Andrew Louw, MPL
DA Northern Cape: Spokesperson
The Democratic Alliance is concerned that ongoing political interference within the Northern Cape Department of Cooperative Government is going to impede this already backtracking department from going forward. This follows on information that came to light during today’s portfolio committee meeting on the budget presentation for this department.
It became clear that there are many “unfunded mandates” within this department that are being bulldozed forward by what we can only imagine to be external political forces at play. At the same time, there are dissident forces within this department who are stubbornly refusing to comply with national regulations. We can only surmise that they have self-vested interests or that they too are part of a bigger political force trying to circumnavigate departmental focus away from the duties at task.
Whilst this is a very worrying factor, it is not surprising. Municipalities have long been the dumping ground for political cadres, and have served as the cash cow to repay political favours. It only makes sense, now that most of our municipalities are down and out, that political powers zone in on the managing department, to use its resources as a purse from which to repay favours.
Nonetheless, the DA is pleased with the department’s openness and frankness with regards to challenges such as unfunded mandates. This said, we want to believe that the HOD of the department does indeed have the will to clean up this department and that, if given half the chance, she could go a long way in restoring some moral fiber within this crumbling institution. For her to succeed, however, she will have to stay strong in the face of political interference, and with this, we wish her and her team all of the best.