BETTER LEGISLATIVE OVERSIGHT NEEDED TO SOLVE PROVINCIAL LOCAL GOVERNMENT CRISIS

The Provincial Legislature needs to improve local government oversight if we are to solve the crisis of local government administration in the province.

The oversight report on the recent committee visits to Chris Hani District Municipalities was presented today at the annual sitting of the “Legislature to the People” in Cofimvaba.

Of concern are the many common problems that face these municipalities and which have been raised before at many legislature sittings.

The issue of inadequate financial management is the key reason why so many of our municipalities are failing.

At Inkwanca Municipality the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is not fully experienced and capacitated as she was moved from an intern straight to CFO.

In order to become a CFO the process is rewarded by years of university training and corporate ladder climbing.

This same municipality has been getting adverse audit opinions for the last six years.

Other problems highlighted include a lack of Local Economic Development Plans in these municipalities.

In Sakhisizwe and Inxuba Yethemba Municipalities there is no Budget and Treasury Office.

At Lukhanji several staff are doing the CFO’s work due to the suspension of senior managers.

This chaotic situation can’t carry on like this year after year.

What is needed is bold leadership and correct people who are fit for purpose to be employed.

Recruitment strategies need urgent overhaul to ensure that appointment is on ability rather than on a loyal cadre.

The province needs to implement a strategy for the medium to long term to capacitate CFO’s.

The plans must include revised and beefed up attraction, retention and capacitation plans.

These plans must be submitted quarterly to the Portfolio Committee on Local Government at the legislature.

I will on behalf of the Democratic Alliance be raising this issue.

The province urgently needs to start ensuring that efficient and transparent municipal financial governance in this province is the order of the day.