The capacity building of municipalities are always at the centre of development, effectiveness and efficiency. “As we strive to be the home of excellence for a better life for all as enshrined in our vision, we do this taking into account the effect of well capacitated institution”, said Executive Mayor Cllr John Mpe opening the councillors’ workshop held on 05 March 2018 at Peter Mokaba Stadium.
The workshop conducted by South African Local Government Association (SALGA) and Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) was on the governance model and upper limits for councillors. The workshop has been necessitated by the need for councillors to be informed and capacitated on latest developments with regard to the grading of municipalities, based on the notice on the determination of upper limits for salaries, allowances and benefits of different members of the municipal councils of 15 December 2017.
The notice was issued by the minister of cooperative governance and traditional affairs, in terms of the remuneration of public office bearers act , act 20 of 1998, section 7(1), 8 (5)(a), each financial year. The notice sets out a formula for determination of upper limits for salaries, allowances and benefits for councillors, based on the grade of a municipality. The presentation overview focused on the municipal grading, role of municipalities and that of the department, submission of information by municipalities, challenges and recommendations.
The workshop also dealt with dealt with matters relating to separation of powers, legislative mandate, high level structure, roles and responsibilities, section 79 Committees Portfolio and Standing Committees, mechanism of strengthening oversight and others.
The Executive Mayor appreciated the workshop and the role it has played. “Capricorn District has already moved towards implementation of matters relating to separation of powers. As a municipality we cannot define ourselves beyond our local municipalities. We cannot move forward and leave our local municipalities behind. We need to complement and capacitate our local municipalities so that we move at par with the necessary speed”, emphasised the Executive Mayor.
“It is important that when we deal with models relation to various issues presented we also focus on availability of capacity within our structures in particular skilled, experienced and capable officials. We need a high level of political maturity in order to understand the roles and responsibilities within our municipalities to avoid power conflicts”, reiterated Executive Mayor giving way forward.
He continued that “We need to educate and capacitate our councillors through accredited tertiary institutions such as universities. We are at the root of development, we cannot be left nor side-line when it comes to certain benefits on education. As a district we have a good viable relationship with our traditional leaders. Our traditional leaders also have concerns relating to their benefits and allowances for sittings as they are also members of councils. As a result we request for SALGA and CoGHSTA to also look into this matter”.
“More important, we request that before implementations of notices or circulars, our officials be afforded training on how the calculations should be done. This will avoid a situation wherein at the end councillors owe the municipality and are required to pay back the money” concluded Executive Mayor.
The workshop was also attended by Mayor of Lepelle-Nkumpi and Blouberg Cllr Nakedi Sibanda-Kekana and Maseka Pheedi respectively, Speakers and Chief Whips from CDM and all its local Municipalities, Kgoshigadi Matlala, Kgoshi Seakamela, Kgoshi Kibi Leboho and other councillors.