The O.R. Tambo District Municipality Executive Mayor, Mesuli Ngqondwana, convened an extended mayoral committee (MAYCO) meeting on January 19, which was attended by the mayoral committee members, council speaker, Ntandokazi Capa, council chief whip, Nonkoliso Ngqongwa, and the senior management of the district municipality.
The objectives of the session, held at Savoy Hotel in Mthatha, were to discuss the status quo of the municipality, to understand the municipality’s financial situation, especially matters that were raised by National Treasury in relation to the withholding of funds, and to be appraised about the road map towards the development of the integrated development plan (IDP) for the 2022-2027 term.
The session was the first of its nature, following the election of the new district council on December 1, 2021.
In his welcoming remarks, Ngqondwana highlighted that a session of this nature was paramount for all parties to be kept abreast. He further noted that “leadership would like to know where we are as an institution, including understanding the processes around the midterm report, and acknowledging our under performance and areas where the municipality fared unsatisfactorily.”
Ngqondwana also stressed the importance of the IDP, and the role political leadership needs to play in this period.
He emphasised on the urgent interventions needed to stabilise the municipality so that, by the remainder of the financial year and the beginning of the next financial year, it would be able to hit the ground running.
The extended MAYCO was presented with the handover report, which reflected on the overall state of the municipality.
Key issues in the report included the fact that the institution had received a financial knock in the past couple of months.
The report further cited matters of governance that include unauthorised, irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditures.
The leadership deliberated on all issues raised, the plans to address the issues and the management attitude.
It noted the collaborative approach as the current situation requires intergovernmental relations.
The session was adamant that with the path taken, the institution would be stabilised.
The session was also updated about the recent attachment and removal of municipal vehicles following an arbitration award for the Expanded Public Works Program (EPWP) participants.
It had an opportunity to extensively deliberate on the matter and made the following resolutions:
. Management was requested to prepare and table a report to the executive mayor on the matter of arbitration for the mayor to brief council.
. The process will also assist council to deal with anyone who dropped the ball.
. The municipal attorney on record was instructed to urgently approach the Labour Court to apply for a stay of the matter while the review process was underway.
. Management should have a particular focus to ensure there is organisational culture in the institution and a sound work ethic among all employees.
. There should be commitment towards the provision of services, especially water and sanitation.
. The district municipality should strengthen intergovernmental relations with the aim of promoting good governance.
As the institution embarks on a process of stabilising the administration, there will be a series of programmes which include the Municipal Public Accounts Committee (MPAC) workshop and the council induction, as well as mid-term engagements with National Treasury