Dacre Haddon MPL
DA Member of the Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature
The following speech was made by Dacre Haddon MPL, to “PARLIAMENT TO THE PEOPLE” on the Local Government Oversight report.
Honourable Speaker, Madam Premier, the Executive Council Members of the Legislature, Officials and citizens of Cacadu, good morning.
The Local Government Oversight report presented to this Legislature on Wednesday makes for scary reading.
Citizens of Cacadu, the Democratic Alliance has listened to your problems and heard your pleas for help to sort out the local government crises in this area.
We thank you for your honesty and for taking the trouble to inform us of your daily problems of poor service delivery.
The Democratic Alliance is proud that many of the issues highlighted by you and which are in the report are matters that we have been taking up and solving with success on your behalf for the last few months.
Ladies and Gentlemen, when referring to the General Findings of the report we note that many on-going problems are noted that have previously been highlighted in the past.
Issues such as poor financial management, poor audit opinions, the on-going use of consultants and problems with attracting competent staff remain on-going challenges to the Cacadu municipalities.
With reference to the report and the comments and concerns raised by the community over the last few days, the following issues are of serious concern: * It is unacceptable that you have to hear that there is no money “geen geld” for service delivery when Kouga managers who have been working for 4 months award themselves Performance bonuses. * It is unacceptable that section 56 managers in Kouga were appointed without following the correct processes. * It is unacceptable that the MEC for Local Government had to place the Koukamma Municipality under administration from April 2009 until 2011 due to incompetence of officials. * It is unacceptable that the debt of 24 million owed by Kouga municipality to Nelson Mandela Bay Metro will take 3 years to be paid off. * It is unacceptable that Kouga municipality is standing at an amount of R85 million in terms of creditors and R105 million in its debtor book.
This means that Kouga is technically bankrupt.
However, Honourable Speaker, what is of great concern is that there is no mention in the report of anything with regards to job creation within these municipalities.
If there is an on-going awareness through regular reports on local job creation, there will be greater commitment by municipalities and the department to continually focus on ways to enhance job creation.
There can be no work or jobs unless the department and the municipalities start focusing on better managing your municipality.
The more efficiently a municipality is run, the greater the certainty of new and sustained economic opportunity for that municipality and its people.
Therefore, Ladies and Gentleman we ask you to put pressure on your municipality to keep you informed of what is being done to create jobs for you.
In addition, the councillors of all parties should be driving this issue in councils with funding skills programmes.
So how do we fix this problem of bad municipal government in order to create jobs?
The DA proposes some ideas to boost economic development: 1. Get rid of incompetent staff and employ qualified and committed staff. 2. By privatizing or outsourcing certain municipal functions like refuse services, will create more such companies. This in turn will drive down costs, create competition between companies and create many more jobs for you. 3. Companies must want to invest in Cacadu. This will only happen if council gives attractive perks like tax holidays and start up discounts. 4. The establishment of “one stop shops” where all assistance to start up small business and apply for work can be centralized in one place.
So, Ladies and gentlemen do you know what is being done to fast track large scale work opportunity for you in Cacadu?
Is your municipality keeping you regularly informed of work opportunities?
Is the Local Economic unit of your municipality operating effectively?
Is there a fair system for applying for employment in these projects?
Are your councillors ensuring that they vote sufficient of your municipal budget to develop LED and other small business opportunities for you?
In conclusion, there must be efficiency of local government to create a climate for large-scale investment in Cacadu.
We urge you to get involved so that all can benefit from economic prosperity in Cacadu.