Faith Muthambi bemoans Tshwane's 'proliferation of filth'

Parliament's Cogta committee concerned that oversight structures are not effective, leading to poor service delivery and no consequence management

14 October 2020 - 16:44
Cogta committee chair Faith Muthambi, MP Gcinikhaya Mpumza and Bakwena ba Morare Traditional Council leader Kgosi Godfrey Gasebone during a meeting on Wednesday.
Cogta committee chair Faith Muthambi, MP Gcinikhaya Mpumza and Bakwena ba Morare Traditional Council leader Kgosi Godfrey Gasebone during a meeting on Wednesday.
Image: Mpumzi Zuzile

Traditional leaders in the Tshwane metro have accused the city of not including them in municipal programmes, even though there are only two traditional leaders in the municipality.

Speaking at a meeting between parliament's portfolio committee on co-operative governance & traditional affairs (Cogta) and traditional leaders, Bakwena ba Morare Traditional Council leader Kgosi Godfrey Gasebone appreciated that the committee had taken the initiative to meet traditional leaders.

Gasebone, however, complained that the municipality had not formalised the functionality of the local traditional house, despite the fact that there are only two traditional leaders in the municipality. The meeting resolved to explore the possibility of a virtual meeting so that traditional leaders can address their challenges with the committee.

This comes as the Cogta committee was on Wednesday on the third day of its visit to the province.

The committee met Tshwane stakeholders to hear views on the state of municipal service delivery.

The committee, led by chairperson Faith Muthambi, found that:

  • there was a shortage of senior managers;
  • municipal public accounts committees (MPACs) are dysfunctional;
  • there are high water and electricity losses; and
  • no investigation and consequence management into unauthorised, irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure in Gauteng municipalities.

“We raised concerns that oversight and accountability structures are not effective, leading to a lack of consequence management.

“The recommendations made in the forensic investigation report into the GladAfrica infrastructure contract have not yet been implemented and consequence management has not been executed. This is a concern and requires urgent action,” Muthambi said.

The controversial multibillion-rand contract between Tshwane and GladAfrica has been cancelled after an agreement between the two parties. The three-year contract, which was flagged by the auditor-general (AG), would have seen the company score about R1.2bn.

Before its termination last year, more than R495m was spent on the contract since its inception in 2017 to February 20 2019.

Muthambi said also concerning for the committee were the many other reports about financial misconduct that have not been acted upon, with 16 reports being processed by the municipality’s financial disciplinary board.

“If the municipality does not act on these cases, malfeasance will continue and become a culture within the municipality,” she said.

She said they also raised concerns that in 2019 the auditor-general reported 319 cases of alleged irregularities, financial misconduct, theft and non-compliance, which were still in progress then, and only 31 investigations were completed but not implemented.

“We are concerned that the municipality appears to be in a state of flux, with uncertainty over who must enforce accountability, especially in the absence of oversight by council as a result of the invocation of section 139 (1) (c) of the constitution.”

Muthambi said the general deterioration of the city was a concern, with an increase in littering, illegal dumping and general decay.

“It is concerning that SA’s capital city is in the state that it finds itself in, especially with no visible plan to deal with the matter. The committee has thus urged the city to look at ways to deal with the proliferation of filth in the city and return it to its pristine previous state.”

She said they were also concerned about the municipality’s lack of care in spending the urban settlement development grant, with many projects unfinished and hurting service delivery.

TimesLIVE


X