Former North West premier, Supra Mahumapelo, was on Monday asked to leave a virtual parliamentary meeting. The meeting dealt with the governance challenges in the once-troubled province.
The ad hoc committee, on the Section 100 intervention in the North West, met with the inter-ministerial task team and the National Treasury for an update.
After an opening address by Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the committee chairperson, China Dodovu, spotted Mahumapelo on the Zoom virtual platform.
“This is an official meeting of Parliament and, as such, I do not want problems in this respect. Only people who are invited should be here. I am going to request Mr Mahumapelo to log out of this meeting because he is not supposed to be part of this meeting.
“If he wants to follow what is happening, he can watch it on Parliament’s DSTV channel.
“Please, Mr Mahumapelo, log out of this meeting because we have not invited you to be part of this meeting,” Dodovu said.
In response, Mahumapelo said: “I hear what you are saying. If it was not because of Covid-19, we would have convened this meeting in the precincts of Parliament and, as a Member of Parliament, any other member is welcome to attend any other meeting of Parliament as long as they don’t vote in that meeting in line with the rules.
“It’s up to you, chair, to arise at a decision as to whether what you are doing is line with the rules of Parliament because I am a Member of Parliament.”
In response, Dodovu said: “I am aware [that you are an MP]. Let’s err on the side of caution. Please log out, and I will follow up this matter with Parliament, so that I understand what it is that we need to do in the circumstances.”
Cabinet invoked Section 100(1) of the Constitution on the North West health department on 25 April 2018, placing it under national government’s administration.
In May 2018, the entire provincial government was placed under administration.
Section 100 allowed the national executive to intervene in a provincial government, if it had been established the provincial authority could not fulfil its constitutional obligations.
National government stepped in after major financial, governance and capacity challenges were recorded at provincial departments.
Jonathan Timm, director for citizen-based monitoring at the Department of Planning and Monitoring, presented an update on the progress in the North West.
“Capacity for service delivery has been built through filling key management posts, investment in infrastructure and equipment, and improved systems. Audit results for 2019-20 show a turnaround after five years of decline and stagnation. Irregular project management units and outsourcing terminated. Processes are underway to recover losses to the state,” he said.
Timm also said capacity building had taken place across departments to strengthen supply chain management.
“Community and labour peace [were] maintained through ongoing engagements with workers on issues of concern. [There was] alignment of planning between departments to deliver on service delivery priorities. Functions previously centralised in the premier’s office have been transferred back to their original departments,” he said.
The North West still faces several challenges in local government.
Timm, however, said national and provincial departments were implementing a package of interventions to address the challenges.
These challenges include:
- Parallel councils, two mayors and two speakers existing in a number of municipalities;
- Maladministration and corruption;
- Defiance of provincial government interventions;
- Private ratepayers’ organisations withholding revenue and taking over municipal services;
- Failing water and sanitation systems;
- Vandalism and theft of infrastructure;
- Gangsterism and criminal attacks on officials; and
- Huge debts to Eskom and water boards threaten the continuation of essential services.