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Dowry: Western Cape Speakers' Forum (19/02/2003)

19th February 2003

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Date: 19/02/2003
Source: Western Cape Provincial Government
Title: Dowry: Western Cape Speakers' Forum


EXTRACTS FROM A SPEECH BY COBUS DOWRY, WESTERN CAPE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, AT THE FIRST MEETING OF THE WESTERN CAPE SPEAKERS' FORUM (ORGANISED BY WECLOGO), George, 19 February 2003

Een van die kern rolle van die Speaker is die toepassing van die Gedragskode vir Raadslede.

Met die steeds stygende nie-betaling van dienste as gevolg van mense wat nie kan betaal nie asook volstrek weier om te betaal, moet raadslede en amptenare die nodige voorbeeld stel. Die voorgestelde wysiging in die Gedragskode vir Raadslede, wat tans deur die Parlement oorweeg word, moet dus verwelkom word. Daar word van raadslede verwag om hul munisipale rekeninge en ander gelde betaalbaar aan die munisipaliteit, spoedig en op 'n gereelde basis te betaal. Agterstallige betalings van langer as 30 dae sal tot optrede ingevolge die gedragskode lei. So 'n oortreding sal by die Speaker van die munisipaliteit en die Minister belas met Plaaslike Regering aangemeld word.

Ek doen dus 'n beroep op munisipale rade om nou reeds die inisiatief te neem om waar daar raadslede en munisipale amptenare is wat agterstallig is te waarsku dat hulle eerste aan die pen sal ry. Sulke optrede sal verwelkom word as 'n belangrike stap in die regte rigting. Raadslede en amptenare kan nie anders behandel word nie en hulle moet lei deur 'n voorbeeld te stel en behoort nie deur 'n wet verplig te word nie.

Dit is na my mening nie onredelik om stiptelike betalings te verwag van diegene wat aan die stuur van sake staan nie. Indien dit nie gebeur nie, is penalisering onafwendbaar.

I am proud of the level of governance at our municipalities. In the short time frame available, a professional level of government was established at our municipalities and I am convinced that in continuing our level of government we can establish good governance in local government and in this the Speaker's role will be invaluable.

The United Nations has defined 8 major characteristics for good governance. It is participatory, consensus oriented, accountable, transparent, responsive, effective and efficient, equitable and inclusive and follows the rule of law. To a large extent we have succeeded in incorporating all of these characteristics in the approach taken by local governments in the Western Cape.

I sincerely believe that there are ample mechanisms in place to regulate the activities of officials within our municipalities. Councillors are subjected to a Code of Conduct for Councillors and this is an instrument within our municipal Acts which can bring a degree of order and action to deal with any breach by a councillor. There is a concern however that in some cases there is negligence or lack of political will to apply the Code of Conduct. In this regard the province is powerless to act and our municipal Acts are very vague in this regard. This is something that must be addressed as I believe councillors should lead by example. The proper application of the Code of Conduct is in the hands of the Speaker and my plea to you today is to enforce it, without fear or favour.

Met die stelsel van voltydse raadslede by baie munisipaliteite reeds in plek en met Uitvoerende Burgemeesters wat hopelik in April/Mei geimplimenteer gaan word is daar een aspek wat ek wil aanraak. Daar is al kommer uitgespreek dat raadslede wat voltyds by munisipaliteite is nou toesighouer wil speel oor munisipale amptenare of dat raadslede moontlik die rol van amptenaar wil speel. In die verband wil ek daarop wys dat die organisasie van munisipale administrasie deur Art 51 van die Wet op Munisipale Stelsels bepaal word en dat daar 'n veiste is dat duidelike verhoudinge tot stand gebring moet word en dat samewerking, ko
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