Section 139 (1)(B) Interventions yields positive results
Mahikeng – The Section 139(1)(b) of the Constitution of RSA intervention at both Madibeng local municipality and Ngaka Modiri Molema district municipality, have yielded positive results. MEC for Local Government and Human Settlements, Collen Maine told the National Council of Provinces’ NCOP Select Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs this week. NCOP was doing oversight visits to municipalities which have been put under Section 139 (1)(b) of the Constitution.
The main purpose of the interventions was to decisively deal with the water and sanitation challenges in Ngaka Modiri Molema district municipality and Madibeng local municipality, once and for all.
Ngaka Modiri Molema district municipality experienced serious water and sanitation delivery challenges which resulted in community protests in the areas of Ramotshere Moiloa, Mahikeng, Tswaing and Ditsobotla local municipalities. This led to a decision by the Provincial EXCO on 23 March 2015, to invoke provisions of Section 139 (1)(b) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa.
MEC Maine said that the implication of invoking Section 139(1)(b) is that the Provincial Government in partnership with the Department of Water and Sanitation assumed control and responsibility of providing water services to the community of Ngaka Modiri Molema district.
“The implication of invoking Section 139(1)(b) is that the provincial government in partnership with the Department of Water and Sanitation assumed control and responsibility of providing water services to the community. During the previous intervention, the Dept established a Provincial Joint Operations Centre comprising of the following key roles players: Department of Local Government and Human Settlements, Department of Water and Sanitation, Department Health, Department of Community Safety and Transport Management, Sedibeng water board, Ngaka Modiri Molema district municipality and the South African Police Service”.
MEC Maine said prior to the intervention, a myriad of service delivery challenges were identified such as shortage of water and sanitation, water leakages, water tankering and lack of community engagement. “To date, there is relative stability in the municipality on the side of council, however, there are still some challenges in administration such as filling of posts, financial recovery, quality service delivery and labour matters. Since the intervention, there is relative stability.
In as far as Madibeng local municipality is concerned, MEC Maine said the municipality also experienced serious water and sanitation for a number years and this, he said, led to a number of service delivery protests over the years. “The most challenged areas have been in Majakaneng, Oukasie, Jericho, Klipgat, Madidi and Letlhabile. Even areas such as Hartebeespoort dam has experienced serious water quality issues, i.e. high levels of algae.
He said as part of the intervention, a joint operations centre has been established at Madibeng Disaster Management Centre to coordinate and respond to complaints from the public. “A technical task team has been established to focus on: Matters relating to the underground water networks e.g. leaks, reticulation, augmentation and co-ordination of tankering of water to the affected areas.
He said the additional technical capacity will be required to beef up the technical team to ensure that sustainable and quality water and sanitation services are provided to the community. “The Departments of Local Government and Human Settlements and Finance, Economy and Enterprise Development will also focus on revenue management as it impacts directly on water services (billing, metering, illegal connections and water losses),’ he explained.
Ben Bole, Spokesperson
Cell: 071 566 1399
SOURCE: SOUTH AFRICAN OFFICIAL NEWS