Home News ‘Bill to protect NC initiates’

‘Bill to protect NC initiates’


The department will finalise the process of the development of a provincial disaster management plan together with disaster management framework

Picture: Pixabay

THE NORTHERN Cape Department of Co-operative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs (Coghtsa) will establish a steering committee to advise on initiation practices.

Delivering his budget speech yesterday, the MEC for Coghsta, Bentley Vass, said that the committee would be comprised of officials from the Department of Health, the Department of Education, the SAPS and Houses of Traditional Leaders.

“The Northern Cape Initiation Bill seeks to provide for the protection of life, the prevention of injuries and the prevention of all forms of abuse experienced by initiates before, during and after the practice of initiation. The committee sits on a monthly basis to finalise the bill,” said Vass.
He added that legislation had to be “urgently promulgated” to deal with perpetrators who engaged in harmful practices of this customary practice.

“The perpetrators who allegedly kidnapped five initiates and forced them to undergo initiation practices in Warrenton have since been arrested for culpable homicide, kidnapping and setting up of an illegal initiation school. The five initiates were killed when they were run over by a train.”
Vass said that dedicated conveyancers had been appointed to fast track and monitor the title deed restoration project.

He said that 4 481 title deeds would be handed over in the 2017/18 year while 3 185 title deeds were ready for handover by municipalities.
“We intend to transfer 9 192 properties in the 2018/19 financial year to approved beneficiaries.”

He stated that 814 ‘breaking new ground’ houses were built this financial year, of which 298 were women-headed households.
Vass added that Gamagara, Ga-Segonyana, Tsantsabane and Kgatelopele municipalities would be placed on the national programme to revitalise mining towns.

“In 2018/19 Khai Ma and Joe Morolong municipalities were identified as mining towns for development and upgrading.”

Frances Baard, ZF Mgcawu, John Taolo Gaetsewe, Sol Plaatje, Emthanjeni, Pixley ka Seme and Dawid Kruiper municipalities have been accredited to benefit from the R5 million capacitation grant to perform delegated housing functions.

“The accredited municipalities will continue receiving support in the 2018/19 financial year through the provision of the capacitation grant, a process that will be annually reviewed in terms of performance.”

Vass said informal settlements in Snake Park in Sol Plaatje Municipality and Promised Land in Ga-Segonyana Municipality would be included in an upgrading plan.

He added that the department had purchased 21 hectares in the Emthanjeni municipal district, 46 hectares in Tsantsabane and 2 090 hectares in the Gamagara district to align human settlements plans and bring housing opportunities closer to economic activities and amenities.

Vass stated that all mayors and municipal managers were instructed to fill all vacant posts by May 1, where all candidates had to undergo proper shortlisting processes.

“More than a year after the new municipal councils took office, only 96 from a total of 141 local government senior management positions have been filled (31.2 percent).”

Vass added that acting municipal managers had been seconded to Karoo Hoogland, Ubuntu, Renosterberg, Magareng, Richtersveld and Kgatelopele municipalities, while support was being offered at Ubuntu and Siyancuma local municipalities.

“The department, through the collaborative efforts with Provincial and National Treasury and the executive council, has intervened by placing Ubuntu and Magareng local municipalities under sections 137 of the Municipal Finance Management Act. In addition, these municipalities were advised by financial recovery experts to assist with the municipality’s budget and revenue-raising measures.”

He said financial recovery plans were implemented at Dikgatlong and Renosterberg local municipalities.
Vass added that a deed of settlement agreement had been entered into to transfer land from Alexkor and government to the Richtersveld community, following an application in the Constitutional Court for land restitution.

“At the heart of the deed of settlement was the formal township establishment of Alexander Bay Village. The transfer was subject to the upgrading of engineering services and the provision of services by the Richtersveld Municipality to the settlement.”
Vass stated that discussions were ongoing with the National Energy Regulator of South Africa to transfer the electricity licence from Alexkor to the municipality.

He expressed concern over R261 million in irregular expenditure incurred, where the major contributors, Gamagara, Ga-Segonyana (both from the John Taolo Gaetsewe district) and Hantam local municipalities, were responsible for 54 percent of the total irregular expenditure.
“It was reported that 56 percent of municipalities were in the process of investigating the full extent of their irregular expenditure.”

Vass indicated that payments made on contracts that were irregularly awarded, as well as unfair procurement processes identified as non-compliance, would be monitored through the audit action plans.

He stated that 21 000 work opportunities would be created in the five districts of the Province through community work programmes.“The CWP programme will target 7 800 job opportunities for the young people in the new financial year.”

The initial provincial total Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) allocation for the 2017/18 financial year was R480 million and it was revised or adjusted to R488 million after the stopping and re-allocation process that took place in March 2018.

“It is evident from the current allocation that the provincial MIG budget is on a decrease and the need for basic services is on the rise. The total expenditure as at the end of March 2018 is R273 million which represents 56 percent of the total allocation.”

The municipality is implementing the Kgatelopele Wastewater Treatment Works bulk sewer project with a project value or cost estimated at R43 million. The annual MIG allocation to the municipality is about R8 million. Finsch Diamond Mine is assisting the municipality by co-funding the project to the tune of R4.3 million.”

With persistent drought conditions adversely affecting farming communities, Vass reported that R163 million had been allocated from the Municipal Disaster Grant by the National Disaster Management Centre.

“In addition, during this financial year, the department will finalise the process of the development of a provincial disaster management plan together with disaster management framework.”

Total budget: R 831 million
Administration: R 177 million
Human Settlements: R 547 million
Co-operative governance: R134 million
Traditional Affairs: R22 million