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SALGA signs MoU with the Arbitration Foundation of South Africa (AFSA) at the 12th Municipal Managers Forum

Posted: 23 February 2018


A Memorandum of Understanding signing between SALGA and the Arbitration Foundation of South Africa (AFSA) tops the agenda of day two of the 12th Municipal Managers Forum.

The MoU between the organisations intends to provide a practical framework for the resolution of disputes, develop arbitration capacity in local government, and appointment of experts in the course of municipal arbitration proceedings.
SALGA's collaboration with the Arbitration Foundation of South Africa (AFSA) intends to support municipalities by: 

  • Developing an Alternative Dispute Resolution framework;
  • Formulating dispute resolution provision to be incorporated into municipal contract with service providers, or adopted by municipalities so that the framework processes can be effectively utilized by local government experts, practitioners, and stakeholders;
  • Developing arbitration capacity at municipal level; and 
  • Providing panels of adjudicators and experts who have the necessary qualifications, expertise, and independence available to perform their functions on an expedited basis.

The Forum continued with presentations from the Auditor General as well as an address by SALGA CEO, Xolile George. Representing Auditor General Kimi Mkwetu was Senior Technical Manager Mr Fhumulani Rabonda who spoke about Municipal Financial Viability and Sustainability.

Mr Rabonda stated that there is an “increase in irregular expenditure which is caused by continued Supply Chain Management processes.” Examples included uncompetitive and unfair procurement processes at 67% of municipalities as well as inadequate contract management of 33% of municipalities.

“It is evident that the root causes of the accountability failure are due to instability, lack of skills, politics and corruption,” said Mr Fhumulani Rabonda.

Reviewing the recruitment of Municipal Managers and how the transition is managed, SALGA CEO Xolile George stated that prior to 2016 when contracts of senior managers would expire due to the political term of office Municipal Managers would often leave with the institutional memory. This process resulted in “councils having to work harder to oversee the retention and/or recruitment efforts to close this vacuum.”

The recruitment of senior managers as well other support measures are now monitored by SALGA. “In this regard, only publicised advertisements for senior manager’s posts for the period March 2017 – February 2018 are being reported upon,” says Mr George.

However, municipalities have highlighted the following reasons for the delays in filling vacancies:

  • Non-finalisation of the appointment process due to internal complexities;
  • Re-advertisement emanating from council decision;
  • The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) MEC directive nullifying SALGA assessments as non-complaint to regulations;
  • Pending council resolution on appointments; and
  • Concurrence conundrum.

The above matters have resulted in ongoing engagements between SALGA and COGTA.

“To date, COGTA has requested SALGA Municipal Leadership Competency Assessment Centre (MLCAC) to participate in the panel of trained and accredited competency assessor’s appointment by the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs,” concluded SALGA CEO Xolile George.

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