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LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND ADMINISTRATION SELECT COMMITTEE
03 February 2005
COMMITTEE REPORTS ON INTERVENTION IN ELUNDINI AND NGQUSHWA LOCAL MUNICIPALITIES, ANNUAL REPORT AND COMMITTEE PROGRAMME
Mr S Shiceka (ANC)(Gauteng)
Draft report of the Select Committee on Local Government and Administration on the intervention in the Elundini Local Municipality
Intervention in terms of section 139 of the Constitution in Moqhaka Municipality
Draft Committee programme
Committee Annual Report
The Committee considered and adopted its programme and reports on interventions made in some municipalities.
The Committee received an invitation to a meeting with the Umvoti District municipality from the Portfolio Committee on Provincial and Local government. The meeting would focus on a sale of a house by the Umvoti municipality in an attempt to recover unpaid rates. Unfortunately the Committee would not e able to attend the meeting.
The intervention in Ngqushwa municipality was put on hold because the Council had taken the MEC to court with a view of preventing the intervention. The Committee would invite the MEC to brief it on the problem whilst awaiting the court's judgement.
The Committee would also visit two municipalities in the Free State Province even though the Provincial Portfolio Committee on Local government and Housing was not prepared to accompany it to the municipalities.
The Chairperson welcomed members to the Committee's first meeting of the year. The Committee the considered its reports on interventions made in different municipalities. It also considered its draft programme.
The Committee received an invitation to a meeting with the Umvoti District municipality from the Portfolio Committee on Provincial and Local government. The South African National Civic Organisation and other affected parties would also attend the meeting. The municipality, in trying to recover a debt, sold a house belonging to a certain Mr S Mkhize. It was alleged that the official who sold the house sold it to a close relative for R8 000. The person who bought the house in turn sold it for R350 000. The Portfolio Committee decided to discuss the issue in order to determine the extent of the problem and possible corruption that might have been there. It was also important to establish if such kinds of things were happening across the country. The Select Committee would not be able to attend the meeting due to some other commitments.
The Committee would have a meeting with the Kwazulu-Natal MEC for Local Government on section 106 investigations in Umvoti, Umgungundlovu and Uthukela municipalities.
Report of the Select Committee on Local Government and Administration on the intervention in the Elundini Local Municipality
The Committee considered its report on the intervention in the Elundini municipality. (See document attached). It made certain amendments and agreed to adopt report.
Ms S Leo (DA) (Northern Cape) suggested that there should be some timeframes to some, if not all, of the recommendations made by the Committee. Experience had taught that people tend to sit down and do nothing if time frames were not provided.
The Chairperson said that he would invite the municipality to come to Parliament and discuss the implementation programme of the report.
Report on intervention on Ngqushwa municipality
The intervention was necessary due to infighting between Councillors. The fights had affected the administration and the rule of law. The Council had taken the MEC to court with a view of preventing the intervention. The matter was before the court of law and the Committee would discuss the matter only after the court had made its ruling.
Mr M Mzizi (IFP) (Gauteng) asked if there was no any other mechanism that the Committee could employ to find out how people on the ground could be helped. It was important for the Committee to familiarise itself with the issue whilst awaiting the court's judgement.
The Committee agreed to call the MEC to come and brief it on the matter. It also agreed to adopt the report.
Study tour to Free State Province
The Chairperson said that the Committee had planned to visit the Free State province to see if any progress had been made in addressing certain problems in the province. The provincial government made some interventions in the Moqhaka and Phumelela Municipalities.
The Chairperson of the Provincial Portfolio Committee on Local government and Housing wrote a letter informing members that she did not think that it was necessary for the Select Committee to take part in the intended visit. The mayor of Moqhaka local government also wrote a letter asking the Chairperson of the Select Committee to "acquaint [himself] with the press release made by the premier on behalf of the President on the same day, broadcasted by the SABC television channels, also refer to Volume 5, No 4- 28 January- 3 February 2004 ANC Today". The Chairperson felt that the Mayor was very arrogant and in effect saying that the Committee should not play its oversight role. It should rely on what was said by the President and the Premier during their visit to the municipality.
Mr Shiceka said that the letters could not stop the Committee from doing its work. The Committee could go ahead with the visit even in the absence the Provincial Portfolio Committee.
Mr Mzizi was worried that the provincial committee was not prepared to accompany the Select Committee to the municipalities. It was important to avoid a situation wherein the Committee would be seen to be playing big brother. He asked who would inform the provincial committee about the Select Committee's findings given the fact that the Select Committee was not accountable to the provincial committee.
Mr D Worth (DA) (Free State) said that the Committee could go ahead with the visit with or without the provincial committee provided that the other stakeholders were invited.
Mr Z Ntuli (ANC) (Kwazulu-Natal) said that it was not going to be the first time that the Committee had undertaken a visit without a Provincial Portfolio Committee.
The Committee agreed that the visit would go be undertaken as planned.
Draft Committee programme
The Committee discussed and adopted its programme. (See document attached). Some changes would be made so as to harmonise it with the programme of the Select Committee on Security.
The meeting was adjourned.
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