Parliament, Monday, 22 June 2020 – The Select Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Water and Sanitation and Human Settlements has expressed discontent with the Gauteng Provincial Government’s progress in relation to Section 139 (1) (b) of the Constitution intrervention in Emfuleni Local Municipality. The committee met the Gauteng Department: Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs to discuss the Emfuleni intervention.
The committee is disappointed that the MEC confirmed that two years after the invocation of the intervention, they have come to realise that the decision to intervene was wrongly implemented. “In the balance of evidence, the intervention has not yielded any positive results to extricate the municipality from the challenges it has faced. What is even more worrying being that the administrator responsible for the intervention was already an employee of the municipality, which undercuts the intentions of the intervention,” said Mr China Dodovu, the Chairperson of the committee.
The overall view of the committee is that the municipality is in a crisis and the intervention has not helped, despite being in place for two years. At the centre of the concerns is the poor service delivery challenges, such as poor revenue collection, vacant senior positions, backlog and collapse of waste management services, increase in sewer spillages into the Vaal River System, non-payment of services providers, ailing and collapsing electricity infrastructure, and serious allegations of corruption.
Furthermore, the committee is concerned by longstanding creditors, especially to Eskom and Rand Water, which is now standing at over R2 billion and R600 million respectively. Also, the committee is concerned that the provincial government has not provided the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) with quarterly reports on the intervention, as per a resolution of the NCOP.
The delay in instituting investigations and implementation of consequence management is also a concern, as it leads to nonchalance and failure in governance.
As a result of these concerns, the committee will urgently meet this week to chart a clear path for the municipality. “Our only preoccupation is ensuring that Emfuleni is returned to functionality to the benefit of the people of the area,” Mr Dodovu concluded.