ATC100504: Report on Consideration of the 2007/08 Report of the Western Cape Municipalities’ Performance
REPORT OF THE SELECT COMMITTEE ON CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS ON CONSIDERATION OF THE 2007/08 REPORT OF THE WESTERN CAPE MUNICIPALITIES’ PERFORMANCE: DATED 04th APRIL 2010
1. Background and Overview
1.1 The Select Committee on Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs having considered the directive of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) to consider and report on the 2007/08 Report of Western Cape Municipalities Performance tabled by the MEC for Local Government and Housing in terms of the requirements of the Local Government Municipal Systems Act (Act 32 of 2000), reports as follows:
1.2 Municipalities are required to produce annual performance reports in terms of section 46 of the Local Government Municipal Systems Act. Based on these reports, the MEC responsible for local government has to compile a consolidated report on the performance of municipalities in the province and submit to the NCOP in terms of section 47 of the Act. This report provides an analysis of the municipal performance in the Western Cape Province and also makes recommendations for corrective measures to be undertaken in that regard.
1.3 In terms of NCOP rule 101, the Office of the Chairperson of the NCOP referred the 2007/08 Report of Western Cape Municipalities’ Performance to the Select Committee on Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs for consideration and report.
2.1 On the 20th August 2009, the Western Cape MEC for Local Government and Housing tabled a report to the Office of the Chairperson of the NCOP on the Performance of Municipalities in the Western Cape for the 2007/08 financial year, in terms of section 47 of the Local Government Municipal Systems Act. Subsequent to the tabling, the report of performance of municipalities was referred to the Select Committee on Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs for consideration and report in accordance with Rule 101. In compliance with the Council referral, the Select Committee had a briefing meeting on the 19th February 2010 with the Western Cape Department of Local Government and Housing to consider the referred report by the NCOP.
3. Presentation on 2006/07 Western Municipality Performance Report
3.1 Mr C Mitchell and Mr L Jacobs, the officials of the Department of Local Government and Housing presented the Western Cape 2007/08 Municipalities Performance Report to the Committee. The presentation focused on the key five performance areas of local government such as Municipal Transformation; Basic Service Delivery; Local Economic Development; Municipal Financial Viability and Management as well as Good Governance and Public Participation.
4. Municipal Transformation and Organisational Development
4.1 The major municipal transformation and organisational development challenges presented to the Committee related to the high vacancy rate in financial and technical posts, as well as employment of female employees in Section 57 management positions.
4.2 The 2007/08 Auditor–General reports and information submitted indicated that most municipalities in the Province has implemented or were in the process of implementing their Performance Management Systems (PMS).
5. Basic Service Delivery
5.1 The critical basic service delivery challenges reported to the Committee related to the escalating costs of service provision and infrastructure development and maintenance, costs of backlog eradication, reliance on capital grants fund capital expenditure as well as considerable shortage of funds for maintenance, mainly for roads, storm water drainage and sewerage.
5.2 Despite the major challenges reported, some of the significant improvements presented related to improved capital spending from 66, 7% in 2005/06 to 76, 2% in 2007/08. The main reason cited for non- spending of capital budget by the municipalities was the lack of capacity and technical skills in the Engineering/Technical Departments. Furthermore, the Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) spending declined from 100% to 84% in the reported period.
6. Local Economic Development (LED)
6.1 The Department reported that the unavailability of the majority of LED plans have hampered the analysis on the status of the municipalities. Despite the unavailability of the required information, all municipalities were reported to have approved LED plans to inform their 2007/08 Integrated Development Plans (IDPs), and without exception, these plans were deemed to be the result of a transparent formulation process.
6.2 The implementation of the LED in most of the municipalities was reported to be limited due to a
shortfall in available funding, co-operation between stakeholders; low economic development potential
7. Municipal Financial Viability and Management
7.1 The Department reported that the average performance for the past three financial years against revenue and expenditure operational budgets stood at 99,3% and 96,6% respectively, of which salary bills formed the majority at around 30%. Overall, performance against conditional grants received decreased from 73% in 2006/07 to 66% in 2007/08 financial year, and most of the municipalities relied heavily on conditional grants such as MIG.
7.2 Some of the improvement reported related to the huge progress in respect of unqualified reports from 11 to 23 from the 2006/07 to the 2007/08 financial year. The key findings that were indicated the most by the Auditor-General, were non-compliance with laws and regulations and internal control/internal audit weaknesses.
8. Good Governance and Public Participation
8.1. The Department reported that during the 2007/08 financial year, 98% of Municipal Councils and Executive/Mayoral Committees achieved the requisite quorums for meetings. That most municipalities adopted codes of conduct for Council and staff. However, eleven municipalities reported councillor and staff arrears, and that mechanisms were being put in place to resolve these arrears.
8.2 Considerable progress has been achieved in establishing ward committees, despite numerous challenges confronting municipalities and ward committees. Furthermore, there has been a general improvement (97%) in the development of Anti-Corruption Strategies and Plans across municipalities in the Province.
8.3 However, high level of non-compliance were observed in matters of good governance according to the Auditor-General reports – 31% non-compliance with regards to operation of audit committees; 45% non-compliance with regards to the fulfilment of audit committee responsibilities; 69% non-compliance with regards to the fulfilment of internal audit responsibilities; 47% non-compliance with regards to the implementation of previous external audit recommendations; etc.
9. Committee Observations and Opinion
9.1 The Committee observed that the unavailability or incomplete information supplied by municipalities to the Department, created an incorrect or distorted picture of service delivery in the Province. The Committee is of the opinion that political instability as a result of coalitions has hampered service delivery in the Western Cape. Furthermore, the Committee observed that no municipality was under administration during the period under review, although Kannaland pose a challenge to the Province.
10.1 Having deliberated on the 2007/08 Report of the Western Cape Municipalities Performance, the Select Committee on Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs recommends as follows:
10.1.1 The NCOP should endorse the 2007/08 Report of the Western Cape Municipalities Performance.
10.1.2 The Western Cape Department of Local Government and Housing should assist the municipalities in the Province to improve their spending capacity on capital budgets and MIG.
10.1.3 The Western Cape Department of Local Government and Housing should assist municipalities in the Province to improve critical skills shortages and the filling of vacant positions.
10.1.4 The quality of data compilation with regard to service delivery in the Province should be improved by the Western Cape Department of Local Government and Housing.
10.1.5 The Western Cape Department of Local Government and Housing should provide a comprehensive report on the allegations that the City of Cape Town has violated residents' rights by not building walls around toilets in the Makhaza section of Khayelitsha.
10.1.6 The Western Cape MEC for Local Government and Housing should table quarterly progress reports to the NCOP in respect to municipal performance in the Province.
Report to be considered.
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