The KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Executive Council has approved the rollout of the Social Compacts, which will also ensure sound local government and the implementation of local programmes aimed at development townships and rural economies.
Briefing the media following the Provincial Executive Council’s ordinary sitting, KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala said that following work conducted by the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Leaders and the KZN Economic Council, the Social Compacts will now be rolled out to all the districts of KwaZulu-Natal.
Zikalala highlighted that the Social Compacts are designed to bring partners and stakeholders together to create worker friendly and innovative solutions that will help drive economic revitalisation of the province following the floods and COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Social Compacts are meant to create an enabling environment for business, labour and civil society to create jobs and economic growth. The rolling out of the Social Compact to districts will lead to concrete commitments between business, government and stakeholders on investment attraction and job creation at local level,” Zikalala explained.
Social Cohesion and Moral Regeneration term extended
The Executive Council has also approved the extension of the term for the Social Cohesion and Moral Regeneration Council (SCMRC) of KwaZulu-Natal, and appointment of SCMRC Champions.
The SCMR was established to provide coordination, alignment, consultation and information sharing mechanism aimed at deepening social cohesion, moral regeneration and Nation Building in KwaZulu-Natal.
The Council includes all members of the Provincial Executive Council, metro and district mayors, representatives of labour, business, women and Faith Based Community (FBO), with each as equal partners within the context of good and participative governance principles.
Zikalala said the current membership expired in July 2021 after its three-year term with the Premier and a representative of civil society as co-chairpersons.
Mkhanyakude District Municipality intervention augmented
Meanwhile the Executive Council has resolved to augment the intervention uMkhanyakude District Municipality, following the persistent challenges facing the municipality.
Zikalala said the Provincial Executive Council received a report on the state of affairs in uMkhanyakude District Municipality, with the most recent one including the municipality’s failure to approve its 2022/2023 budget and Integrated Development Plan (IDP).
He emphasised that failure to adopt the budget requires a mandatory provincial intervention in terms of section 139(4)(b) of the Constitution.
“The Executive Council believe that the consequences of failure to approve the budget are dire and may lead to the financial collapse of the municipality hence compromising the well-being of the community. The breakdown of council meetings has resulted in council failing to fulfil key executive functions.
“The Provincial Executive Council has therefore resolved to augment the terms of reference of the Ministerial Representative and added more powers, which will now be assumed by the Provincial Executive Council in order to bring back stability and good governance to uMkhanyakude District Municipality,” Zikalala said.
He said the Executive Council has delegated the Finance MEC to approve the temporary budget and associated revenue raising measures, in terms of section 139(4)(b) of the Constitution.
“The Executive Council approves that the MEC for Finance delegates the responsibility to approve funds for the requirements of the municipality to be withdrawn from the municipality’s bank accounts, until such time as the municipal budget for the 2022/2023 financial year is approved in terms of section 24 of the MFMA to the current Ministerial Representative under the existing Section 139(1)(b) intervention.
“This includes powers to appoint the municipal manager, including the acting municipal manager as provided for in terms of section 82 of the Municipal Structures Act and senior managers (including acting senior managers) reporting directly to the municipal manager as provided in the Municipal Systems Act or any other legal framework,” the Premier explained.
The substantive reasons for the intervention include non-approval of the IDP for 2022/2023; non-approval of the budget for the 2022/2023 year commencing on 01 July 2022; and failure to consider investigations relating to unauthorised, irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure in terms of Section 32 of the Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA).
The district has also failed to appoint senior managers, Audit Committee and the Disciplinary Board.
Source: South African Government News Agency