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LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND ADMINISTRATION SELECT COMMITTEE
13 December 2005
ABAQULUSI MUNICIPALITY: BRIEFING BY THE ADMINISTRATOR ON PROGRESS IN THE MUNICIPALITY
These minutes were kindly provided by the committee secretary, Mr Mario Baatjes:
Documents handed out
Restoration of Governance in the Abaqulusi Municipality (see Appendix)
Report on the Visit to Abaqulusi Local Municipality
Draft Minutes of the Proceedings
Opening and Welcome
The Chairperson welcomed everybody and requested the Administrator to brief the committee. The briefing focused on the following:
- By 16 December 2005, 40% of the budget would have been expended.
- On 23 November 2005, a meeting was called for all stakeholders to attend. The meeting was well attended by all stakeholders, except for the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP).
- Some of the IFP youth members tried to disrupt the meeting.
- The administrator was able to meet with the Ward Committees and Community Based Structures to create a working environment.
- Some IFP members requested a meeting with the Administrator for 12 December 2005, but did not honour the meeting. The Administrator wants the IFP to be brought on board as they are the majority party in the area.
- The Integrated Development Plan (IDP) needs refinement, as it did not previously take care of most rural communities.
- The Administrator indicated that a good start has been made and that further progress will be happening in the next 10 weeks.
- The major challenge is to get the communities involved and get the ward committees functioning effectively and efficiently.
Questions by members
Questions centred on the following issues:
- Only 7 ward committees were properly launched previously. Will the other ward committees be launched now?
- For how long will potable water be supplied?
- What happens after the Administrator’s term expires?
- Will the new Council carry on current projects or will they abandon those once the Administrator leaves?
- What is being done to bring the IFP on board?
- What modes of communication are being used to inform communities, except for the newspapers?
- The relationship between the District and the local municipality?
- What mechanism is being put in place to recover the funds that were misappropriated?
- Were there any developments of note happening in rural areas?
The Administrator responded as follow:
- The Administrator’s term expires when the new Council is in place.
- Abaqulusi does not have fully functioning ward committees. Ward committees need to be established to review the IDP. A draft budget will be given to ward committees and the new Council for consideration.
- The new Council will need to be intensively trained on their powers and functions.
- The committee were not consulted before and now they are actively playing their part. The business forums are appreciative of the consultation and are playing an active role.
- Potable water provision is undesirable in the long term, and the need for housing projects needs urgent attention.
- Community structures are operating in areas e.g. youth and women groups. The ward committees will have to be set-up in the new-year.
- Securing the safety of the Administrator and the Municipal Manager is being looked at as tensions are rife in the area. Because of this the incumbents could not move about as freely as they would like. The Administrator will pursue fostering better working relations with the District.
- Those individuals that misappropriated funds will be dealt with.
- There are major backlogs in rural areas. The budget indicates that projects were identified but no resources were allocated.
The Committee resolved that Mr Haswell will report back on the recommendations and will implement the proposals that the committee has made.
The Chairperson concluded the meeting and requested the Administrator to brief the committee prior to his term expiring.
Mr Ntuli thanked the delegates for the briefing and wished them well.
The meeting adjourned at 12h30.
Chairperson: Mr S Shiceka
Gauteng: Mr S Shiceka
North-West: Mr A.L Moseki
Kwazulu-Natal Mr Z.C Ntuli
Limpopo: Mr K.G.L Mokoena
Western Cape: Mr N Mack
Eastern Cape: Mr J.W.L Le Roux
Free State: Mr D Worth
Mpumalanga: Ms F Nyanda
Eastern Cape: Mr A.T Manyosi
Gauteng: Mr M Mzizi
Abaqulusi Municipality and other representatives
Mr R Haswell Administrator
Mr B Ndwendwe Municipal Manager for Abaqulusi
Mr L Joel SALGA
Apologies were received from the MEC for Local Government and Housing in Kwazulu-Natal, Mr Mabuyakhulu.
RESTORATION OF GOVERNANCE IN THE ABAQULUSI MUNICIPALITY:
REPORT BY ADMINISTRATOR R. HASWELL 10 DECEMBER 2005
I am pleased to report that municipal governance, service delivery and budgeted project implementation has been restored in the Abaqulusi Municipality.
With reference to governance, I have established a sound working relationship with the Municipal Manager and his Senior Managers. Positive and constructive meetings have been held with community structures and Ward Committees from eMondlo and Bhekuzulu.
With reference to service delivery, we have in fact not just continued to deliver services, but to extend them. Since my appointment nine informal settlements have been provided with water tanks, thereby ensuring potable water for some 1,800 households for the first time (see attached pictures, - PMG note Pictures not attached please email
Budgeted projects are being implemented with the sealing of the road connecting Louwsburg with Mzamo-a R3,3 million labour intensive project scheduled for completion next week - being a prime example (see attached pictures). A R9 million new water network for eMondlo has also been completed, in budget and on time.
Much of course remains to be done, in the remaining ten weeks until the March elections, but we will continue to consult widely with communities, political parties and business. We are identifying short term priorities for the possible reallocation of funds, as well as initiating an IDP and 2006/2007 draft budget formulation process.
I am communicating with the broader Abaqulusi community, by means of a weekly column in the Vryheid Herald newspaper, in English, isiZulu and Afrikaans (see attached copy).
I want to express my sincere thanks for the support received from the Municipal Manager, and his entire staff, as well as those community-based structures who have come forward to participate. Together we will move Abaqulusi forward.
Phambili Abaqulusi Phambili!
Rob Haswel J.P.