Speaker could be engaged on the matter of halting funding until the Committee could see CAPAC’s financials for the last five years.

Ms Nkondlo said she agreed with Ms Maseko, and said the Committee was trying to find out more about its role, mandate, and constitutional imperative. It does not want to find weaknesses. She fully agreed with Mr Davids about consulting on the procedural and legal process, and the matter should be ventilated at the Committee’ next meeting. She asked about the repetitive requests for financial statements, and whether the Committee could simply pull the plug on funding until it received this.

Ms Maseko said she wanted to provide clarity to Ms Nkondlo. She said the Committee had been attending the MPAC, and the financial statements were constantly requested. What may have contributed to this was constant new leadership, a move of offices and lost documents. They did not know who was paying for membership and who did not. If a legislature did not make these payments, it could not be a part of the structure. This issue began a long time ago.

Ms Nkondlo asked if those who were not paying should disqualify themselves from the structure, given the issue of financial statements not being produced. Could this result in the Western Cape disqualifying itself, and what were the implications of this?

The Chairperson asked when the due date to pay the subscription was.

Mr Davids said it should normally be paid in March or April, and that the Western Cape always paid within a week of receiving notification.

The Chairperson said the Western Cape was a member in good standing. He would request the minutes from the executive committee (EXCO), which he could not attend, to formulate resolutions at the Committee’s next meeting.

Ms Maseko said the Chairperson should communicate with the EXCO on funds being withheld.

Ms Nkondlo said the suggestion Ms Maseko was making should be considered at the next meeting, as a ruling had been made that this would be considered in the next meeting.

The Chairperson said he did not want the issue to become a dialogue between Members. He did not want the Committee to come across as blackmailing CAPAC on withholding funds. He asked that Members agree to take a resolution on payment of its subscription at the next meeting.

Ms Maseko said she agreed.

Mr Sileku said the Committee should be specific about the information it was looking for.

The Chairperson asked if Members had any resolutions to make.

There were none.

The Chairperson thanked Members for a fruitful meeting.

The meeting was adjourned.


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