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MPs approve bill to prevent corrupt officials from jumping ship to join other municipalities

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The National Council of Provinces has pushed through a bill that will stop senior officials in municipalities from joining other municipalities while facing corruption charges.

Chairperson of the select committee on co-operative governance in the NCOP, China Dodovu. Picture: Werner Beukes/African News Agency (ANA)

THE NATIONAL Council of Provinces (NCOP) has pushed through a bill that will stop senior officials in municipalities from joining other municipalities while facing corruption charges.

In the past officials would jump ship and join other municipalities in the midst of corruption allegations hanging over them.

But the majority of provinces have backed the Municipal Systems Bill to stop this practice.

The bill would also stop municipal managers from holding political office.

The chairperson of the select committee on co-operative governance, traditional affairs, water, sanitation and human settlements, China Dodovu, told the NCOP that this was an “important” bill.

The auditor-general will on Wednesday table her audit reports on national and provincial governments.

The reports have in the past shown an increase in irregular expenditure amounting to billions of rand.

The same pattern was observed in municipalities, with MPs concerned about billions lost through irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure.

Dodovu said the Municipal Systems Bill was key in the life of local government.

“This bill seeks to prevent municipal managers and managers directly accountable to municipal managers to hold political office in political parties,” said Dodovu.

He also said the bill would regulate municipal managers who have been fired.

“This bill is very important because it provides for the approval of staff establishment in municipalities by the respective municipal councils and to prohibit the employment of a person in a municipality if a post to which he or she is appointed is not provided on the staff establishment of that municipality,” said Dodovu.

He also told the NCOP that the bill gives powers to the minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs to make regulations on staff matters.

Dodovu said they had consultations in all nine provinces.

Political Bureau

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