North West Legislature Chairpersons’ Forum meets Premier Mokgoro and leader of Government Business over non-adherence and Committees concerns
The North West Provincial Legislature’ Chairpersons Forum led by Chairperson of Committees, Hon. Mmoloki Cwaile held a virtual meeting with Premier of the North West Province, Prof. Job Mokgoro and Leader of Government Business, MEC Motlalepula Rosho. The meeting was also held to resolve challenges and on-going concerns of the Chairpersons of different Portfolio and Standing Committees of the Legislature.
The meeting was necessitated by what the Chairpersons of Committees characterised as challenges and on-going concerns which are detrimental to both working relationship of legislature and EXCO and efforts aimed at the realization of the strategic objectives of the NDP 2030 as supposed to be pursuit by government and overseen by the legislature.
Hon. Cwaile said at the centre of the identified challenges, are significant disjuncture of the plans and what is promised to the people in form of policy mandates such as Global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Continental Agenda 2063, Regional SADC Master Plan; National Constitutional Principles and Values, National Development Plan (NDP) 2030, Medium-term Strategic Frameworks, State of the Nation Address (SONA) priorities and Provincial State of the Province Address (SOPA) priorities.
“We have concerns around lack of action regarding House Resolutions by the EXCO and prolonged turn around times for responses and failure to implement corrective recommendations and Post Audit Action Plans (PAAP) to resolve problems identified by institutions supporting democracy (ISD) such as Auditor-General, Public Service Commission (PSC) and Public Protector (PP),” said Hon. Cwaile.
The Chairpersons reminded Leader of Government Business and Premier that failure to table required reports is not only a non-compliance with PFMA but also a breach of Constitutional Provisions in Section 133 (3)(b) of the Constitution which requires the EXCO to provide the legislature with full and regular reports concerning matters to the EXCO members and with such guidelines well encapsulated in Tabling Procedure Manual.
According to Hon. Cwaile, the meeting further noted that there were 201 pieces of legislation from Bophuthatswana regime which needed to be repealed and that EXCO was needed to play its role. Further noted by the meeting was the use of private vehicle by one MEC whose personal claims exceeded R1 million far above benchmark value for vehicles of the EXCO members.
Chairperson for the Portfolio Committee on Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs, Hon. Aaron Motswana asked the Premier to follow up on more than 63 criminal cases related to allegations of corruption openned by both the Premier and Members of the Legislature flowing from forensic reports and indicates intent to ask SARS to conduct lifestyle audit on police officers handling the cases given lack of progress on the cases.
“There is a need to investigate disposal of Bophuthatswana Broadcasting Studio (BRS); corruption at Boards and usage of Boards employees for political campaigns; irregular deployment of Section 139 administrators from outside of public service as secondment and their alleged corrupt activities; appointment of security companies at the Department of Health; unprecedented levels of corruption at the municipalities and a need for a calculated action to rescue the National Transport Investment (NTI) holdings which is financially paralysed,” said Hon. Cwaile.
He said there is a need to have Treasury issuing guidelines for usage of consultants, record management and asset management which are major causes of undesired audit outcome both at municipalities and provincial departments and their entities. “What concerned Chairpersons the most was role of Section 100 administrators in haemorrhage of economic opportunities to other provinces to the disadvantage of local economic development and local businesses,” said Hon. Cwaile.
The Chair of Chairs, Hon Cwaile requested that COVID19 responses should be decentralised to institutions, and such capacities to be institutionalised and to make responses permanent with improved inter-governmental relations for coordination and integration. “The costs related to disciplinary processes should be contained through use of managers of the departments and not only lawyers and also through use of alternative suspension options as per Public Sector Guideline for suspension including allocation of alternative work or department to other work stations as means of suspension rather than to pay employees whilst at they idle at home when their skills are needed elsewhere during disciplinary processes,” said Hon. Cwaile.
The meeting explained how departments’ organograms are failing service delivery by making provincial offices at point of coordination too big and too small at coalface of service delivery where structures provide for small number of personnel and appeal for their review. A need to strengthen Budget and Treasury offices (BTO) at municipalities and to subject supply chain management (SCM) officers to vetting processes and lifestyle audit was acknowledged.
In conclusion, the Chairpersons resolved that the would be ongoing engagements to help resolve contradictions and ongoing concerns and that both EXCO and Legislature would continue to exchange notes and work hand in glove to find each other and improve on impact of the work of the EXCO in adding positive impetus on our people’s desire for better life.
Source: Government of South Africa