Mpuma dept misses Scopa deadline

2010-09-08 17:00

Mbombela - Mpumalanga's department of cooperative governance and traditional affairs has failed to submit progress reports explaining how problems have been addressed at municipalities in the province.

The department was given eight months to finalise progress reports for the 2006/2007 and 2007/2008 financial years.

It was supposed to submit them to the Select Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) in the Mpumalanga legislature on Tuesday.

“Failing to deliver the reports that were supposed to be submitted eight months ago shows that you have no respect for this committee," said Scopa chairperson Fish Mahlalela.

"This also indicates that you never took an in-house resolution concerning the problems facing the municipalities in the province,” he added.

Mahlalela gave the department an additional week to table the reports.

The department’s HOD, David Mahlobo, apologised to the committee for failing to submit the reports.

“We are facing a shortage of skills at municipalities, which is a major problem hampering service delivery.

"A lot of people in the department and in our municipalities are not well trained, therefore, it is hard for the department to perform well and submit reports on time,” he said.

He added that this did not mean the department was failing to deal with issues at municipalities.

But Mahlobo was unable to say who was supposed to equip or train municipal and departmental employees.

Democratic Alliance member in the legislature Anthony Benadie asked Mahlobo to explain to the committee how the department managed to employ incompetent workers.

“Who appointed the people you are talking about, and which procedures were followed during the appointment process? This shows that your department did not follow proper procedures in terms of employing people,” said Benadie.

The committee noted that the department had made unauthorised payments of R16.2m for the salaries of community development workers who were not doing their jobs.