Noupoort Intervention; Extention of Warrington Intervention

Meeting Summary

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Meeting report


20 September 1999

Documents handed out:
Intervention in Nouport: Report (attached to end of minutes)

The committee discussed and adopted the report of the Noupoort delegation.

The Chairperson gave a brief summary of what happens when the Local government is unable to discharge it functions and he said the present local government was formed as a result of a political compromise not as result of the economic viability. If the municipality is unable to carry out basic services and the provincial government is requested to intervene, it can do so if the NCOP approve the intervention. Therefore, this committee has to decide whether the provincial government can take over those executive functions.

NCOP Procedural Services official, Jodi-Anne Borein presented Nouport report to the committee. Chairperson said that during their visit they had managed to speak to the ordinary people of Noupoort and he informed the meeting that despite an 80% unemployment rate, the level of crime in Nouport is low.

Questions from the members
In response to a question on health facilities, the Chairperson said: There is no hospital. There is a clinic and if there are complications the people are sent to hospital in Middelburg and Colesburg.

Ms P Majodina: Can you tell us the reason that the councillors resigned? Do you have any mechanisms to ensure that they will not resign in future? Is the inaccessibility of the town clerk caused by a lack of training? Why has the community lost faith in the councillors?

Chairperson: The councillors resigned because they were not paid. The town clerk is inaccessible because he lacks training. When people have problems, they try to place the blame on the government and they look for excuses, but this council does have a problem.

Mr M Sulliman (Northern Cape): Nouport will not be able to finance the filling of vacancies. At least we should say in the report that the vacancies must be filled by such a date and provincial government should financially support local government in this.

Chairperson: Yes, we should make that point.

Member: Does the town clerk have the capacity to improve?

Chairperson: He has the capacity to improve but he lacks training.

Ms Majodina asked how could delegates interact with their province and have a remedy mechanism in place to try to take steps before a local council situation worsens and requires an intervention?

The Chairperson said there is a meaningful role to be played by delegates and the provincial government should allow the permanent delegates to brief them on these issues. The chairperson undertook to write letters to various provincial governments.

The Committee adopted the terms of intervention and recommendations.

Appendix 1:



Noupoort has a population of approximately 8064, of which 1973 are dependant on social security grants. The unemployment rate is between 80% and 85%, largely due to the retrenchments by Spoornet.

The Noupoort Transitional Council (the Council) has been hampered by the resignations of three Councillors and the ill-health of another. A quorum could consequently not be formed and regular Council meetings were not held.

The current situation in the Council is such that it cannot fulfill its executive obligations in terms of the Local Government Transition Act of 1993 (Act 209 of 1993).

Financial situation

As at 29 April 1999 the Council had a credit balance of R57 880. This has to be seen in light of the following:

Due to a lack of adequate financial systems the Council had been unable to collect revenue to acceptable levels, resulting in the Council failing to pay its creditors. The reports indicate that the Council owes an amount of R750 000 to its creditors (Sanlam, ESKOM and DBSA). With regards to ESKOM the Council owed an amount of R71 440,66. A warrant of execution had been issued resulting in all revenue collections made by the Council being attached by the Sheriff for repayment of the judgement debt.

DBSA sent a letter of demand for the arrears in respect of the loans to the Council. The amount outstanding as at 7 June 1999 was R98 638,18. Despite agreements to pay the amount in instalments, the Council was unable to comply.

On 16 April 1999 the Receiver of Revenue took an amount of R93 839,19 directly from the Council's bank account towards VAT.

The Council could not pay salaries and wages for the months of May and June 1999 as well as employee's contributions to the respective institutions. This culminated in labour unrest which required Departmental intervention.

The Council does not have an overdraft facility at any financial institution, no investments available and no Provisions, Reserves or Trust Funds.

Service delivery

The level of service delivery can be improved upon. The problems experienced in this regard are mainly as a result of the following factors:

Lack of relevant training for staff

Poor management style on the part of the Town Clerk

Inaccessibility of the Town Clerk

Equipment used for the delivery of services being in need of repair

Political Situation

The community has lost faith in the Councillors because they are not being kept informed of developments.


The Northern Cape Provincial Government appointed an Administrator to take over the executive functions of the Noupoort Transitional Local Council (the Council). In terms of the provisions of section 139(2)(a) of the Constitution the Cabinet member for local government affairs approved the intervention on 26 August 1999. The MEC for Housing and Local Government , on behalf of the Northern Cape Provincial Government, notified the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) of the intervention in terms of section 139(2)(b), on 23 August 1999.

The Northern Cape Provincial Government is seeking approval for its intervention on the following terms:

  1. Provision of Services
  2. The Administrator must ensure that:

    1. the water supply is maintained;
    2. water purification standards are met;
    3. the electricity supply is maintained;
    4. refuse removal services are rendered on a regular and sustainable basis; and
    5. all other services are maintained.
  3. Financial Management
  4. The Administrator must ensure that:

    1. rates, fees, levies and other outstanding monies due to the Council are collected;
    2. the necessary financial systems and procedures are put in place and maintained;
    3. the financial obligations of the Council are met; and
    4. the Council is placed in a position to comply with the provisions relating to financial management as outlined in section 10G of the Local Government Transition Act (Act 209 of 1993).
  5. Administrative Procedures
  6. The Administrator must ensure that:

    1. policies and procedures relating to human resource practices and communication must be put in place, maintained and/or reviewed;
    2. policies and procedures for the use of assets and services of the Council are adhered to;
    3. municipal services and assets are used solely for the purposes for which it was intended; and
    4. the affairs of the Council are conducted in an open, transparent, accountable and responsible manner.
  7. Filling of vacant seats in Council
  8. The Administrator must ensure that all vacant seats in the council are filled in terms of the Local Government Transition Act, 1993 ( Act No. 209 of 1993).

  9. Appointment, Training and Development of Staff and Councillors
  10. The Administrator must ensure that:

    1. systems be put in place for staff and Councillors to be trained and developed to efficiently and effectively perform the functions assigned to them; and
    2. vacancies within the staff component be filled within a reasonable time.
  11. Co-operation of Town Clerk
  12. The Town Clerk must co-operate fully with the Administrator and must render all reasonable assistance to the Administrator in carrying out his functions.

  13. Meetings of Councillors and Administrator
  14. Councillors and the Administrator must meet once a week to discuss matters of mutual interest and to allow the Administrator to submit a progress report to the Council.

    The Administrator together with Councillors must keep the community abreast of developments during the intervention, by means of an appropriate communications programme.

  15. Co-operation between Councillors and Administrator
  16. The Administrator and Councillors must carry out their respective duties in a co-operative manner. However, in the event of a dispute between the parties, such dispute must be resolved by mediation by a representative of SALGA. Should the matter remain unresolved, it must be decided by the MEC for Housing and Local Government of the Northern Cape Provincial Government.

  17. Business Plan
  18. The Administrator must submit a business plan to the MEC for Housing and Local Government by 30 October 1999. The NCOP must receive a copy of the business plan.

  19. Reports by Administrator
  20. The Administrator must provide the MEC for Housing and Local Government with a monthly report on the intervention and the readiness of the Council to resume its normal functions.

  21. Competency of Councillors
  22. Councillors remain competent to carry out their legislative functions.

  23. End of Intervention

The intervention must end when the NCOP is satisfied that the Council is able to resume its executive responsibilities, that the financial control policies are consistently implemented and that staff and Councillors are being trained.


The Committee recommends that the intervention in the Noupoort Transitional Local Council by the Northern Cape Government be approved.

The Committee is of the view that despite the intervention, the Noupoort Transitional Local Council is not financially viable and further recommends that the MEC for Housing and Local Government inform the Demarcation Board accordingly.


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