Municipalities discuss best practice

Hosting two municipalities – one from Free State and the other from Eastern Cape – was the order of the day for Ekurhuleni Legislature recently.

Siphelele Nxele, spokesperson for the office of the Speaker said, while it was no easy task ensuring that the day would go smoothly, the co-coordinating task teams proved themselves capable and efficient.

Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality was the first to arrive with their meeting set to sit at 9am. Their request was to spend the day with Ekurhuleni’s Municipal Public Accounts Committee (MPAC) in order to understand its ins and outs in terms of structural composition, the role it plays in ensuring tidy financial operations, stringent internal controls and its responsibility to council.

The meeting was conducted in two phases, first as an ordinary sitting followed by an information exchange session.

Alderman Sebiloane supported the modus operandi.

“It is important that our counterparts understand how we conduct MPAC meetings – dealing with the practical side forms part of the learning experience,” said Sebiloane. The Free State based municipality was shown how to promote a culture of best practice in conducting their MPAC meetings.

The day was not over as the speaker of council, Alderman Patricia Kumalo, welcomed a high powered delegation led by the speaker and chief whip from the OR Tambo District Municipality in the Eastern Cape.

“Theirs was to benchmark the Separation of Powers (SOP) governance model in its entirety, understanding the different divisions within legislature, the functioning of the multi whippery, the roles of the chief whip, the chairperson of chairpersons and the secretariat as well as the difference between standing and oversight committees,” said Nxele.

The session was delivered in a presentation format with a plenary engagement thereafter.

Alderman Kumalo shared her perspective. “We welcome the opportunity to share the knowledge we have with our Eastern Cape colleagues; our governance model takes citizen involvement from the periphery to the centre because we understand that governance has no purpose without representation from our communities. It’s a critical juncture in how we interpret democratic processes at local government level,” said Kumalo.

“At the heart of building effective governance structures is a need to continuously expand on research that informs the policies used to safeguard the provision of basic services. Bench marking is a tried and tested method to gauge institutional progress by assessing its merits against a set standard. Developing our human capital through knowledge exchange and fostering a culture of learning is therefore a governance imperative,” said Nxele.

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