Parliament, Saturday, 17 September 2022 – The Portfolio Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs today received briefings from the Sara Baartman District Municipality and Makana Local Municipality on the state of Makana Local Municipality. The engagement of the committee with Makana Local Municipality is a follow-up after the one the committee had with the municipality in June 2021 on the same issue of the state of the municipality.

The committee received a briefing yesterday from the Auditor General (AG), the National and Eastern Cape Departments of Cooperative Governance, Provincial Treasury, the South African Local Government Association and Municipal Infrastructure Support Agent, on their support to Makana Local Municipality. The committee heard from the AG that Makana Local Municipality received three disclaimers for three consecutive financial years, 2018/19, 2019/20 and 2020/21.

According to the AG, the municipality doesn’t submit documents that include financial statements indicating evidence on its financial administration at clearly stipulated times in the legislation. The AG told the committee that at the core of the problem at Makana Local Municipality is instability which is caused by the lack of leadership at both political and administrative levels and that there is no consequence management.

The committee told the Mayor and the Municipal Manager that it was unacceptable that, in spite of the municipality receiving disclaimers in three financial years, yet no official was held responsible for that. Members of the committee said it didn’t make sense for the municipality to experience water and sanitation and financial management challenges, yet it is implementing its financial recovery plan, as it is under section 139(5).

The committee also had an engagement with stakeholders. The stakeholders made meaningful proposals to the municipality some expressing their hope in the potential of the municipality. They argued that the municipality can regain its former glory and become the jewel of the Eastern Cape.

The Chairperson of the committee, Mr Fikile Xasa, told the stakeholders that the municipality heard all the contributions they made and the municipality must be afforded an opportunity to translate those progressive contributions into actions. “There may have been meetings of this nature before, but let us be optimistic about a positive response this time,” said Mr Xasa.

The committee will tomorrow conduct site visits in Makhanda to assess the impact of the unfinished infrastructure projects on the provision of water and sanitation services. The sites that the committee is going to visit are: James Kleyhans and Belmont Waste Water Treatment Works.

ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON COOPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS, MR FIKILE XASA.

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Name: Mava Lukani (Mr)
Parliamentary Communication Services
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