Cooperative Governance committee welcomes improvements in Phokwane

The Portfolio Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) has welcomed the progress achieved by the new management of the Phokwane Local Municipality, which has improved the municipality’s fortunes.

The municipality was at the point of dissolution in 2018 due to political and administrative instability, largely because of political infighting.

The portfolio committee visited the municipality last week as part of its weeklong oversight visit in the Northern Cape to assess progress in turning Sol Plaatje and Phokwane Local Municipalities around from a state of dysfunctionality.

Phokwane was placed under Section 139 in 2019 after infighting rendered it unable to deliver services to the people.

“In its engagement with the new Mayor, the Speaker, the municipality’s senior management and the MEC for CoGTA in the province, the committee heard that stability at both political and administrative levels has been restored and is gaining momentum

“The Mayor and the Acting Municipal Manager told the committee that the municipality is moving towards a better position to meet its constitutional responsibility of delivering basic services to the people,” the committee said after the visit.

The committee appealed to the municipality’s new leadership to uphold the commitment it made to serving the people and being the servants of the people of the communities that constitute Phokwane.

The chairperson of the committee, Fikile Xasa, said this commitment will translate into an attitude of passion to serve the people.

“Once you are driven by an attitude like that, a spirit of unity in action will prevail and no infighting will ever take place,” said Xasa.

The team also engaged with the municipality’s stakeholders, including the South African National Civic Organisation, the Agricultural Union, AfriForum SA, taxpayers and taxi associations, the Frances Baard Economic Forum, the business forum and youth organisations.

The stakeholders complained about the rate of service delivery, crumbling infrastructure, poor water quality, load shedding and incorrect accounts for services rendered.

The committee urged the stakeholders to work together with the municipality.

“[The committee] told them that solutions to all the problems they raised will be discharged by their close collaboration. The committee advised the Mayor to promote public participation in the municipality by, among other things, convening open days for stakeholders, with structured agendas at ward and municipal levels.”

Source: South African Government News Agency