By GEOFF EMBLING, Democratic Alliance councillor, Ward 4
1. Restore Law and Order
To restore Makana, there needs to be law and order. If squatters move into an abandoned building, for example, and cut the water piping and electrical cables, they should be removed instantly by the Municipality, in conjunction with the police.
If a club plays loud music at night, or if people in private houses do likewise, the elected “peace officers” in the Municipality should go there immediately and clamp down on the noise. If cars are heard racing around town at night, the traffic department should have the means to dispatch an officer immediately to catch the offender. If animals are seen roaming in the streets, they should be taken to a pound so that they do not create a mess in town or cause road accidents.
Makana needs to appoint peace officers to enforce the by-laws. Traffic officers are supposed to be Makana’s peace officers, but the traffic department is hardly functioning and cannot, or will not, send officers out to do these duties.
• Readjust the budget and free up money to establish an animal pound.
• A motion was submitted to the council, which will hopefully appear on the next council agenda, requesting that members from the Community Police Forum, the “Community in Blue”, be trained and adopted by Makana Municipality as the town’s official peace officers.
2. Revise the Budget and Direct Spending Towards Service Delivery
Large sums of money are granted to Makana Municipality by the National Government, and these are set aside for specific projects, i.e., upgrading pump stations and sewage treatment facilities. The money to fix streetlights, potholes, water leaks, sewage overflows, etc. should come from the local rates and taxes, of which Makana rakes in roughly R20 million per month. Much of this money is spent fruitlessly and wastefully, and Makana spends approximately R17 million per month on wage-related costs alone.
If the budget could be revised appropriately, money would be freed up for spending on fundamental service delivery issues that would make the town a better place to live in and attract investment.
• Go through the budget, create an alternative spending plan, and bring this to portfolio committees and council as regularly as necessary.
3. Consequence Management for Municipal Officials
According to the Auditor General’s report on Makana’s three recent audit disclaimers, there has been a complete lack of consequence management in Makana Municipality. Makana’s administration has got away with theft because records have not been kept backing up the spending.
Consequence management is lacking at every level in Makana Municipality. From the top down, workers and administrators have gotten away with not performing their duties due to a laissez-faire attitude in the Municipality.
• Get the council to agree to a proposal whereby each municipal worker is given key performance indicators (KPIs) and must report back on work done at the end of every month.
• Service delivery issues reported by residents will be recorded onto a reporting grid, such as a Google Docs spreadsheet, which can be shared with councillors and managers. Once reported, the issues must be fixed within a specific timeframe.
• A municipal official who fails to do their work within the timeframe will receive a written warning, and after three written warnings, they will be fired and replaced. This will continue until someone is employed who can do the job.
• Makana Municipality needs to get its essential Management 101 principles in place.