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SALGA Mpumalanga Provincial Members’ Assembly hosted successfully

 

Posted: 07 November 2017

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From the 5th to the 6th of October 2017, SALGA in Mpumalanga hosted its Provincial Members’ Assembly at Protea Hotel eMalahleni, in order to:

•    Adopt the provincial members’ programme of action, business plan and budget in respect of the ensuing year;
•    Consider reports from the working groups and oversight bodies; and
•    Deal with any other issues emanating from the provisions applicable to provincial members.

The SALGA Constitution (as amended) provides that “SALGA shall at least annually, save for the year in which the National/Provincial Conference is due, hold a meeting of members to be known and described in the notice calling such a meeting as the National/ Provincial Members’ Assembly. The Members’ Assembly is charged with the responsibility of exercising SALGA’s authority between Conferences which takes place every five (5) years. 

The MEC for the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) Refilwe Maria Mtshweni inspired members through her keynote address, confirmed and appreciated the participation of SALGA and its members in the support provided to municipalities and working together with the department on local government matters. The MEC said, “We note the challenges that lie ahead and the conditions under which councilors have to fulfill their obligations”.

The Chairperson of SALGA Mpumalanga Clr. Muzi Chirwa gave official opening remarks on day one of the programme, with a message of support received from the House of Traditional Leaders Deputy Chairperson Inkosi C Mahlangu. The Local Government Sector Education Training Authority (LGSETA) delivered a presentation on the skills development and capacity building intervention in the province, while two panel discussions took place in the afternoon focusing on Governance and Intergovernmental Relations (Devolution of Powers and Functions) and Municipal Finance (Municipal debts, revenue, and Local Government Fiscal Framework).

The second day of the PMA focused on commissions looking into Community Development, Economic Development and Planning and Municipal Institutional Development issues.

The Provincial Members Assembly noted and resolved on the following matters:

1)    The slow progress made to date on the legislative and policy review on councillor support, welfare and remuneration which affects councillors’ capacity to fulfill their obligations;
2)    The increased attacks on councillors and municipal officials, and the comprehensive submission by SALGA to the Moerane Commission;
3)    SALGA’s financial modeling which is heavily reliant on membership levies to fulfill SALGA’s strategic mandate; 
4)    The roll-out of the multi-disciplinary approach through SALGA’s Municipal Audit Support Programme in the four municipalities that received a disclaimer audit opinion;
5)    The improved 2015/16 audit outcomes in municipalities;
6)    The urgent need to engage the provincial political leadership on the process to fill up senior positions in municipalities;
7)    The need to strengthen the relationship between Amakhosi and the municipalities and ensure the implementation of the signed MoU;
8)    The uncoordinated and incoherent planning in municipalities due to the SPLUMA impasse with traditional leaders;
9)     The need for involvement of traditional leaders in disaster risk reduction in rural areas;
10)    The establishment and the launch of both the National and the Provincial SALGA Women Commissions;
11)    The Inaugural meetings of both the Council of Mayors and the Council of Speakers;
12)    The concession made by ESKOM in the Ministerial Task Team which however does not resolve all the systematic issues in the industry;
13)    The successful roll out of the Integrated Councillor Induction Programme in the three districts;
14)    The need for further engagements on the devolution of powers and functions;
15)    The need to engage Provincial Government on the debts owed to municipalities and vice versa; and 
16)     The need to further engage the MEC for COGTA in granting concurrence in the issues of appointment in the competency test assessment. 

The first day (5 October 2017) was concluded with a Gala Dinner in the evening where SALGA recognized municipalities for their hard work and dedication in supporting SALGA and providing services to communities. Municipalities were awarded as follows:

1)    Emalahleni Local Municipality: in recognition of attendance on SALGA programmes;
2)    Nkangala District Municipality, Ehlanzeni District Municipality, Steve Tshwete Local Municipality: in recognition of Clean Audit Outcomes for 2015/16;
3)    Bushbuckridge Local Municipality: in recognition of improved audit outcomes for 2015/16;
4)    Steve Tshwete Local Municipality and Nkangala District Municipality: in recognition of full payment of membership levies on time;
5)    Nkangala District Municipality: in recognition of Disaster Management;
6)    Nkangala District Municipality: in recognition of Implementation of Special Programmes;
7)    Nkangala District Municipality and Gert Sibande District Municipality: in recognition of Professional support in logistical issues for successful implementation of SALGA programmes;
8)    Gert Sibande District Municipality: in recognition of Municipal Health Services and Environmental Management Programmes;
9)    Gert Sibande District Municipality: in recognition of Establishment of Multi-party Women Caucus;
10)    Ehlanzeni District Municipality: in recognition of Functional Municipal Public Accounts Committee (MPAC);
11)    Govan Mbeki Local Municipality: in recognition of the Greenest Municipality;
12)    Ehlanzeni District Municipality and Nkomazi Local Municipality: in recognition of Finalised Job Evaluation Processes;
13)    Gert Sibande District Municipality: in recognition of Municipal Initiatives.

The members appreciated the relations between SALGA, Provincial Government, Mpumalanga House of Traditional Leaders, Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature and its strategic partners in continuously providing the necessary support and assistance to member municipalities. 

The members declared their commitment to engage all relevant IGR structures up to its highest political level on the Councillor Welfare and support matter, pay membership levies, and share best practices in order to introduce innovative practices amongst municipalities and SALGA.

The members affirmed their commitment to realizing the developmental local government mandate and to effectively responding to challenges confronting Local Government. The members also applauded SALGA Mpumalanga for the 100% achievement of the 2016/17 financial year performance and the Clean Audit which has been received by SALGA. The members also recognized the significant role played by female leaders within local government, as well as the need for municipalities to improve on the oversight role of councilors on financial management and compliance.

SALGA reaffirmed the call on other spheres of government to ensure that sufficient financial and other resources are provided from the national fiscus to facilitate the acceleration of service delivery, in terms of both capital and operational expenditure, based on the service delivery targets of each municipality.
 
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