We have detected that the browser you are using is no longer supported. As a result, some content may not display correctly.
We suggest that you upgrade to the latest version of any of the following browsers:
Source: Portfolio Committee on Provincial and Local
Title: Carrim: Debate on Municipal Systems Bill, NA
STATEMENT BY YUNUS CARRIM, CHAIRPERSON OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
ON PROVINCIAL AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT, DURING DEBATE ON THE MUNICIPAL
SYSTEMS BILL, National Assembly, 11 September 2003
The Municipal Systems Amendment Bill deals with consequential
amendments flowing from the processing of the Municipal Finance
Management Bill by the Portfolio Committee on Finance.
Essentially, the Bill serves to strengthen the governance role of
municipalities in respect of municipal entities and the assignment
of new powers and functions to local government by national and
Municipalities have long complained that national and provincial
governments assign new powers and functions to them without giving
them the money to carry these out. The space for these unfunded
mandates is now considerably reduced. The full financial
implications of these assignments have to be spelt out before they
can be effected. And the role of the Financial and Fiscal
Commission has been strengthened. The capacity of municipalities to
carry out these assignments also have to be assessed at the
To ensure greater municipal control of municipal entities, these
entities are now limited to private companies, service utilities
and multi-jurisdictional service utilities. However, they can be
established not just to provide services but to fulfil other
municipal functions as well.
For example, an entity could be established not just to provide
water services, but also carry out the function of reading water
consumption meters. A municipal entity may also be established to
carry out municipal functions that do not necessarily relate to
services, such as the provision of information technology support
to a municipality. This expanded role is explained in greater
detail in our report to parliament carried in Monday's ATC.
Sections of South African Local Government Association (SALGA)
initially felt that councillors should serve on the Board of
Directors of municipal entities to ensure accountability. But after
concerted negotiations with SALGA, a consensus emerged that
councillors and officials should be non-participating observers at
board meetings and that other provisions ensuring accountability
should be strengthened. Our Committee is aware that these
provisions may not be adequate and will, in future, in consultation
with the Finance Committee, consider a review of these provisions,
should it become necessary to do so.
In processing clause 8 of the Bill, the issue of municipal managers
remuneration was once again raised. Our Committee has repeatedly
called for the Minister to regulate municipal managers
remuneration. We realise, however, that this is easier said than
done. In the first instance, it may not be constitutionally tenable
to do so. Also local government is a specific sphere of government
made up of 284 municipalities of three categories and different
types, which differ moreover, in terms of population size, budgets,
service delivery responsibilities and other respects. We certainly
need more information on what precisely managers earn and what
their respective responsibilities are.
Of course, municipal managers are not appointed permanently
anymore, but on employment contracts of five years. This was a
deliberate decision taken by parliament to ensure that municipal
managers are productive, effective and accountable. The employment
contracts include performance contracts, which set clear
performance targets and indicators and often include bonus payments
for municipal managers provided they achieve the targets set. So it
would not be easy to implement national regulations.
Of course, to attract highly skilled, efficient managers,
municipalities often have to compete with high private sector
salaries. Often, the municipalities most in need of highly skilled
municipal managers are the smaller and rural municipalities who can
least afford them. Yet to draw the requisite skills, these
municipalities have to offer high salary packages in competition
with the financially better-off municipalities.
The Committee is pleased to learn that the report on managers'
remuneration commissioned by the Minister is finalised. We have
requested the department to present the findings of the report to
our Committee within eight weeks.
There were several other issues raised in our processing of this
Bill. This will be dealt with by other speakers in this debate. Yet
other issues are to be found in our report published in Monday's
In conclusion, I express our appreciation to the Portfolio
Committee on Finance to the extent it was able to co-operate with
us. Our thanks also go to Elroy Africa and the rest of the
Department of Provincial and Local Government's team, in
particular, Petra Bouwer, for his sterling performance, once again.
We also convey appreciation to Ismail Momoniat and his National
Enquiries: Yunus Carrim 082 553 0174
Issued by: Yunus Carrim: Chairperson of Portfolio Committee on
Provincial and Local Government
11 September 2003