Intervention in King Sabata Dalindyebo Municipality Report: adoption; Tools for Monitoring Municipalities Draft Report: consider

Meeting Summary

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Meeting report


20 October 2004

Mr S Shiceka (ANC)[Gauteng]

Documents handed out:

Intervention in King Sabata Dalindyebo Municipality Report
Establishing a Regulatory Framework for Provincial Interventions in Local Government
Draft Committee Programme

The Committee had conducted an oversight visit to the King Sabata Dalindyebo Municipality to support local government, as prescribed under Section 154 of the South African Constitution. In this meeting, the Committee met to consider its report and the application made by the provincial government for an intervention. The report, which touched on the many ways the provincial and national governments could assist the local authority, was adopted with amendments.

The Committee then dealt with the draft paper on the establishment of a regulatory framework for provincial interventions in local governments. This followed a request made by the Chairperson of the NCOP that the Committee consider the development of a legislation on intervention powers by the provincial executive.

The Committee also considered its own draft programme. They then asked the research team to develop monitoring tools that the Committee might use in monitoring municipalities, to avoid such being reactive after damage was done.


King Sabata Dalindyebo Municipality intervention
The Chair went through the Report of the Committee on its visit to King Sabata Dalindyebo Local Municipality, following an intervention by the Provincial Government.

1. Background to the intervention
The Chair proposed that the sentence referring to "KSD as the largest municipality in the Transkei Region serving all the municipalities in the OR Tambo and Alfred Nzo municipalities", be rewritten and the word "former" be inserted before "Transkei".

4. Administration situation
The Chair proposed that the words "both…and administrative" be removed, as the Committee only had concrete facts regarding the political situation in the municipality, and not about its administrative leadership. Mr B Mkhaliphi (ANC)[Mpumalanga] proposed that the whole paragraph be rephrased to make it clear that there was a lack of capacity in the municipality as the whole.

4. Political situation
The Chair proposed that paragraphs three, four and five be removed as they were not factual but subjective. Mr Mkhaliphi (ANC)[Mpumalanga], in supporting the Chair, further proposed that the Committee formulate an 'indicator', stating that "this is a fairly and honest summary of the circumstances that prevailed on the ground as perceived by the Committee".

7. Observations of the Committee
The Chair said that it should be noted that the Committee was still awaiting the terms of reference it had requested the Department to provide such in writing.

8. Resolution of the Committee
Mr Mkhaliphi (ANC)[Mpumalanga] proposed that the word "resolution" in the heading be substituted with the "recommendation" as the Committee could only make recommendations to the House, which could then take resolutions as it deemed fit.

The Chair proposed that the first paragraph be wholly deleted and be substituted by a new paragraph stating that "In terms of S139(6)(b), the NCOP is required to do the following…". Furthermore, he proposed that the Provincial Standing Committee also be brought on board when the Department, the MEC and the SA Local Government Association (SALGA) convened to discuss the state of the municipalities in the region, at the beginning of November 2004.

He thereafter proposed a number of recommendations beyond those in the report. These included that a programme for capacitating of councillors and officials in the KSD municipality, should be developed while wards committees were strengthened. Taking into account the financial situation of the municipality, the council should be encouraged to withdraw all its pending cases. The Mayor and the Speaker should be encouraged to provide regular briefings to the ward committees on the state of the intervention. Lastly, after the forthcoming local government elections, the municipality should consider having an executive mayoral system.

Mr Mkhaliphi (ANC)[Mpumalanga], while welcoming the proposals made by the Chairperson, noted that the Committee should only recommend that the Council reconsider the withdrawal of all the cases stemming from the financial situation. The municipality had no authority to decide on its type of municipality or mayorship, so the Committee should instead forward such a recommendation to the provincial ministry of the Department.

Mr Z Ntuli (ANC)[KwaZulu-Natal] proposed that the report required from the MEC should be provided to the NCOP monthly, and not every second month as was proposed in paragraph four.

Mr Mkhaliphi (ANC)[Mpumalanga] agreed and proposed that the Ministry of Provincial and Local Government should be included in the monitoring process and so this report should also be provided to them. Further conditions, accompanied by time-frames, should also be imposed on the Council in addition to that noted in paragraph two, namely "until a temporary budget is finalised".

The Chair noted the concern about further conditions, but said it would be catered for under Section 139. The intervention would still continue even after the temporary budget has been finalised. However, he acknowledged that an intervention timeframe should be inserted in the report.

The report was unanimously adopted, as amended.

Establishing a Regulatory Framework for Provincial Interventions
The Chair went through the document and thereafter called upon members to interact with it.

Mr J Le Roux (DA)(Eastern Cape) acknowledging the importance of this document as it would ultimately result in the establishment of a regulatory framework. He thus asked that Members be afforded an opportunity to consult with their Parties' legal advisors on this matter.

Mr Mkhaliphi (ANC)[Mpumalanga] agreed and thought it would be very important for the Committee have a workshop on the document before engaging on it formally.

The Chair reluctantly agreed, but cautioned that he was supposed to have already briefed the Chair of the NCOP on this matter. He thus called on Members to make their submissions regarding the proposed workshop through his office. He further proposed that the Department, SALGA, the National Assembly, the Chairperson of the NCOP, and other relevant experts on the matter be invited on the workshop. The Chair then thanked Ms Lyn Abrahams, the Parliament Researcher, for the fine job that she had done in producing the document.

Draft Committee Programme
The Chair went through the draft proposed programme. Mr A Moseki (ANC)[North West] proposed that the programme be accepted in principle, notwithstanding later refinements.

Mr Mkhaliphi (ANC)[Mpumalanga] noted that the Committee should also invite the Office of the Auditor-General to brief it generally on local government. The Chair said he had been discussing the possibility of a joint meeting on this issue with the Chair of the Select Committee on Finance.

The Committee unanimously adopted the programme, with amendments.

Tools for Monitoring Municipalities
The Chair said it was important that the Committee develops tools to monitor municipalities, so that they could become more proactive and not only react after damage had been made. He asked the Parliament Researcher to take them through the process.

Ms Lyn Abrahams (Parliament Researcher) said a the starting point could be for the Committee to develop a questionnaire for all 284 municipalities. Through this they could gather data to develop indicators for measuring the process.

Mr D Worth (DA)[Free State] agreed that they needed to develop an 'early warning system' to assist municipalities.

The Chairperson asked Ms Abrahams to collaborate with the Department to ensure consistency through the process.

The meeting was adjourned.


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