Establishment of Standing Committees on Local Government
8 February 2022 6:19 p.m.
Dear Portfolio Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs,
I am writing to you with a proposal, having served as a Public Servant in 2 of the 3 top progressive provinces within the Local Government Finance space (so it was believed).
In no particular order, WC, GP and KZN are often viewed as the top provinces in Local Government matters. Having served in the Western Cape Treasury for years, the Good Financial Governance success of WC municipalities is centered on the fact that WC has a Standing Committee on Local Government and a strong coordination and collaborations between WC Treasury, Dept. of Local Government and SALGA. As part of its mandate, the Committee oversees the MEC for Local Government, his department and municipalities in that province. The sole focus of the Committee is on Local Government or Cooperative Governance matters (financial and non-financial).
Unlike in GP, where I also served in a Management position before exiting the Public Service in 2021, CoGTA is fused with Human Settlements whilst finance issues are dealt with by the Finance Portfolio Committee and this has proved disastrous. If it's not issues on Human Settlements, it's continuous and chronic financial and service delivery failures by municipalities like the Metros, eMfuleni, Rand West City and Merafong City.
Maybe you might need to learn a thing or two from the WC Government Model so that it can be replicated country-wide. It's not perfect as Clean Audits do not mean service delivery, but for service delivery we need Sound Financial Management principles as a baseline. Even WC has a long way to go in translating Clean Audits to service delivery, but it's ahead of the pack.