ATC150901: Report of the Select Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs on the Notice of Intervention issued in terms of Section 139(1)(B) of the Constitution, (1996), in Makana Local Municipality, Dated 1st September 2015
REPORT OF THE SELECT COMMITTEE ON COOPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS ON THE NOTICE OF INTERVENTION ISSUED IN TERMS OF SECTION 139(1)(b) OF THE CONSTITUTION, (1996), IN MAKANA LOCAL MUNICIPALITY, DATED 1ST SEPTEMBER 2015
1.1 On the 17 March 2015, the Eastern Cape Department of Local Government Traditional Affairs tabled to the Office of the Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), a Notice of intervention in terms of section 139(1)(b) of the Constitution at Makana Local Municipality.
1.2 Subsequent to the tabling, the Chairperson of the NCOP referred the notice of intervention in terms of Rule 101 of the NCOP, to the Select Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, for consideration and report.
- Departmental Briefing
2.1 On the 1st September 2015, the Select Committee had a briefing with the Eastern Cape Provincial Department of Local Government and Traditional Affairs. The purpose of having a briefing session was to accord the Department an opportunity to brief the Members of the Select Committee on the constitutional, procedural and substantive matters related to the intervention in the Municipality, in terms of section 139(1)(b) of the Constitution.
- Select Committee Observations and Opinion
3.1 It was observed that the MEC for Local Government and Traditional Affairs has regularized the appropriate intervention and complied in accordance with all the legislative prescripts, as recommended by the NCOP.
3.2 Compliance with the current financial management system is challenge in the Municipality, and for the past four years the Municipality has annually received disclaimer audit opinions. This was exacerbated by critical skills shortages, especially at management level.
3.3 Our firm view as the Select Committee is that poor financial management and lack of controls and accountability systems impacts negatively on service delivery for communities, from lack of provision of water and other services, to inadequate funds for technical equipment for servicing basic infrastructure.
3.4 According to the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, everyone has a right to clean and safe drinking water and an appropriate and dignified sanitation service. In view of the challenges facing water challenges in Makana, the key challenge hinge on how best the Municipality can leverage available resources to ensure affordable and sustainable services. Therefore there is a need for strong technical and managerial skills to drive service planning and sustainable service delivery.
3.5 Equally, access to safe water and adequate sanitation is vital in reducing poverty, reducing diseases and saving lives. The social benefits that water services provide are well known, particularly those that relate to public health including reducing diseases and mortality from waterborne diseases.
3.6 There have been claims by organised labour that nepotism and favouritism resulted in irregular appointments and promotions in the Municipality. Cases have been cited where posts are filled without being advertised. The Select Committee wishes to point out that appropriate recruitment and selection processes should be consistently used. Section 66(3) of the System Act provides that no person may be employed in a municipality unless the post to which he or she is appointed, is provided for in the staff establishment of the municipality as approved by the council.
3.7 Public participation, which include ward committees and a variety of other measures are designed to foster open, transparent and consultative municipal government. During the initial intervention, it was observed that there are no sufficient public participation mechanisms, to ensure participation in a wide range of planning and decision-making processes in the Municipality.
4.1 Considering the challenges and the progress made in Makana Local Municipality, the Select Committee recommends as follows:
4.1.1 The NCOP approves the intervention in Makana Local Municipality in terms of section 139(1)(b) of the Constitution.
4.1.2 The Administrator should fast-track the process of appointing skilled personnel, in order to facilitate the transfer of skills and to ensure continuity and stability in the Municipality.
4.1.3 The Administrator should resuscitate and encourage public participation mechanisms in the municipal decision-making processes.
4.1.4 The Eastern Cape MEC for Local Government and Traditional Affairs should table quarterly progress reports to the NCOP and the Provincial Legislature on the status of the intervention in the Municipality, including the termination of intervention report.
Report to be considered.
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