ATC201021: Report of the Portfolio Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs on the Petition Relating to an Objection by Residents Of Letsitele against Lack of Laws, By-Laws and Regulations Enforcement by Tzaneen Local Municipality, dated 21 October 2020
REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON COOPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS ON THE PETITION RELATING TO AN OBJECTION BY RESIDENTS OF LETSITELE AGAINST LACK OF LAWS, BY-LAWS AND REGULATIONS ENFORCEMENT BY TZANEEN LOCAL MUNICIPALITY, DATED 21 OCTOBER 2020
The Portfolio Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, having considered the petition from Ms D van der Walt (DA)calling on it to assist the residents of Letsitele to compel the Tzaneen Local Municipality to abide by all laws, by-laws and Regulations, and having been referred to the committee on 04 March 2020, reports as follows:
- On 04 March 2020, the Portfolio Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs received a petition from Ms Desiree van der Walt (DA), on behalf of her Letsitele constituency, calling on it to assist this community to compel the Tzaneen Local Municipality to abide by all laws, by-laws and Regulations. The Committee has a mandate to exercise oversight over the local sphere of government.
- In response to the call, the Committee requested and received a briefing from the Limpopo Department of Cooperative Government, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs, as well as the Greater Tzaneen Local Municipality, on Wednesday 24 June 2020 on the matter.
- Introduction of Petition by Ms D. van der Walt
Ms van der Walt introduced the petition as follows:
- The residents of Letsitele Town in Tzaneen had submitted complaints to the Greater Tzaneen Local Municipality pertaining to illegal car repair activities on the pavements in the residential and town areas, as well as the illegal roaming of cattle within the residential area of Letsitele town.
- Both infractions were in violation of prescribed laws and municipal by-laws, and in this way, the municipality was in breach of its responsibility to enforce the laws. It was also failing to implement environmental and other applicable zoning.
- The residents’ appeals to the municipality to address these matters were to no avail, and the submission of the petition to Parliament was the last resort.
- Response by the Limpopo Department of Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs
Responding on the Department’s behalf, the Chief Director responsible for cooperative government, Ms Angie Ramaipadi, submitted as follows:
- On the day before the petition was due for hearing by the Committee, the MEC, and the team established to investigate the issues raised in the petition, met with the municipality to share and discuss reports and plans to address the concerns of the petitioners.
- The Chief Director reiterated the Department’s legislative responsibilities in relation to supporting municipalities to fulfil their mandate, and affirmed the Department’s commitment to ensuring that Greater Tzaneen Local Municipality was not in breach of the constitutional injunctions on local government.
- Response by the Greater Tzaneen Local Municipality
In response to the petition, the Municipal Mayor, Mr Mangena and Municipal Manager Mr Matlala, submitted as follows:
- The municipality had an ‘open door policy’. It would have preferred that the petitioners exhaust the matter with the municipality, before approaching a Portfolio Committee of Parliament. The municipal had not seen the petition and heard about it for the first time upon invitation to the Portfolio Committee meeting on the matter.
- Acknowledging the problems highlighted in the petition, the municipality attributed these to the rise of the informal mechanic sector in response to the high unemployment rate, as well as the difficulty of striking a balance between regulating the sector and facilitating conditions for Small Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) to thrive.
- The matters raised in the petition were not new, and the municipality had responded and engaged with the petitioners’ complaints to the extent of writing warning letters to the offenders, as well as promulgating and gazetting environmental and keeping of animals by-laws.
- Additional interventions included the purchase and receipt of donated drip trays for the prevention of oil spillages; the identification of a site to relocate mechanical repair activities; the establishment of a pound for stray cattle; as well as strengthened monitoring of stray domestic animals.
- The municipality was also planning to engage the Magistrate’s Court in respect of determining the actual tariff in rand value, which the municipality could levy in relation to stray animals.
- COMMITTEE OBSERVATIONS
- The Committee agreed with the municipality thatthese matters did not warrant intervention at the Portfolio Committee level. The problem was that of a communication gap between the municipality and the petitioners, and needed to be resolved at that level.
- The Committee musthenceforth consider scrutinising petitions brought before it beforehand,to ensure that petitioners had exhausted all avenues before approaching the Committee. There must be close liaison with the Office of the Speaker in this regard.
- Within a month of the date of this report, the Greater Tzaneen Local Municipality must furnish the Committee with a progress report pertaining to the relocation of the mechanical repair activities to the new site, as well as a report on public participation in relation to the stray domestic animals by-law.
- The Limpopo COGSHTA must assist in ensuring that the municipality complies with the above recommendation.
Report to be considered
No related documents