A number of issues in towns in the Western part of the province were dealt with during on oversight visit by the Portfolio Committee on Local Government and Traditional Affairs recently.
In Kouga we met with the Mayor, Municipal Manager and senior officials. Many of the intentions and findings of the committee emanating from Parliament to the People in Humansdorp in October last year had not been implemented by the department. One such example is where assistance was to be given by the department on asset management and supply chain procurement. In view of the laxness of the department Kouga has gone ahead and appointed consultants or tried to rectify the problems themselves.
The visit to Baviaans — the only municipality governed by the DA in the province — was an illuminating eye opener.
There has been improvement to some of the areas that needed attention such as the implementation of the ward committee system and the receipt of increased equitable share from National Treasury to fund Rietbron, which previously was excluded from the budget.
Another improvement was the appointment of a new CFO with the capacity to do the job.
I also joined the Portfolio Committee on Human Settlements and visited Loerie and Patensie.
It was embarrassing for the committee members to find that little had been done to fulfil the findings of the committee from its 2012 visit.
The rectification of identified houses had not taken place. The problem of vulnerable people and groups and the illegal occupation of RDP houses had not been sufficiently dealt with.
Officials of the department were given strict instructions to focus on the rectification of five identified houses with immediate effect.