Communications Minister Faith Muthambi giving a keynote address at the BMF’s Women of Excellence Gala Dinner as part of Women’s Month commemoration held at Protea Hotel in Limpopo. 23/08/2014 Kopano Tlape
Communications Minister Faith Muthambi giving a keynote address at the BMF’s Women of Excellence Gala Dinner as part of Women’s Month commemoration held at Protea Hotel in Limpopo. 23/08/2014 Kopano Tlape

Concern over delays to Bill meant to fix broken municipalities

By Mayibongwe Maqhina Time of article published Aug 4, 2021

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MAYIBONGWE MAQHINA

THE chairperson of a parliamentary committee has expressed concern with the delays to introduce a Bill that will deal with problems found in municipalities placed under administration.

The concern comes after the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) promised the National Council of Provinces and the National Assembly of plans to introduce the Intergovernmental, Monitoring, Support and Intervention Bill.

This year, Deputy Cogta Minister Obed Bapela even told the question and answer session in Parliament that the proposed bill would provide regulations for the implementation of the Section 139 and targeted support to municipalities.

But, Cogta portfolio committee chairperson Faith Muthambi said on Wednesday they were disappointed by the delay to table and process the bill in the wake of a Cabinet decision to intervene in 64 dysfunctional municipalities.

“There have been successive promises about the tabling of this Bill since the formation of this committee. We are now mid-term and there has been no tangible movement on the bill, which has been sold as a solution to many challenges that impede successful implementation of interventions,” Muthambi said.

She made the statement after the committee met on Tuesday to engage on the state of governance in the North West and the impact of placing municipalities under administration through Section 100 of the Constitution.

Muthambi said the committee noted the Cabinet’s decision to intervene in dysfunctional municipalities across the country but emphasised the need to do things differently as the experience of intervention had not always been positive.

“Of major importance is the availability of dedicated technical support that will be essential in providing the necessary know-how to stabilise the municipalities.

“Furthermore, there must be a detailed plan on how green shoots of the interventions are sustained within those municipalities.”

Muthambi also said there should be a clear and detailed plan on a process following the dissolution of a municipal council, especially in the light of the Moseneke inquiry report that recommended a postponement of local government elections.

She said dissolution of councils without a clear plan would lead to an accountability vacuum.

Section 139 interventions should a last resort and early warning systems should be in place, together with rapid response teams, Muthambi said.

“While the constitutional prescripts of interventions are necessary, early warning systems and rapid response teams will ensure that we arrest the challenges of governance, service delivery lapses and functionality of municipalities.”

Political Bureau

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