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PROVINCIAL AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE & LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND ADMINISTRATION SELECT COMMITTEE
24 October 2006
NATIONAL HOUSE OF TRADITIONAL LEADERS, LOCAL GOVERNMENT SECTOR EDUCATION AND TRAINING AUTHORITY & MUNICIPAL INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENT UNIT 2006 ANNUAL REPORTS: BRIEFINGS
Co-Chairpersons: Mr S Tsenoli (ANC) & Mr S Shiceka (ANC, Gauteng)
Documents handed out:
National House of Traditional Leaders Presentation: Part1 & Part2
National House of Traditional Leaders Annual Report [available later on at www.dplg.gov.za
Local Government Sector Education Training Authority Presentation: Part1, Part2, Part3 & Part4
Local Government Sector Education Training Authority Annual Report [available later on at www.lgseta.co.za]
Municipal Infrastructure Investment Unit Annual Report [ available later on www.miiu.org.za]
The National House of Traditional Leaders, Local Government Sector Education and Training Authority and the Municipal Infrastructure Investment Unit presented their 2006 Annual Reports. The National House of Traditional Leaders presentation focused on addressing the concerns raised by Members at a previous meeting, its budget and plans for the future. The Local Government Sector Education and Training Authority presented their achievements, while the Unit gave a brief presentation on developments since its closure on 31 March 2006.
Discussions centered on how municipalities treated traditional leaders, progress on Community Development Workers Programme and non-compliance of municipalities with education and training requirements.
National House of Traditional Leaders Presentation
The National House of Traditional Leaders (NHTL) presentation was made by Mr F Kutama (Chairperson) and Mr A Sithole (Secretary). Mr Kutama stated that he was grateful for the tremendous support given to traditional leaders by the Presidency, the Department of Provincial and Local Government (DPLG), and Members of Parliament. He stated that the NHTL was under new leadership, which was attributed to a change in the KwaZulu-Natal establishment. Since there was a change in the establishment, the NHTL was forced to remove members of the old KZN establishment, and fill the positions once members of the new KZN establishment had been announced.
Mr Sithole addressed the concerns raised by the Committee on March 14. He stated that in order to resolve the issues regarding gender compliance, the best way would to amend the NHTL Act, in such a way that would allow the NHTL to have powers over other structures of traditional leadership. There were sour relations between traditional leaders and the municipal government in certain municipalities. This was due to the fact that traditional leaders were not properly inclined towards the municipalities. Some of the challenges faced included the fact that the youth are not promoting traditional values and that moral values are being eroded by foreign values.
Mr S Mshudulu (ANC) stated that some of the slides in the presentation have been written in the future tense, and asked if there were special reasons for this. He also stated that the projects that the NHTL plan to undertake
are projects that should have already been undertaken. Is it possible for the NHTL to elaborate on the role of the DPLG in terms of budget allocation? The DPLG should also assist in addressing the gender issue even if it has to be budgeted for. He asked for progress regarding the structured training and development of traditional leaders. Finally, he commented that it was important that the NHTL focused on the challenges in South Africa, before they start looking at regional integration.
Mr Sithole argued that although the plan was written in the future tense; it deals with matters of the past, the present and the future. With regards to the DPLG, a couple of meetings have been held and the DPLG is doing whatever they can to assist. In terms of gender representation, the NHTL Act stated that anyone who is not a recognised traditional leader could not serve in the NHTL or fulfill NHTL duties. With regards to structured training, the training should be completed by next year. In terms of regional integration, the NHTL plans in addressing both the regional and local issues. If the plan fails, then the NHTL will have to re-evaluate its stance.
Mr A Moseki (ANC, North West) argued that the Committees should assist in making sure that the NHTL is represented in the preparation for the 2010 Soccer World Cup. Assistance should not only be provided from a parliamentary level, but from a municipal level as well.
Mr A Manyosi (ANC, Eastern Cape) argued that it is wrong for municipalities to disrespect the traditional leaders, and that traditional leaders should be given a chance to participate in matters of local government. In terms of civil unions and same-sex marriages, it is also relevant to look at the records of the Constitutional Assembly in order to determine whether it really desired to produce the results of what is soon to become a certainty. Mr Manyosi also questioned the progress being made regarding the construction of traditional chambers.
Mr Sithole argued that the current structures used by some of the leaders are dilapidated and unusable. The Committees should help assist in the establishment of new structures.
Mr M Swathe (DA) questioned whether or not the strategies of the CEO, dealing with matters of the traditional council, have already been implemented. Also, could the NHTL elaborate on the difference between the traditional council and the traditional authority? Finally, if possible could the NHTL give clarity on whether the traditional council has the same status as municipalities?
Mr Sithole stated that the traditional council had replaced the traditional authority; the main difference between the two structures is that there has to be at least 30% female representation in the Traditional Council.
The status of the traditional council is not equal to that of the municipalities, as municipalities have certain powers given to them in terms of the Constitution. However the traditional council operates within the municipalities.
Mr L Tsenoli (ANC) argued that in terms of the Civil Union Bill, it is important that there is tolerance and acknowledgment of diversity when dealing with the issues. The rights of one person must not infringe on the rights of another. Diversity is what makes South Africa the country it is today, and it is important that diversity is taken into consideration before engaging on the issue. In terms of the auditing of the annual report, is it possible for the NHTL to provide clarity on whether the audited financial statement of the DPLG also represents that of the NHTL? One way of substantiating the NHTL request to be a separate entity under the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) is for the NHTL to justify their future. Finally, the NHTL should provide a list of municipalities that disrespect the authority of the traditional leaders, so that they can be dealt with accordingly.
Mr Sithole said that he was not going to comment any further on the issue of civil unions; however the leaders also have a right to oppose it, as same-sex marriage is against their culture.
Mr Shiceka stated that the leaders should be more visible when it comes to promoting tourism, as they are the custodians of South African culture.
Mr Sithole acknowledged the request and said that the tourism matter would be addressed at an upcoming traditional leaders conference. He requested a quarterly meeting with the Committees instead of an annual meeting as quarterly meetings would provide a clearer indication of what the NHTL has done, and on which issues the Committees should be addressed.
Mr Kutama stated that he acknowledged the concerns and that the NHTL will keep the Committees informed of progress on traditional matters.
Mr Shiceka noted the request and stated that there definitely would be another meeting focusing on the role of the traditional leaders, where some of the questions asked at this meeting will be analysed and dealt with accordingly.
Local Government Sector Education and Training Authority Presentation
The Local Government Sector Education and Training Authority (LGSETA) was represented by Mr G Lobelo (Chairperson), Mr L Mofokeng (Chief Executive Officer (CEO)), Ms J Davies (SSP Manager) and Mr E Mnyakena (Human Resource & Co-Operation Manager). Mr Lobelo stated that LGSETA had made major achievements within the past year. These included national graduation ceremonies on special projects such as the Community Development Workers Program (CDW). This enabled LGSETA to create employment and deliver services to communities. LGSETA has also entered the second phase of the Skills Development Revolution with the re-certification of the Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA). This was done in order to support key government initiatives and build capacity amongst municipalities.
Mr Moseki stated that according to the Auditor-General’s report monitoring systems in LGSETA were inadequate and he asked what steps had been taken to address the situation. He also asked LGSETA to clarify the issue of the CDW committees, and if there were frameworks to resolve the challenges.
Mr Mofokeng replied that the Auditor-General’s emphasis of matter had been given urgent consideration, and that the restructuring process in the financial department had already begun. A plan has already been
developed to resolve new issues. With regards to the CDW program, the training is of a general nature and the provinces undertake its management.
Ms F Nyanda (ANC, Mpumalanga) questioned how the CDW managers were appointed, and to whom they reported.
Mr Mofokeng stated that the CDW managers are public servants who report to the provinces. In areas where the CDW is not run by the provinces, the managers report to the municipalities. Appointment of managers depends on the number of available positions.
Mr Tsenoli congratulated the LGSETA for a good presentation; however a more appropriate presentation on the quality of employment would have been preferable. He also questioned the absence of accredited service providers in the Free State. On the issue of non-payment of services, the Committees will follow up the matter with the various departments. Finally it is good to see that the Western Cape is doing well in terms of the literacy level.
Mr Mofokeng said that the challenges regarding accredited service providers had been identified, and LGSETA was busy signing Memorandums of Understandings (MOUs) with the Department of Education. The reason why the Western Cape is doing so well is because they have competent managers.
Mr A Worth (DA, Mpumalanga) asked why the number of people participating in the courses in Gauteng was comparatively lower than in other provinces.
Ms Davis stated that Gauteng was the province that employed the largest amount of people in Local Government. However the figures are of the training declared to the LGSETA, but there is no sense that Gauteng receives any less training that any of the other provinces.
Mr Tsenoli asked the LGSETA to provide clarity on non-compliance by municipalities, and the reasons behind the non-implementation of various programs in certain municipalities.
Mr Mofokeng stated that one of the reasons why municipalities are not complying deals with placements. Some municipalities are also not complying because there is bargaining taking place in the workplace.
Mr Shiceka questioned the progress made on Local Economic Development (LED) training.
Mr Mofokeng stated that LED training had already begun, and that the qualifications had already been implemented. Sixteen municipalities are currently participating in the program.
Municipal Infrastructure Investment Unit Presentation
The Municipal Infrastructure Investment Unit (MIIU) presentation was made by Mr M Sigaba (DPLG Deputy Chief Financial Officer (CFO): Finance and Supply Chain Management) and Mr C Clerihew (DPLG Financial Consultant and Former CFO). Mr Sigaba stated that the MIIU closed down on 31 March 2006. The decision to close down the MIIU came in August 2005 and immediately thereafter it had to find a strategy to exit the arena of Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) support. When operations came to an end, there were at least 40 active projects. However strategies were put in place to help wind up the various projects. Mr Sigaba assured Members that the projects were not executed haphazardly as there were systems already in place to fill the gaps left by the MIIU.
Mr Clerihew stated that the department did not take over the functions of the MIIU, as the board still existed. The department however did take over the administration of the MIIU, which is undertaken by a section of the Southern African Development Bank (SADB). There were various processes undertaken by the MIIU after 31 March, such as the presentation and the auditing of the annual report, and forming agreements with the SADB in order to work together with the MIIU board.
Mr Shiceka asked what the board did at the moment.
Mr Clerihew stated that according to the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA), there has to be an accounting authority in any public entity. Therefore the board acts as the accounting authority.
The meeting was adjourned.
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