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Cobus: Congratulations to Cape Town City for pledge to act against councillors (06/03/2003)

6th March 2003

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Date: 06/03/2003
Source: Western Cape Provincial Government
Title: Cobus: Congratulations to Cape Town City for pledge to act against councillors


STATEMENT BY COBUS DOWRY, MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT IN WESTERN CAPE: CITY OF CAPE TOWN MUST BE CONGRATULATED FOR THE PROMISE OF STERN ACTION AGAINST COUNCILLORS

The Speaker of the City of Cape Town, Councillor Gavin Paulse, must be praised for his viewpoint that action will be taken against councillors who stay away from meetings and city activities. It is clear that the City of Cape Town is now displaying the necessary political will to act against councillors.

The Code of Conduct for councillors is effective as long as it is correctly applied. It is a requirement of the Municipal Systems Act that the Speaker must see to it that each councillor must receive a copy of the Code of Conduct when they take up office. It must furthermore be available in every room or venue where the council meets. Perhaps it has become necessary to once again impress the Code of Conduct upon councillors in the Western Cape.

There are ample mechanisms within the Code of Conduct, which make it possible for a Speaker to act against councillors. Without the necessary political will the Code of Conduct is worthless. The legislation has been drafted in such a way that the local sphere of government must investigate alleged breaches of the Code of Conduct. When alleged breaches come to my attention, I will not hesitate to refer it to the relevant Speaker. My experience in this regard, however, is that the political will is sometimes lacking, or that there is a hesitancy to act.

The proper application of the Code of Conduct is in the hands of the Speaker who is responsible for the order and discipline in the council. It is clear that the City of Cape Town is now serious about the conduct of councillors and it is welcomed.

In terms of Section 13 of the Code of Conduct it is the legal duty of the Speaker to authorise an investigation when there is a breach of the Code of Conduct because discipline, which is conducive for good governance, revolve around the Speakers.

Enquiries: Jan Bosman on 083-7755-312
Issued by Western Cape Department of Local Government
6 March 2003
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