An ordinary council sitting convened to consider and debate several reports got mired in dealing with issues of operational dysfunctionality. The first issue that raised caution and even united all parties was that of free access into the municipal building. It is so that anyone can enter and exit the municipal premises without any official record being generated in terms of security. This occur albeit the fact that there is a private security company contracted to provide tight security and which is paid R400 000 per month. This lack of security places the whole institution under severe risk including the fact that municipal property is compromised.
On the same issue of security the closed-circuit television has long stopped functioning and as a result there is virtually no monitoring system. It was revealed that this security lapse allows municipal property to be taken out illegally thus costing the municipality a lot of money as it has to keep on procuring especially consumables.
The second issue was about the abuse of municipal property by some employees and in particular the water trucks and the grader. It is said that they are used to do private work without authorization. This startling revelation prompted the Mayor to undertake to personally investigate and report back to council in the next sitting.
Overall several of the reports were adopted. Council resolved that the Acting Municipal Manager should as a matter of extreme urgency ensure that there is a controlled access in and out of the municipal premises. It also resolved that the recognized Magoshi will now participate in debates but with no voting rights. On the issue of the establishment of a Further Education and Training college the Mayor promised to table a progress report in the next council sitting.
The most devastating reality was delivered by the Chairperson of the Audit Committee when he warned council that if it doesn’t act swiftly to fill the vacant senior positions the municipality will very soon be placed under administration. The severity of the legal conundrum goes as follows; The Community Services Director is also Acting Municipal Manager, the Planning Director is also Acting Director Corporate Services and then the Acting Chief Financial Officer and Acting Director Technical Services. So, at this level of strategic management of the institution there is virtually an unworkable congestion.
The municipality is in a precarious situation and an intervention is therefore necessary in order to ensure that it is put back on a sound operational pedestal. It is quite revealing and heart wrenching that it is only now that the politicians are waking up to this reality. That the municipality has operated for so long without proper security and tight asset use control points to a serious administrative anomaly in terms of the law. The politicians need to own up to this challenge and act decisively to protect this public institution and maximize service delivery.
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Politics & Governance