Minister Zweli Mkhize on farewell arrangements of Winnie Madikizela Mandela

Minister of COGTA writes to provinces and municipalities on Mama Winnie Madikizela Mandela farewell arrangements

The Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA), Dr Zweli Mkhize has written to provinces and municipalities providing guidelines regarding the farewell arrangements in honour of Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

The nation is mourning Mama Winnie who has been accorded a Special Official Funeral by His Excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa, and will be laid to rest on Saturday, 14 April 2018.

On behalf of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on State and Official Funerals, Minister Mkhize is tasked with ensuring smooth coordination of the funeral arrangements with provincial and local government.

Provinces and municipalities as well as a wide range of public, faith-based non-governmental and civil society institutions have signalled their intentions of hosting memorial events.

As an IMC, strong lessons have been learnt from previous State and Official funerals. Amongst these have been the need to balance understandable grief and the need for urgent action, with the requirement of strict adherence to the rules and regulations of financial management policies.

It is the worst disservice democratically elected leaders can offer icons such as Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, to shroud her legacy with any act of impropriety either by omission or design”, said Minister Mkhize.

The Minister provided the following guidelines that must be adhered to:

The declaration of the national funeral category and mourning period by the President of the Republic does not constitute grounds upon which other spheres of government can decide to host memorial events of their own. It is incumbent upon provincial executive council and municipal councils to formally resolve and declare their own memorial or commemorative event, should the authority so wish to do. This resolution must be accompanied by a clearly defined decision of the financial resources assigned to this event and voted for by the relevant authority.

Any allocation of resources from provincial and local governments for memorial events should therefore be done with frugality and mindful of the country’s limited resources.

Any need for procurement for events should be done in strict compliance with the Municipal Finance Management Act, Act 56 of 2003 (MFMA) and Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) which are key drivers of financial reforms in the sphere of local government, and relevant Supply Chain Management policies. It must be remembered that where such issues are urgent, due processes and procedures to follow in such situations are indeed contained in the law and in policy. It must be observed that one of the five underlying principles of the MFMA and PFMA is Promoting sound financial governance by clarifying roles.

I urge the municipal councils as the highest authority in the municipality to continue exercising oversight and ensure approval of spending guided by the MFMA.

The approach of the MFMA is important and consistent with the Code of Conduct set out in the Municipal Systems Act, which clearly requires councillors to disclose conflicts of interest and prohibits councillor involvement in tender boards or the boards of municipal entities. I am confident that the councils will work hand-in-hand with the municipality’s management to ensure that there is financial prudence, said Minister.

Source: Government of South Africa