DA Northern Cape Leader
082 383 6914
The Democratic Alliance will write to the Northern Cape MEC of COGHSTA, Kenneth Mmoeimang, to request in detail the department’s plans to steer our critical municipalities out of the intensive-care unit.
This follows COGHSTA having become bogged down by internal matters and in turn, not providing adequate oversight of local government.
During today’s presentation by COGHSTA to the legislature, it was reported that the provincial department has increased its provincial staff capacity, now boasting an only 6,2% vacancy rate. Whilst this may have contributed to the department having improved to a financially unqualified audit opinion, it has made little difference with regards to the performance of the department and effectively, the department is still falling dismally short of being the principal structure tasked with engaging with municipalities.
The AG reported that the department did not meet 78% of its planned targets. A large number of these unmet targets are directly related to municipal administration such as the fact that none of the 32 municipalities submitted quarterly reports to the department, that only two out of the targets 15 municipalities have fraud prevention plans and that only 12 of the 32 municipalities made inroads in reducing municipal debt. It is unacceptable that the department, through its own inaction, is escalating the dire situation within our municipalities which are meant to provide the people of the Northern Cape with day-to-day services.
The DA is of the view that the department’s failures in relation to steering municipalities, stems from an inflated inward focus which is obscuring the department’s more important responsibilities towards municipalities. This in turn can be seen in the AG’s observation that the department did not have a municipal finance unit to exercise oversight over all municipal financial and compliance matters. It can also be seen in the fact that the department appears to be dragging its feet in terms of conducting a skills audit of municipal officials below section 57 level.
It is the DA’s submission that until COGHSTA gets its priorities straight, it won’t matter if the department employs an additional one or an additional 100 officials. So-called “legacy issues” must be rooted out by this department. This department, like all others, is eighteen years into the new dispensation. It’s high time the department stops hiding behind excuses. Unless the department directly responds to the growing rot in municipalities, their performance will remain inadequate. This said, it’s time that COGHSTA remembers that the state of our municipalities is a direct reflection on the state of COGHSTA, and not the other way round