Bill to give clout to Cogta minister over financial misconduct
The bill, along with some others, lapsed earlier this year at the end of the previous term of Parliament.
This week, the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) briefed the oversight committee on the draft bill.
Chairperson of Cogta portfolio committee Faith Muthambi said the amendments were welcomed because it meant that municipalities were going to be managed by capable and competent senior managers.
The main object of the bill is to grant the Cogta minister adequate regulatory powers in respect of municipal managers and managers.
It also addresses key elements of the local government turnaround strategy.
It says a municipal staff member dismissed for financial misconduct contemplated in the Municipal Finance Management Act, corruption or fraud, may not be re-employed for a period of 10 years.
Municipalities will also be required to maintain a record of disciplinary proceedings of staff members dismissed for misconduct. They will also have to forward it to the MEC for local government, who must forward it to the minister to keep and make available to municipalities as prescribed.
The bill also lists the requirements, skills and expertise municipal managers must have to perform the duties associated with the post.
“Due to the inherent vagueness of this provision, municipalities in many instances have appointed managers who are not capable and equipped to provide the necessary leadership and supervision to facilitate a culture of public service and accountability,” reads the summary of the bill.
The bill enables the Cogta minister to determine, by regulation or through guidelines, a minimum level of skills, expertise, competencies and qualifications for municipal managers. It is also provides for a vacant post of municipal manager to be advertised nationally to attract as wide as possible a pool of candidates.
Cogta will be empowered by the proposed legislation to investigate maladministration, fraud, corruption or any serious malpractice in a municipality, if the MEC fails to do so.