The National Council of Provinces (NCOP) today concluded a crucial induction programme with the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) in Cape Town. The two-day programme, which started yesterday, dealt with the rules of debates in the NCOP and the role of local government in the law-making process at the national sphere of government.
After the local government elections every 5 years, members of SALGA undergo an induction programme, focused on how the NCOP functions and its role in the legislative sector. The Constitution enables SALGA to have up to 10 representatives in the NCOP who can participate in debates, therefore the role of local government is limited when it comes to voting in the NCOP as SALGA does not have voting powers.
The induction programme dealt with the process of interventions which section 100 and 139 sets out in the Constitution. An intervention may be triggered by failure by either the provincial administration or municipality to fulfil an executive obligation in terms of the legislation. During their deliberations on section 139 interventions in municipalities, the councilors and NCOP delegates agreed that putting a municipality under administration should be the last resort.
NCOP House Chairperson for International Relations and Members’ Support, Ms Masefako Dikgale, who facilitated the two-day workshop, welcomed the proposal that section 139 interventions must be avoided if possible. “If we apply all the policies properly and implement recommendations by the Auditor-General, our municipalities can get their houses in order and interventions will not be necessary”, she said
The NCOP consists of 54 permanent delegates and 36 special delegates, each province with an equal number of delegates. SALGA is allowed only ten representatives in the NCOP. Amongst the names who attended the induction workshop were Clr Samkelo Janda, Mayor of Mbhase Local Municipality and Ms Khunjuzwa Kekana, the Executive Mayor of Sarah Baartman District Municipality, to mention but a few.
Issued by the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa