Parliament, Wednesday, 28 October 2019 – Gauteng's permanent delegates to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) have urged the council of Emfuleni Local Municipality to depoliticise challenges facing the municipality and focus on ensuring that the municipality is functional.
The delegation is of the view that the political instability within the municipality has created a platform upon which malfeasance has occurred, leading to lack of service delivery to the people. While it is commendable that the municipality has requested that the Gauteng Provincial Department of CoGTA should arrange a workshop for the office of the Executive Mayor, the Chief Whip of Council, and the Speaker of Council on their different powers and functions, the delegation has emphasised that service delivery to the people should be central to the work of these offices.
The delegation has urged the Department of CoGTA to urgently heed the call and arrange the workshop to remedy the blurring of the lines and the tendency to encroach on each other’s delegated functions, as this has the potential to collapse governance if not responded to delicately with precision
The delegation is also concerned that despite intervention by the provincial government, the council has not as yet acted on the recommendations made. “This non-action by council undermines the spirit of section 154 of the Constitution, as well as the spirit envisioned in the Inter-Governmental Relations Framework Act,” said Ambassador Mohammed Dangor, the Provincial Whip and leader of the delegation.
In line with this, the delegation has called for an urgent review of the Supply Chain Management’s delegation of authority, action on the advice to rescind the resolution to centralise Supply Chain Management, and the termination of irregular contracts.
Regarding infrastructure challenges facing the municipality, the committee is concerned about the funding gap between the what is required and available to maintain and upgrade infrastructure within the municipality. It is unacceptable that Emfuleni Local Municipality has planned only R24 million for maintenance and new infrastructure development while the town has a R5 billion in road and storm water backlogs. Furthermore, the R1.6 billion that is required to address the urgent maintenance of tarred roads is not available, something which will lead to further deterioration of the roads.
“The state of the town’s road infrastructure is appalling and will have a direct impact on the ability of the municipality to attract the much-needed investment opportunities that are important for the development of the town and its people. The town’s unemployment rate can only be reduced when the town is a hype of activity, which is hampered by the poor state of the roads.
It is also concerning that the municipality is facing debilitating shortages in compactor trucks, leading to a high rate of illegal dumps due to unreliable waste pick-up schedule. The delegation has called for an action plan to deal with the gap in capacity of waste pick-up trucks to ease the challenge of waste disposal.
In relation to community unrests, the committee has urged the municipality to revive the petition system to enable the community to participate in the issues of the municipality. The fact that the municipality is not adhering to the petitions policy as adopted by council is worrisome. The delegation was informed that in the past six months, they have had 14 protests to the municipality, and in the main informed by electrical outages in the areas supplied by Eskom on new electrifications project, human settlement issues including housing backlogs, flat rate issues and marches against crime and corruption. The revitalisation of the petitions system will alleviate some of the protests.
TSHWANE METROPOLITAN MUNICIPALITY
The delegation has raised serious misgivings about the delays in relocating the Mamelodi flood victims, 10 months after the floods. The delegation is concerned that with the approaching rainy season, the completion of the relocation is even more urgent. “This is a humanitarian issue and should have been handled with urgency. We cannot condone endless postponements in relation to relocating the people affected by the floods,” Ambassador Dangor emphasised.
The delegation said it will await the finalisation of litigation in relation to the dissolution of the council of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality and will visit the municipality to ensure that service delivery is strengthened.
Regarding the Hammanskraal water challenges, the delegation appreciated information that the first phase of the Rooiwal Waste Water Treatment augmentation project is underway, the delegation is concerned that the water quality challenges remain. The delegation has emphasised the urgency needed to address the waster challenges in the area and the general upgrade and development of new infrastructure to deal with increasing migration into the city year-on-year.
The delegation has welcomed the process of employee verification that revealed 630 ghost employees, and a further 12 deceased employees who continued to earn a salary. The delegation has called for the conclusion of the data analytics and digital auditing of the City’s employee master file to ensure that the system is cleaned up. Furthermore, the delegation has called for consequence management against those that are found to have wrongly benefitted from the creation of these ghost workers.
The delegation has resolved to prioritise the two municipalities and to propose that the National Council of Provinces, together with the provincial legislature, visit the two municipality in an effort to finding lasting solutions to existing challenges.
ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE GAUTENG PROVINCIAL WHIP, AMBASSADOR MOHAMMED DANGOR
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