Parliament calls for public engagement over beleaguered Lekwa municipality

Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) has appealed to sector departments to assist the embattled Lekwa Local Municipality in Mpumalanga to deliver basic services.

The appeal was made on Thursday when the committee engaged with various Lekwa Local Municipality public stakeholders on a variety of issues, including service delivery and infrastructure.

The committee said after engaging with the stakeholders, it noted that there is still a lot that needs to be done regarding the stabilisation of the leadership and administration of the municipality.

“The committee heard various complaints from the residents, including non-delivery of basic services such as water and sanitation, refuse collection and non-provision of electricity.

“The committee also heard about the lack of implementation of by-laws, corrupt allocation of housing and poor service from municipal officials. The committee expresses its concern on the crumbling road infrastructure, which is riddled with potholes within the municipality.”

The committee will follow up on the specific issues that have been raised by stakeholders, particularly those that affect the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs.

“The committee also calls on critical sector departments to assist the municipality, particularly with services such as cleaning, roads, water and sanitation, as the municipality is very dirty.

“It was highlighted during the engagement that the municipality needs stable and visionary political and administrative leadership to uncover the municipality’s economic growth and development potential.

“After today’s engagement, the committee will table a report to the National Assembly with recommendations of what should be done.

“The committee will also continue to perform its oversight duties by demanding monthly reports on the status of the municipality from the relevant department and from the Ministers of Finance and COGTA, who are deployed by Cabinet to the Lekwa Local Municipality.

“Furthermore, the committee will continue to monitor whether action is taken on the issues that have been raised by the community,” the committee said.

On Wednesday, the committee heard that several sector departments had shown willingness to assist the municipality. It calls for that assistance to be provided in a coordinated manner with the Department of COGTA at the centre.

“To this end, the committee will also meet with the sector departments to ascertain their plans to assist the municipality.

“Committee members also urged the stakeholders to file formal complaints against municipal officials who are not doing their work. It is one of the ways residents can ensure that they have accountable and responsive municipal administration,” the committee said.

Source: South African Government News Agency