KZN COGTA MEC HLOMUKA HANDS OVER VEHICLES AND ELECTRONIC DEVICES TO PROVINCIAL HOUSE OF TRADITIONAL LEADERS

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As part of his commitment to the capacitation of the institution of traditional leadership in the province of KZN, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) MEC Sipho Hlomuka today handed over vehicles and electronic equipment to the Executive Committee of the KZN Provincial House of Traditional Leaders.

The tools include 27 tablets with SIM cards with 10GB of data per month to be given to all EXCO members and all Chairpersons of the District Houses of Traditional Leaders. Hlomuka also handed over SUVs to the Chairperson of the Provincial House Inkosi Phathisizwe Chiliza and his Deputy Inkosi Zulu.

Speaking at the handover, Hlomuka committed his department to ensuring that amakhosi across the province continue to be equipped for the work they do in leading communities. “Today’s handover of tools of trade is an important milestone in our efforts to support the institution of traditional leadership in our province. A lot has changed in our country as a result of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus and we hope that these tools will help amakhosi with the job of providing leadership to our communities under these difficult circumstances,” said Hlomuka.

Chairperson of the Provincial House Inkosi Chiliza expressed his gratitude on behalf of amakhosi for the continuing support the department is giving them. “The tablets and the data SIM cards that we have been given today will go a long way towards ensuring that the Provincial House is able to convene virtual engagements with residents and stakeholders,” said Chiliza.

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DEPUTY MINISTER OBED BAPELA ACCOMPANIED BY MEC HLOMUKA CONDUCT ASSESSMENTS OF DISASTER RELIEF INTERVENTIONS IN ETHEKWINI AS PART OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT WEEK

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The Deputy Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA), Mr Obed Bapela accompanied by the MEC of CoGTA in KwaZulu-Natal(KZN), Mr Sipho Hlomuka embarked on project inspection exercise as part of the Local Government Week which unfolded between the 07 – 12 September 2020. The Local Government Week was held under the theme: “Ensuring Capable and Financially Sound Municipalities”.

 

The Siyahlola programme was undertaken on Friday, 11 September as part of the ongoing monitoring and evaluation exercise targeting areas that were previously affected by floods in the eThekwini Metro. The primary aim was to assess progress on the implementation of disaster relief interventions to rebuilding the public infrastructure.

 

The programme started with a briefing at the eThekwini National Disaster Management Centre which plays a critical role in the promotion of an integrated and coordinated system of disaster management, with special emphasis on prevention and mitigation.

 

The eThekwini Metro was allocated R62 million from National Treasury in 2018/19 financial year for post-disaster reconstruction and rehabilitation of 105 engineering projects. To date, 100 projects have been completed with only five (5) projects still outstanding. Furthermore, the provincial CoGTA is also funding community service centres under the traditional authority such as the Thusong Service Centres which constitute a one stop shop for access to government services within community proximity.

 

Some of the projects include the Umnini Trust Traditional Administrative Centre that has been rehabilitated to an accumulative amount of over R8million, the reconstruction of Gabions and Outlet repairs in 57 Sigwegwe Road to the tune of over R2 million, and the construction of a new pipe network at 30 Umathinta Drive, costing over R3 million in KwaMashu, as well as the upgrade of damaged storm water network of 3 Khulanathi way for over R4 million in Ntuzuma.

 

Deputy Minister Bapela remarked that, “the eThekwini Metro is one of the national DDM pilot site encompassing characteristics of both an urban and rural municipality. eThekwini is endowed with vast opportunities in the ocean economy including tourism which could propel it to be a leading economy in the country. However, for the metro to be the leading tourism destination it must deal with the impediments such as crime and grime”.

 

More rain is projected for KZN due to the global climate change hence the need to augment disaster awareness programmes for prevention and mitigation. Therefore, one important tool of assessment for the DDM is spatial integration which affords communities to reside next to their places of work. The Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated the inability of municipalities to collect sufficient revenue because of the none-payment of municipal services that is accumulating debt exponentially. The province is also known for its wealth of traditional authorities which presents a valuable opportunity for social partnerships.

 

“This Siyahlola visit symbolises the implementation of the Local Government Week”, said MEC Hlomuka. The Deputy Minister was also joined by Cllr M Sithole, who applauded the metro for being the first to develop a Climate Change Action Plan to deal with the impact of climate change.

 

This visit was in line with the principles of the District Development Model (DDM) which gives expression to section 154 of the Constitution that enjoins the national and provincial government, to support and strengthen the capacity of municipalities to deliver on their constitutional obligations.

 

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COGTA MEC ISSUED STERN WARNING TO NQUTHU COUNCIL OVER GOVERNANCE FAILURES

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The MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Sipho Hlomuka has warned the Council of the Nquthu Local Municipality of consequences that will follow should they fail to address governance and council functionality issues that have seen service delivery almost grind to a halt in this municipality.

Hlomuka’s visit follows the failure by the Council to resolve a number of issues which include:

  • the election of Councillor I.L Shabalala as the Mayor, following the resignation of Councillor S.M Kunene. While the department has made several attempts to advise the Speaker, Councillor M.E Mnguni to remedy the situation to no avail.
  • The failure by the municipality to comply with the requirements of the Municipal Systems Act related to the development and approval of the IDP and Budget Process Plan which was to be adopted on or before the 31st of August 2020.
  • The failure by the municipality to investigate Unauthorized, Irregular, Fruitless and Wasteful expenditure.
  • The dysfunctionality of Municipal Public Accounts Committee.


The municipality has also since 2017, been embroiled in a bitter legal dispute with the Department over the appointment of three senior managers, namely the Municipal Manager, the Chief Financial Officer and the Director Planning and Development. The municipality had challenged the Department’s decision right up to the Constitutional Court, where the municipality’s application failed.

These failures threaten the ability of the municipality to render services to residents.

MEC Hlomuka has warned Councillors that his department will not allow this municipality to descend into a state of chaos and jeopardise the provision of service delivery to communities of this deeply rural municipality.

In his meeting with the Council, MEC Hlomuka has requested the Councillors to put their act together by addressing issues that have been identified by the department so that governance issues can be improved within the municipality to the benefit of residents.

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KZN COGTA MEC HLOMUKA ASSURES NCOP OF PROGRESS WITH MUNICIPALITIES UNDER ADMINISTRATION

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The future of KZN’s municipalities that are currently under Section 139(1)(b) intervention took centre stage yesterday when MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Sipho Hlomuka addressed the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) on the progress made by the department in assisting these institutions.
Currently, KZN has nine municipalities that are under administration namely, Mtubatuba, Abaqulusi, uMzinyathi district, uThukela district, Inkosi Langalibalele, Mpofana, Richmond, Msunduzi and eMadlangeni. The last of these is the most recent intervention, having been instituted last week.
In his address, which took place yesterday afternoon, Hlomuka highlighted to the NCOP that eight of the municipalities under Section 139(1)b intervention – Mtubatuba, Abaqulusi, uMzinyathi district, uThukela district, Inkosi Langalibalele, Richmond, Mpofana and Msunduzi have recently been extended by the Provincial Government until 31 March 2021, due to insufficient progress in addressing their governance, financial management and service delivery-related challenges.
Hlomuka also assured the NCOP that suitably qualified ministerial representatives have been appointed in all nine intervention municipalities and that they have all signed performance agreements which are aligned to their terms of reference. Experts in the field of municipal finance and technical support have also been deployed by the department to provide hands-on support to these municipalities.
KZN residents are living in a time when communities continue to demand more from the sphere of local government in a climate of limited economic growth and constrained fiscus. This places immense pressure on municipalities to do more with less. It is for this reason that KZN Cogta has instructed all administrators to conduct a proper skills audit in order to identify gaps that can be filled through appropriate training and development programmes.
KZN Cogta is also committed to ensuring that all government debt accounts be reconciled and submitted for payment and all disputes in this regard be resolved speedily.
Ends.

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KZN COGTA MEC HLOMUKA TO CONVENE URGENT MEETING WITH NQUTHU COUNCIL

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In an effort to fulfil his department’s mandate of general oversight over the province’s municipalities, KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Sipho Hlomuka will tomorrow, 10 September 2020, convene an urgent meeting with the full council of the Nquthu local municipality.

The meeting will probe the existing governance-related challenges that are impeding the functionality of this municipality and other matters that are seen as significant for service delivery at Nquthu. The meeting will be attended by all councillors, traditional leaders and senior management of the municipality.

 

Members of the media are invited to attend the meeting, the details of which are as follows:

 

Date: Thursday, 10 September 2020

Time: 09:30am

Venue: Nquthu local municipality, Council Chamber

 

For more information, contact: Ms Nonala Ndlovu, 066 282 6903; or Senzelwe Mzila, 082 474 1882

 

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MINISTERIAL VISIT TO THE HARRY GWALA DISTRICT MUNICIPALITY IN KWAZULU-NATAL

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District Champion, Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu concluding his first Ministerial Visit to the Harry Gwala District Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal.

The Minister was engaged in a comprehensive two-day programme covering briefings and discussions with stakeholders, site visits to medical and shelter facilities and interactions with the media.

“The President has sent us to visit all Districts in the country to asses our response to the COVID-19 pandemic and Gender Based Violence and Femicide – which the President has also characterized as a second pandemic in South Africa,” said Minister Mthembu.
“We are very impressed with the district’s response to COVID-19.

The two healthcare facilities we visited demonstrated that we had all systems in place to respond to this novel coronavirus. We reiterate our gratitude to all public servants, especially our healthcare workers who have been at the forefront of this battle,” Mthembu added.

The Minister also noted the importance of establishing an integrated structure at a District level to respond to Gender Based Violence and Femicide in the local communities.

This weekend’s two-day programme will be followed by community engagement programmes in other local municipalities in the Harry Gwala District.

“Our visit to the Harry Gwala District is informed by the implementation of the District Development Model (DDM). The DDM requires government as a whole to work together in a seamless manner to deliver services to our people,” Mthembu concluded.

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KZNCOGTA MEC HLOMUKA, ENGAGES EMADLANGENI RESIDENTS ON INTERVENTION

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This morning, the KwaZulu-Natal Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) MEC, Sipho Hlomuka met with Amakhosi, residents, business and civil society organisations in the eMadlangeni Local Municipality to inform them of the decision taken by the provincial government to place their municipality under administration.

On Thursday, 3 September, MEC Hlomuka met with the Council of the Municipality to inform them of the decision taken by the government to place the municipality under Administration. In the meeting MEC Hlomuka announced Mr Velaphi Kubheka.

In his meeting with community members Hlomuka assured them that the provincial government was doing the best it can to get their municipality back onto its feet. “The Administrator that we have appointed will be working closely with our officials to ensure that adequate support is provided to the municipality. The administrator will also investigate any allegation of corruption and ensure that people are held accountable” said Hlomuka.

 

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KZN COGTA MEC HLOMUKA APPOINTS TOP CIVIL SERVANTS AS MINISTERIAL REPS AT UMZINYATHI AND UTHUKELA

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In the interest of achieving long-term stability in the province’s municipalities that are under administration, KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Sipho Hlomuka has appointed new administrators in the uThukela and uMzinyathi district municipalities.

on Friday, 4 September MEC Hlomuka met with the council of the uThukela district where he announced former Head of Department in the KZN Provincial Treasury Mr Simiso Magagula as the new administrator. Magagula’s deployment to this municipality as the ministerial representative follows the resignation of the current administrator Mr Martin Sithole.

Magagula brings a wealth of experience with the finances of the province’s municipalities.

On the same day, MEC Hlomuka also met with the council of the uMzinyathi District where he announced Mr Themba Mavundla as the new administrator. Mavundla had previously served as HOD at the KZN Department of Community Safety and Liaison. He takes over from Mr Ayanda Makhanya.

These new appointments are expected to bring much needed insights and expertise to the two district municipalities which continue to face challenges in governance, financial management and the provision of service delivery to their communities.

The deployment of these seasoned administrators is part of efforts by the department to ensure that municipalities under administration receive the best support that will enable them to improve quickly and sustainably.

The administrators are expected to ratify decisions taken by their respective councils and ensure that challenges pertaining to governance and financial management issues are addressed speedily within these districts.

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KZN COGTA MEC HLOMUKA READS RIOT ACT TO EMADLANGENI COUNCIL AS MUNICIPALITY IS PLACED UNDER ADMINISTRATION

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3 September 2020

KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Sipho Hlomuka this morning read the riot act to the eMadlangeni councillors when he visited the municipality to announce the decision by the provincial government to place this municipality under administration in terms of section 139(1)(b) of the constitution.

The decision to institute the constitutional intervention at the municipality is the culmination of Cogta’s previous efforts to address dysfunctionality at this municipality which has since March 2020 been engulfed in governance and institutional management challenges that have created instability.

The challenges faced by the municipality include:

  • the failure to adopt its 2020/2021 Budget and Integrated Development Plan timeously whereby it contravened Section 52 of the Municipal Finance Management Act and the provisions of Chapter 5 of the Municipal Systems Act
  • failure by the Speaker to convene council meetings when requested to do so by councillors,
  • the suspension of senior managers in contravention of relevant regulations, and
  • allegations of fraudulent activities by both councillors and officials.

Hlomuka’s appointed administrator is VM Kubheka who had previously served as Municipal Manager at eMadlangeni and as Acting Municipal Manager at eNdumeni local municipality. The ministerial representative will be based at the municipality and will prepare and implement a comprehensive recovery plan.

The ministerial representative will also ensure the implementation of remedial action plans dealing with negative findings from the Auditor General, including consequence management against managers and officials found to have caused unauthorised and irregular expenditure.

In his address to the council, Hlomuka called upon all the councillors to work with the administrator so that this municipality can be restored to its rightful place as the epicentre for delivery of basic services to communities in this deep rural area of KZN.

For more information, contact: Ms Nonala Ndlovu, 066 282 6903; or Senzelwe Mzila, 082 474 1882

Twitter: www.twitter.com/kzncogta

Facebook: www.facebook.com/kzncogta

Instagram: www.instagram.com/kzncogta

Website: www.kzncogta.gov.za

Ends.

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ANNOUNCEMENT OF SECTION 139(1)b INTERVENTION AT MSUNDUZI LOCAL MUNICIPALITY BY KZN COGTA MEC SIPHO HLOMUKA

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UTRECHT: 3 SEPTEMBER 2020

 

 

Honourable Speaker and Councillors

 

Introduction

 

We have come to Utrecht today to address you on a very important subject of ensuring good governance as a prerequisite for long-term stability of this municipality. The residents of this rural municipality rely on eMadlangeni for the provision of basic services but what they actually see has a lot to be desired.

 

It is therefore our duty as Cogta, following the resolution of the Provincial Executive, to make an important announcement before this Council regarding the immediate future of this municipality. We are here to support and assist, not to point fingers or penalise.

 

Purpose of the address

 

The purpose of today’s address is therefore to apprise this Council of the Provincial Executive’s decision to intervene in this municipality in terms of Section 139(1)b of the Constitution to restore this municipality’s functionality in terms of proper governance, administration and, by extension, service delivery.

 

Background and summary

 

The decision to institute the constitutional intervention at eMadlangeni today is the culmination of Cogta’s previous efforts to address dysfunctionality at this municipality which has since March 2020 been engulfed with governance and institutional management challenges that have created instability.

 

This has manifested itself in the municipality’s failure to adopt its 2020/2021 Budget and Integrated Development Plan timeously whereby it contravened Section 52 of the Municipal Finance Management Act and the provisions of Chapter 5 of the Municipal Systems Act.

 

These challenges include allegations that the Speaker has previously failed to convene Council meetings when requested to do so by Councillors, the suspension of senior managers in contravention of relevant regulations and allegations of fraudulent activities by both Councillors and officials.

 

We at KZN Cogta have interacted with this municipality in an effort to assist it to resolve its challenges. The situation has not improved at the municipality and under these circumstances the Provincial Executive Council was requested to consider intervening at the municipality in terms of Section 139(1)b of the Constitution.

 

The intervention has been approved by the Provincial Cabinet and it is intended to stabilise the administration of eMadlangeni, to restore the general public’s confidence in the institution and to ensure continued service delivery for the benefit of the residents of this rural municipality.

 

I would like to note that this is not the first time eMadlangeni has seen such intervention. In the past, a similar set of circumstances, including financial, governance and service delivery challenges, led to an intervention which helped to stabilise the municipality. My hope is that this intervention will do the same.

 

Reasons for the intervention

 

In addition to the challenges I summarised earlier, the intervention we are announcing today is due to the failure by this municipality to hold its Councillors accountable for deliberately absenting themselves from critical meetings and thus collapsing the quorum and rendering the Council dysfunctional.

 

This municipality has also failed to institute consequence management measures for managers and other officials responsible for irregular payments. In this context, the eMadlangeni Council has failed to prevent unauthorised and irregular expenditure in accordance with Section 62(1)d of the MFMA. The Council has also failed to investigate such malpractices and hold those responsible to account.

 

Way forward

 

Going forward, I as MEC for Cogta, am therefore announcing an intervention in terms of Section 139(1)b of the Constitution, 1996, at eMadlangeni in order to assume the functions specified in terms of Sections 51, 56 and 57 of the Municipal Systems Act as well as those related to financial management and service delivery, including project management.

 

To this end, we are appointing a ministerial representative to be based at the municipality who will prepare and implement a comprehensive recovery plan. Our appointee is Mr VM Kubheka who had previously served as Municipal Manager here at eMadlangeni and as Acting Municipal Manager at eNdumeni local municipality.

 

Our ministerial representative will ensure implementation of financial systems, policies and procedures, including preparation and implementation of cost-cutting measures. The administrator will be a compulsory signatory on the municipality’s bank accounts

 

The ministerial representative will also establish and act as chairperson of the Interim Finance Committee to monitor and manage the cash flow of the municipality, to approve or disapprove purchase requisitions and to ensure that the municipality’s cash position is not overdrawn. This newly established committee will have to meet and report fortnightly to the Executive Committee of the eMadlangeni Council.

 

The ministerial representative will also ensure the implementation of remedial action plans dealing with negative findings from the Auditor General, including consequence management against managers and officials found to have caused unauthorised and irregular expenditure. Our representative will similarly ensure implementation of findings arising from any investigations into fraud or maladministration or corruption and to initiate new investigations where necessary.

 

It is time for a fresh start in this municipality. After a period of instability and poor results, the people of Utrecht deserve that we give them a municipality they can be proud of through our hard work and flawless performance. The challenge for us here is to make sure that this municipality will soon live up to its promise of maintaining infrastructure, including roads, managing waste and delivering basic services to its communities.

 

As an elected municipal Council, you are now urged to accept this new temporary arrangement and cooperate with our ministerial representative to ensure a smooth running of this municipality and its return to normality until this intervention is formally called off. It is our shared responsibility to ensure that this municipality once again becomes a source of pride for its residents.

 

I thank you!

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