Sub-councils mean better governance

THE next local government elections are scheduled for next year and we will be going to the polls to decide who will run Port Elizabeth, Despatch and Uitenhage, known as the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, for the next five years.

We as the people of this metro deserve a city that attracts investment, generates growth and creates jobs.

We deserve a metro that is safe for our families and we deserve a metro that delivers quality basic services. We deserve a metro that is run by an administration that builds authentic relationships with communities and that will act as a partner when decisions that affect their lives are made.

A DA-run metro will delegate as much authority as possible to sub-councils, with the aim of decentralising the metro’s decision-making powers.

The City of Cape Town is designated as a metropolitan municipality. However, to allow more input and feedback from residents, the city is divided into 24 sub-councils.

These sub-councils consist of a number of adjoining wards, all clustered together and comprised ward councillors as well as proportional representative councillors.

In terms of the Municipal Structures Act (Act 117 of 1998) sub-councils have the power to make recommendations on any matter affecting the area. In terms of section 64 of the same act, sub-councils have approximately 120 delegations assigned to them.

Line departments therefore have to submit reports to sub-councils to have delegated matters approved. Wouldn’t it be nice if municipal officials and by-law enforcement officials were obliged to report their activities, successes and failures on a regular basis to a local structure?

Equally, wouldn’t it be nice if the current, highly centralised administration in the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality would agree to let go of some of its tightly held powers, and trust officials and councillors to oversee municipal functions within a designated sub-council area?

A government is only ever truly democratic when it is open and accountable to all its citizens. This is the ethos of the DA in government.

Where the DA governs, we have developed a solid reputation for building administrations that are properly staffed, clean, efficient and financially sound.

The DA can bring the same governance and levels of service to the Nelson Mandela Metro Municipality and deliver real change to all of its residents in providing the city that they deserve, a city of equal opportunity, where quality services are delivered to all and where all residents will have the opportunity to make their dreams a reality.

-P Terblanche, DA councillor and spokesperson on HR and corporate admin, Uitenhage

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