Thursday, 06 August 2020

Cape Town: The Portfolio Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) has resolved to call all municipalities and provincial governments to appear before the committee in order to deal decisively with corruption and mismanagement of municipalities.

Committee chairperson Faith Muthambi said the committee will start with municipalities whose executive leaders currently serve on the national leadership of the South African Local Government Association (SALGA).

Muthambi emphasised that committee members, including provincial MECs and senior managers of the national Department of COGTA, must be present when the municipalities appear before the committee.

“We will start with the national leadership of SALGA, who also serve as mayors of various municipalities. It is clear that some executive members of SALGA have not complied with legislative requirements to submit financial and other reports on behalf of their municipalities,” Muthambi said on Wednesday.

Muthambi bemoaned the fact that municipalities led by mayors and senior executives, who are members of SALGA, fail to comply with basic finance and governance legislation.

“This contradiction must be exposed,” she said.

Muthambi has also requested the Department of COGTA to provide the committee with a list of dysfunctional municipalities.

She said the municipalities will be prioritised and called to appear before the committee.

Oversight visits to municipalities

Meanwhile, Muthambi said the committee will seek permission from the House chairperson to be allowed to continue with its oversight work during the current constituency period.

She said the committee will be divided into two groups to conduct physical and virtual oversight visits to the provinces.

“We need to strengthen monitoring, evaluation and oversight over all the municipalities in the country and to restore public confidence in municipalities. The committee will not allow the rot to continue or the status quo to worsen under its watch,” the chairperson warned.

Muthambi said the recent Auditor-General report exposed the state of municipalities. She warned that any departmental official found lying to the committee will be charged and possibly imprisoned.

“The committee believes that individuals reporting to us must do so with due respect for Parliament, as any report submitted to the committee is a report which is submitted directly to Parliament,” she said.

The committee will call the Ministers and MECs to account on the interventions already undertaken in the provinces and municipalities placed under administration.