Cape Town – As the country heads towards local government elections next year, instability in municipalities is “normal”, according to a senior local government official.
Eda Barnard, chief director for municipal performance monitoring and support, told the standing committee on local government that government interventions in troubled councils in the province is designed to strengthen the core of a municipality.
“We are currently facing more and more instability in municipalities as we head into an election year. This is a normal process, it’s a cyclical one. We see it not only in the Western Cape, but across the country the closer we get to elections,” said Barnard.
“We also tend to see a higher turnover, not only on the political side, but of senior administrative officials. This brings instability into municipalities which forces us as the department and the provincial treasury to step forward and provide support to the municipality in question,” said Barnard.
Barnard was responding to question from committee member Andricus van der Westhuizen (DA) who had asked what was the root cause of the many problems being witnessed in municipalities across the province.
Asked by Nosipho Makamba-Botya (EFF) about compliance and performance appraisals of municipalities in the province, Barnard said: “There are key performance indicators that look at environmental affairs and planning. There are others that examine municipal governance, public value creation and the municipal spatial and environmental governance. We’ve designed a set of key performance areas against all of these functional areas in a given municipality.”
The provincial executive has assumed responsibility for implementing the approved recovery plan.
“Kannaland municipality is making good progress in terms of implementing this plan and relative stability has returned,” said Barnard.