The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng is deeply concerned that the MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Lebogang Maile has ignored national legislation, to be more specific the Minimum Information Security Standards document, regarding the appointment of the Administrators in the City of Tshwane.
In a reply to my written questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature, MEC Maile confirmed that they did not vet the administrators that was appointed to ensure that services are continued to be delivered to the residents of Tshwane, while the municipality is under administration. MEC Maile referred the questions asked, to the Head Administrator in Tshwane Metro’s office who in turn referred it to the Chief of Metro Police to answer. This clearly shows his lack of knowledge on the MISS document, because if he understood the document he would know that it was not the responsibility of the CoT to vet the administrators, but that of The Gauteng Provincial Government, as he in his capacity as MEC appointed them.
The MEC claims that the Minimum Information Security Standards document is silent on the screening and vetting of appointments made arising out of the invocation of section 139(1)(c ) of the Constitution of the country. The MISS document was approved in Parliament in 1996 and in the City of Tshwane Council in 2003.
According to the MEC the Administrators derive their executive powers by the virtue of the provisions of section 139(1)( c) of the Constitution.
Chapter 5 of the MISS document deals with PERSONNEL SECURITY: GUIDELINES WITH RESPECT TO SECURITY VETTING
1.5 “Political appointees (Director Generals, Ambassadors, etc) will not be vetted, unless the President so requests or the relevant contract so provides. From the lowest level up to Deputy Director General all staff members and any other individuals who should have access to classified information, must be subjected to security vetting”.
1.6 A security clearance gives access to classified information in accordance with the level of security clearance, subject to the need-to-know principle.
In various chapters of the MISS document, mention is made that the Head of an Institution, or person acting on his behalf, who prepares, generates, or, initially classifies a document or has it classified, bears overall responsibility for the provision and maintenance of security , under all circumstances.
According to MEC Maile the administrators were appointed to execute the task irrespective of their political affiliation or ideological currents, but based on experience, expertise and long service in local government and corporate sector.
The 10 administrators that were appointed by MEC Maile are from different backgrounds and careers in local government and corporate sector ( Some already on pension), and all of a sudden appointed with complete oversight powers and oversight over section 56 managers and complete control of the city of Tshwane including signing authority of bank accounts and decision making regarding awarding of tenders to run a metro city. It just does not make sense to appoint persons in these positions without ensuring their integrity specifically with regards to certain key responsibilities and business processes such as tender and procurement procedures is above reproach.
Key focus areas include:
1. Undertake all executive functions of a municipal council
2. Undertake all statutory executive functions of the executive mayor
3. Undertake all fiscal and financial management functions of the municipality including being signatory on the municipal primary bank account
4. Implement all governance systems and procedures including oversight over the administration
5. Ensure implementation of financial systems policies and procedures
6. Approve all decisions taken by the municipal manager of action manager, as the case may be, and section 56 managers in terms of delegated or original authority
7. Develop a turnaround strategy for the municipality
8. Implement a system to control and approve all expenditure
9. Ensure implementation of the Local Government Municipal Property Rates ACT 2004 9Act No 6 of 2004) including preparing the municipal valuation roll in terms of section 32 (3) of the said Act where applicable
The DA will write to National Treasury and the State Security Agency’s Domestic Branch Mr Masango Head of Counter Intelligence: Gauteng to get clarity on the vetting of administrators appointed by province.