WHILE welcoming government interventions to place some dysfunctional municipalities under administration through Section 139, the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) has called for the capacitation of municipalities to avoid interventions.
“Generally, it is communities that suffer the most when municipalities are dysfunctional. Local government is a critical sphere of government that is located at the coal face of service delivery and community participation,” NCOP Chief Whip Seiso Mohai said.
Mohai was speaking on the last day of the virtual interactive NCOP Local Government Week (LGW2020) whose aim is to develop a shared understanding and perspective of the broad challenges facing local government, among other things.
The session on Thursday reflected on Section 139 interventions, with the South African Local Government Association, mayors and panelists from various academic institutions making inputs on the state of financial management of municipalities and the impact of municipal boundary re-determination on municipal governance.
NCOP Chairperson Amos Masondo thanked all the participants for “deepening the debate on how to ensure capable and financially sound municipalities”, in line with the theme of this year’s session.
“What remains now is to set up ‘a processing team’, as recommended by the President of SALGA Thembi Nkadimeng, to assist us with regard to implementation. The steering committee will finalise this matter soon,” Masondo said.
Masondo welcomed the interventions by National Treasury, through the Municipal Finance Improvement Programme to assist local government in improving its spending on conditional grants, and to assist municipalities to build sound revenue management systems.
“There has been general concern raised about the political interference in administrative matters which allegedly strains the relations between key political and administrative officials. A point has been made quite clearly that we must continue to interrogate the implementation of Section 139 interventions,” Masondo said.
The four-day first ever interactive Virtual LGW2020 session started on Tuesday and was attended by, amongst others, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Dr Nkosazana Zuma and her Deputy Parks Tau, Deputy Minister of Finance Dr David Masondo, SALGA President Thembi Nkadimeng, MECs, Member of the Provincial Legislatures, executive mayors, councillors and experts in the field of local governments.
The NCOP will today wrap-up its programme for the week by holding a virtual plenary sitting where a debate on 2020 Local Government Week is underway.