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SALGA Western Cape Succesfully Hosted Its 2018 Provincial Members Assembly

 

 


Posted: 27 August 2018



The Western SALGA Provincial Members Assembly Conference was held on the 20 – 21 August 2018, at Still Bay Community Hall, in Stillbaai, in order to:

  • Adopt the provincial members’ programme of action, business plan and budget in respect of the ensuing year;
  • Consider reports from the working groups and oversight bodies; and
  • Deal with any other issues emanating from the provisions applicable to provincial members in this Constitution.
  • Background of the PMA and Objectives
The Provincial Members’ Assembly (PMA) is a constitutional meeting of all municipalities which is convened in between Provincial Conferences. In terms of Article 23.1 of the SALGA constitution, Western Cape as a provincial member shall, at least once a year, hold a meeting of members to be known and described in the notice calling such a meeting the Provincial Members Assembly.
The Provincial Members’ Assembly amongst others considers the following:

  • Adoption of SALGA’s programme of action, business plan and the budget of SALGA as approved by the PEC;
  • Reflect on reports from the provincial working groups and oversight bodies; and
  • Deal with any other issues emanating from the provisions of SALGA Constitution applicable to provincial members. 

Local government continues to be plagued by both service delivery and developmental challenges which call for Organised Local Government to develop strategies that are aimed at supporting member municipalities to curb these challenges. The PMA therefore provides a platform for SALGA to address the key policy and legislative impediments, including the processes necessary for it to achieve its mandate of representing, supporting and advocating for its members.
In addition, the PMA will also serve as platform for topical and strategic issues which may not have received adequate debate in other SALGA forums such as Working Groups.

In his opening address, the Provincial Chairperson Ald Anton Coetsee stressed that “SALGA has a clear strategic role to play in representing the interests of local government within the system of government as a whole and supporting its members to fulfil their developmental obligations.”
SALGA National Executive Member, Cllr Nombulelo Hermans provided the organisational position on the emerging issues affecting and confronting Local Government at large scale.

As part of her presentation, Cllr Hermans reported on the following:

  • Composition of the SALGA NEC
  • SALGA Deployment to Provinces & NCOP
  • Outcomes of SALGA Energy Summit
  • Outcomes of NCOP Local Government Week
  • Impasse between Municipalities & ESKOM
  • Councillor Welfare & Support
  • Update on Salary and Wage Negotiations
  • Appointment of Senior Managers & Competency Assessments
  • Update on Capacity Building
  • Update on Registrar of Labour Relations

SALGA Chief Executive Officer ((CEO), Xolile George reported on the 2017/2018 SALGA Annual Report, according to the CEO “Support was provided to 43 municipalities on MASP during the
2017/18 financial year. Of the 43 municipalities supported 18 were in the red zone. 7 municipalities supported progressed in terms of their audit outcomes. The 7 municipalities that progressed were:

  • Inxuba Yethemba (EC),
  • Sundays River Valley (EC),
  • Emalahleni (MP),
  • Ga-Segonyane (NC),
  • Mafikeng (NW),
  • Mpofna (KZN), and
  • Prince Albert (WC).

On internal audit matters, (22) twenty two municipalities received support while (11) municipalities received support on Risk Management. Overall the results showed a slight regression. Amalgamated municipalities fared poorly with majority of them getting adverse or disclaimer opinions MSCOA remains a major threat of regression to future audit outcomes.”

Following the reports was the facilitated panel debate sessions, which looked at the following topics:

  • Study on Demarcation Process and its implications on Good Governance and Financial Sustainability on Local Government
  • Drought and Climate Resilience
  • From Infrastructure to Digitalisation
  • Land Invasions, Evictions and Community/Service Delivery Protests
  • Update Councillor Welfare and Support
  • Association of Municipal Public Accounts

The Western Cape SALGA Provincial Members Assembly (PMA) Conference further committed themselves to reaffirm their commitment to realising their developmental local government mandate as set out in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa and commit to the objectives of the National Development Plan Vision 2030, Sustainable Development Goals, and African Union Agenda 2063.

They further commit themselves to the objectives and principles of the Back to Basics strategy. We hereby adopt this Declaration in the firm belief that it paves the way towards improved and accelerated service delivery.


RECOGNISING:

  • The critical role of municipalities in delivering basic services.
  • The imperative for intergovernmental planning and cooperation in order to enhance service delivery particularly with regard to land use planning, housing, water, sanitation, electricity and social services.
  • The role of the Municipal Demarcation Board in the boundary redetermination process, and the need for municipalities to remain viable, accessible and within proximity. Enhancing local democracy
  • The need for municipalities to be financially and organisationally capacitated in order to accelerate service delivery
  • The increased encroachment by other spheres of government on the geographic function and institutional integrity of local government
  • The effort of Local Government to address the drought experienced in the Province and the need for Government as a whole to work together to address the climate resilience.
  • The need for supporting and capacitating councillors to fulfil their role as representatives of the community;
  • The efforts made by organised local government to address the disparities in the remuneration and benefits of Councillors and other elected public representatives
  • The developments within the Municipal Councillors Pension Fund and the need to speedily address the challenges
  • The over regulation of legislation makes it very difficult for local government to drive innovation.
  • The challenges of provision of services on private land when it is occupied  and need to a collective approach to address the challenge
  • The plight of the homeless and landless that illegally occupy land is seen as land activism and should not be criminalized but the problem is the capacity of the State and should be addressed by the whole of the State
  • The illegal occupation is perceived to be organized, structured and part of a social movement that provide support to these actions but information and intelligence is not available to predict potential  illegal occupation of land or service delivery/community protests.
  • The availability of state land in municipal areas could go a long way to address the land issues but the other spheres of government and state owned enterprises is uncooperative 

SALGA therefore resolves to commit itself to:

  • Need to pursue the vertical allocation of the equitable share to ensure that increase service delivery, infrastructure expansion and dealing with the land issue.
  • Advocate for the development of an Act that will prevent government in general from doing business with companies owing municipalities and introduce a requirement for companies to produce a municipal debt clearance certificate before getting business/contracts.  
  • Investigate and support the development of initiatives that will assist municipalities to deal with and write off unrecoverable historic debt
  • Table the Uncollectable Debt Repeal Bill in Parliament in partnership with Public Works, National Treasury and COGTA
  • Ensure that the demarcation of municipal boundaries takes into account the viability of municipalities as well as issues of accessibility and proximity and that all spheres of government get involved in the demarcation process from the early stages.
  • Support the strengthening of the role of District Municipalities in line with Section 83 and 84 of the Municipal Structures Act.
  • Engage COGTA and National Treasury on the proper funding of District Municipalities through the RSC Replacement Fund and the extension of the Fuel Levy to Districts Municipalities
  • Advocate for the review of the two tier system of local government systems.
  • Ensure the speedy resolution of the issue of membership levies at political level.
  • Promote the prioritisation of climate change integration into municipal planning - through the IDP to address the impact of climate change.
  • Prioritise the safety of all councillors and advocate for the removal of the requirement for the threat analysis
  • Engage COGTA and the National Treasury to address the challenges relating to the upper limit notice of senior managers
  • COGTA to obtain a legal opinion to provide certainty on involvement of the role of the MEC;
  • The scope of the MSA amendments be extended to address other burning issues, including those relating to the appointment and conditions of employment of senior managers.
  • COGTA to engage NT in order to ensure a seamless amalgamation of the MFMA and MSA provisions for discipline.
  • Municipalities to strengthen partnerships and collaboration with the private sector to jointly address some of the challenges in the Municipal area such as stimulating the economy, creating employment and economic opportunities
  • Municipalities to explore the use of mega data to get understanding of trends in the Municipal area and develop system that can improve efficiency of certain municipal activities
  • Guidance be provided to Municipalities on driving and implementing innovation within the current legislative framework
  • Draft proposals on Urban Land Release and Acquisition be further discussed with members on the following areas:
  • Municipalities should have the right of first refusal on state-owned land disposal
  • Advocating for a less bureaucratic approach towards land identified for spatial transformation
  • Exploring the use of expropriation in the acquisition of land
  • Municipal urban land acquisition should lead to negotiated development outcomes
  • Capacity building should lead to efficiency in municipal land management and administration
  • Engagement with traditional authorities
  • Exploring the establishment of an urban land commission


 

 
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