The Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA), hnourable Des van Rooyen convened an ordinary MINEC meeting today (11 August 2017).
met with the MECs for cooperative governance and traditional affairs, as per their regular meeting.
Among the issues discussed were the following:
- The reconstitution of the National House of Traditional Leaders (NHTL), which dissolves on the 16th of August. The process is dependent upon the reconstitution of the Provincial House of Traditional Leaders. The reconstitution of the National House of Traditional will commence soon thereafter. The NHTL will still be able to perform its functions, until the new house is reconstituted.
- Proposed amendments to the Municipal Demarcation Act were also dealt with. It is the first time in 19 years that amendments to the Act are being considered. Those disqualified from being members of the board include political office bearers, full-time employees of organs of state, and elected public office-bearers; there must also be a designee from NA, NCOP and the traditional leadership sector. Importantly, all major re-determinations will be done only every 10 years and must not take less than 3 years before a local government election; the board may make no boundary changes after the determination of the formulae for the number of councillors by the Minister.
The board must also ensure sufficient public participation. This includes assisting illiterate persons in making a submission. The Board must ensure participation through government, political, civil, and CBOs to promote transparency and administrative justice. The Board must also publish reasons for its decisions.
- Proposed Amendments to the Municipal Structures Act considered electoral and governance issues. Governance issues includes establishment of the Office of the Whip and the strengthening of the role of the Municipal Public Accounts Committee. The minimum number of councillors in each municipality is also recommended to be 15. The MEC may also designate a person to call a meeting when the Speaker or Acting Speaker refuses to call a meeting.
- The South African Local Government Association (SALGA) outlined its training and development strategy for councillors, in an effort to capacitate them not only for the job at hand, but also beyond their term of office. This includes elements such as media management and stakeholder engagement.
- The MINMEC was also briefed on the National Food and Nutrition Security Plan and the initiative to further involve municipalities in ensuring food security.
- The Presidential Local Government Summit was also discussed. The development and strengthening of joint Back to Basics (B2B) programmes was noted. The need for coordinated inter-governmental planning, budgeting and implementation was identified as being vital.
- The Traditional Leaders Indaba, which focused on Land Ownership, Tenure Rights and Radical Socio-Economic Development; Institutional Capacity (Support and Budget); Nation Building and Social Cohesion in the context of Ubuntu; and Constitutional and Legislative mandate, was also discussed. The MINMEC expressed the need for a clear Programme of Action arising out of the Indaba.
- The resolutions of the inaugural Local Government Youth Development Conference were also deliberated upon. The need to establish youth directorates at national, provincial and local level was identified as an important step in moving the youth agenda forward. The establishment of the Local Government Youth Development Forum and the need for it to be effectively institutionalised across provinces and municipalities was also brought to attention of the MECs.
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