ATC130910: Report of the Select Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs On The Oversight visit to Umvoti Local Municipality – dated 10 September 2013

NCOP Economic and Business Development


1. Background

1.1 On the 17 th July 2013, the MEC of KwaZulu-Natal Province tabled a notice of intervention to the Office of the Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), in terms of section 139(1)(b) of the Constitution at Umvoti Local Municipality.

1.2 Subsequent to the tabling, the Chairperson of the NCOP referred the notice of intervention in terms of Rule 101, to the Select Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, for consideration and reporting. Later on the 15 th August 2013, the Committee conducted an oversight visit to the Umvoti Local Municipality.

2. Purpose and Objectives of the Oversight Visit

2.1 The purpose and objectives of conducting the oversight visit was to consult and interact with the internal and external stakeholders of the Municipality, in order to solicit their opinion with regard to the intervention in the Municipality in terms of section 139(1)(b) of the Constitution.

3. Composition of the Delegation

3.1 The delegation of the Committee was composed of the following Members of Parliament and Officials: Hon MH Mokgobi, Limpopo (ANC); Hon AG Matila, Gauteng (ANC); Hon LPM Nzimande, KwaZulu-Natal (ANC); Hon B Nesi, Eastern Cape (ANC); Hon TMH Mofokeng, Free State (ANC); Hon MV Manzini, Mpumalanga (DA); Hon J Bekker, Western Cape (DA); Hon MW Makhubela, Limpopo (COPE); Hon JJ Gunda, Northern Cape (ID); Hon. MMM. Zulu, KwaZulu-Natal (IFP); Mr NA Mfuku, Content Adviser (Committee Section); Mr MT Manele, Committee Secretary (Committee Section); Mr BM Mahlangeni, Committee Researcher (Research Unit); Mr MC Mbebe, Procedural Officer (NCOP) and Mr N Mangweni, Administration Assistant (Committee Section).

4. General Overview of Oversight Visit to Umvoti Local Municipality

4.1 On the 15 th August 2013, the delegation of the Select Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs had interaction and consultative meeting with the internal and external stakeholders of the Municipality. The stakeholders included the Mayor, Speaker, Chief Whip, the Administrator and representatives of the Business Sector, Organised Labour and Ward Committee members.

5. Intervention at Umvoti Local Municipality in Terms of Section 139(1)(b) of the 1996 Constitution

5.1 On the 17 th July 2013, the Provincial Executive Council (PEC) of the Province of KwaZulu-Natal resolved to intervene in terms of section 139(1)(b) of the Constitution in Umvoti Local Municipality, as a result of political infighting which commenced since November 2012. The political tensions in the Municipality, led to the various staging of walk-outs from Council meetings and motions for removal of offices-bearers and structures submitted and passed by the Council.

5.2 In the Municipality, there was a culture of distrust and disharmony, which resulted in the negative impact on the Council’s obligation to provide democratic and accountable government.

5.3 There were irregular elections of the new Executive Committee members, which left the Municipality with one office bearer, the Speaker, whose motion of removal was later submitted on the 05 th July 2013. As a result, the Municipality was put under provincial administration, for the Administrator to ensure adherence to section 51 of the Local Government: Municipal System Act (Act No. 32 of 2000), and restore the focus on service delivery, improve financial systems, enhance revenue collection, improve institutional performance and meeting of constitutional objects of local government.

6. Interim Findings of the Administrator

6.1 The Administrator has identified areas of instability and disfunctionality in the Municipality, due to the lack of clarity on governance structures and office bearers. There was possible abuse of municipal resources by those perceived to be office bearers. Equally, there was political interference in the administration and security threats to staff and councillors. There also potential service delivery protests in the Municipality, and non-compliance with statutory obligations and section 56 regulations in filling positions.

6.2 There was also a possible existence of ghosts’ employees and a high level of senior management vacancies. With regard to good governance and public participation, there was a political party-aligned public participation structures and lack of initiatives on local economic development.

7. Municipal Turn-Around Strategy and Recovery Plan

7.1 In order to turn around the Municipality, the Administrator tabled to the delegation of the Committee the Municipal Turn-around Strategy and a Recovery Plan. The Municipal Recovery Plan focused on issues related to governance; institutional development; revenue collection; service delivery; operation clean audit and local economic development.

8. Recovery Plan on Governance

8 .1 The Recovery Plan on Governance focused on the following issues:

· Developing, implementing and updating of the Standing Rules and Orders.

· Developing and implementing the terms of reference for all governance, statutory and administrative structures.

· Compiling and implementing the roles and responsibilities for governance structures, office bearers, Municipal Manager and other senior managers.

· Compiling and implementing the delegation of authority framework.

· Conducting workshops and implementing the code of conduct and ethics for councillors and staff.

· Reviewing the Ward Committee Policy Framework and structures.

9. Institutional Development

9.1 In terms of institutional development, the Administrator intends to review and align all staff establishment, with priorities of the Integrated Development Plan (IDP). Equally, ensuring there is effective communication with the municipal personnel. The Administrator will make certain that disciplinary matters are finalized, and the commissioning and implementation of the forensic investigations, including recovery measures where necessary. In addition, there will be mechanisms developed with regard to the declaration of interests.

9.2 The intervention will ensure the filling of critical vacant posts with adequately qualified and experienced personnel. A work-study will be conducted, with the development of staff personal development plans, and re-deployment where necessary.

10. Revenue Collection

10.1 In respect to revenue collection, the valuation roll will be verified and finalized, and other alternative income streams will be explored. Plans are in place with regard to reviewing and devising effective and efficient monthly financial reporting systems for debt management, wasteful, fruitless and irregular expenditure. This also involves the reviewing of the management of conditional grants mechanisms, as well as ensuring the implementation of free basic service delivery policy framework. Equally, the supply chain management systems will be enhanced.

11. Basic Service Delivery

11.1 In respect to the delivery of basic services, the following is envisaged:

· Compiling and implementing the Infrastructure Maintenance Plan.

· Ensuring the smooth implementation of planned capital projects.

· Reviewing blocked projects and ensuring the implementation of new projects.

· Reviewing of non-performing projects and contracts.

· Ensuring the filling of non-technical positions with qualified personnel.

· Providing special attention to the demands of township residents and farm dwellers.

· Establishing landfill site and introducing waste recycling opportunities.

· Implementing the rural roads rehabilitation project.

· Eradicating the backlogs on electricity access and the introduction of alternative source of energy.

12. Clean Audit and Governance

12.1 The Administrator aims to ensure compliance with the submission of Annual Financial Statements and draft Annual Reports to the Office of Auditor–General by the 31 st of August 2013. This will also involve the monthly monitoring and updating of GRAP asset register, and the preparation and submission of credible section 71 monthly reports.

12.2 Furthermore, the Administrator plans to ensure that the communication from Auditor- General is timeously attended to, and queries are timeously resolved. This will necessitate that councillors and staff be appraised of operation clean audit and governance.

13. Local Economic Development (LED)

12.1 LED as a key performance area is used with the aim of ensuring vibrant local economy, in order to provide employment for residents and generates a revenue stream for the Municipality. The Administrator aims to ensure the finalization and adoption of the LED Strategy.

13..2 The Strategy involves the formation of cooperatives and market access, as well as ensuring that the Municipality benefits from initiatives like the small town rehabilitation and corridor development. The Municipality will participate in the provincial initiatives of establishing development agencies.

14. Opinion of Organised Labour on Intervention at Umvoti Local Municipality

14.1 The representative of South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU) indicated that the Union welcomed and supported the decision of the Provincial Executive to place the Municipality under section 139(1)(b) of the Constitution. The Union further welcomed the appointment of the Administrator, and the efforts made to develop the Turn-around Strategy and the Recovery Plan. The Union further expressed its willingness and commitment to collaborate with the Administrator in implementing the Municipal Recovery Plan.


15.1 The representatives of the Ward Committee Members from (Wards 4-10), generally welcomed the intervention of the Provincial Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs at the Municipality. The representative of Ward 4 raised concerns about the lack of office for Ward Committee members, non-functionality of ward meetings and lack of training on roles and responsibilities of councillors and office bearers.

14.2 The representative of Ward 5 raised concerns with regard to the slow process of completing roads construction and lack of houses, electricity and local economic development.

15. General Observations and Committee Opinion

15.1 The Committee has observed that the decision of the Provincial Executive to intervene in Umvoti Local Municipality in terms of Section 139(1)(b) of the 1996 Constitution has brought administrative stability, and progress in respect of the implementation of Municipal Recovery Plan.

15.2 The Committee has noted that the Municipal Recovery Plan focuses on governance; service delivery; institutional development; revenue collection; clean audit and local economic development which are in line with local government strategic objectives.

15.3 Although progress has been made in developing the Municipal Recovery Plan, the Committee has further noted that the Plan lacked measurable objectives and time frames, which are critical tools for monitoring and evaluating progress made in respect of the intervention.

15.4 The Committee is of the opinion that the successful implementation of the Plan will depend on the cooperation, cohesion, political will and active involvement of both the internal and external stakeholders of the Municipality.

15.5 Furthermore, the Committee is of the opinion that in order to deal with the problems related to municipal political conflict, political interference in administration and political approach to public participation structure, a multi-party cooperation approach would be needed.

16. Committee Recommendations

16.1 Having conducted an oversight visit to Umvoti Local Municipality in terms of section 139(1)(b) of the Constitution, the Committee recommends to the House as follows:

16.1.1 That the House approves the intervention in Umvoti Local Municipality in terms of section 139(1)(b) of the 1996 Constitution, for a period of six months.

16.1.2 That the Administrator, in collaboration with the Hawks should fast track the process of the forensic investigation.

16.1.3 That the MEC for Local Government and Traditional Affairs in KwaZulu-Natal Province should consider the option of coordinating a Multi-Party Indaba, in order to deal with the instability caused as a result of the removal of the office bearers and multi-party political conflicts affecting the Municipality to perform its legislative functions.

16.1.4 That the Ward Councillors should play an active role in mobilizing the community to pay for the rates and services rendered to them by the Municipality.

Report to be considered.


No related documents