Parliament, Thursday 10 September 2020 – National Council of Provinces (NCOP) Chief Whip Mr. Seiso Mohai has called for dysfunctional municipalities to be capacitated to avoid having to put them under administration through Section 139 of the Constitution.

Mr. Mohai was speaking on the last day of the virtual interactive NCOP Local Government Week (#LGW2020) whose aim was to, amongst others, develop a shared understanding and perspective of the broad challenges facing local government.

“Although we welcome government interventions to place some dysfunctional municipalities under administration through Section 139, as the NCOP our view is that municipalities should be capacitated to avoid these sorts of interventions. Generally, it is communities that suffer the most when municipalities are dysfunctional,” said Mr. Mohai adding that local government is a critical sphere of government that is located at the coal face of service delivery and community participation.

Today’s session 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.

Closing today’s #LGW2020 programme NCOP Chairperson Mr. 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 Councillor Nkadimeng, to assist us with regard to implementation. ‘The steering committee’ will finalise this matter soon,” said Chairperson Masondo.

He 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,” said Mr. Masondo.

This four-day first-ever interactive Virtual #LGW2020 session was attended by the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Dr. Nkosazana Zuma, her Deputy Mr. Parks Tau, the Deputy Minister of Finance Dr. David Masondo, SALGA President Councillor Thembi Nkadimeng, MECs, Member of the Provincial Legislatures, Executive Mayors, Councillors and experts in the field of local governments to mention but a few.

At 10 am tomorrow the NCOP will wrap-up its programme for the week by holding a virtual plenary sitting where a debate on 2020 Local Government Week will be held.

Enquiries: Moloto Mothapo – 082 370 6930