Championing oversight in local government

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by MAKANA COMMUNICATIONS

Makana Councillor Ramie Xonxa was recently elected Provincial Chairperson of the National Association of Municipal Public Accounts Committees (NAMPAC). Xonxa is also the Chairperson of the Makana Municipality Municipal Public Accounts Committee (MPAC). Xonxa sat down with the Municipal Communications Office to shed light on his new role.

Please tell us about yourself in the context of Makana Municipalilty?
I’m the Ward Councillor of Ward 2 and I’m also the Chairperson of MPAC. I have a Heritage Practitioner Certificate in Heritage Resource Management Practice from Rhodes University. I am also a Local Economic Development (LED) Specialist. I have served in the National LED Task Team which developed the qualification frame work for LED and supported the implementation of the resultant training programmes.

Please tell us about the role of MPAC in Makana?
MPAC is a Section 79 Committee that reports to Council. It plays an oversight role. It also looks at irregular and fruitless expenditure and ensures good governance within the institution to prioritise service delivery. Other functions include undertaking a review and analysis of the Annual Report; to invite, receive and consider inputs from the public, councillors and portfolio committees on the Annual Report; to consider written comments received on the Annual Report from the public consultation process; to conduct public hearings to allow the local community or organs of state to make presentations on the Annual Report; to receive an consider Council’s Performance Audit Committee’s views and comments on the annual financial statements and the performance report and to prepare the Oversight Report, taking into consideration the views and inputs of the public, representatives of the Auditor General, organs of state, Council’s Performance Audit Committee and Councillors.

Please tell us how you were elected to the position of Provincial NAMPAC Chairperson?
There was a provincial launch of NAMPAC on 27 February 2018 in Regent Hotel, East London. All MPACs within the Eastern Cape attended the event. A provincial structure of NAMPAC needed to be elected and I was nominated as the Chairperson of the Province. The National structure of NAMPAC was launched in Johannesburg last year.

How does Makana benefit from you being elected to the position of Provincial Chairperson of NAMPAC?
It’s a platform whereby MPAC members are capacitated to perform oversight in their different municipalities. Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) is Constitutionally obliged to ensure this and to take it a step further and ensure that municipalities get clean audits. MPAC has been in existence for quite some time but still most municipalities aren’t able to get clean audits.

What can the people of Makana expect from MPAC?
MPAC must ensure that the principles of Back to Basics are implemented, such as good governance, that there is public participation and that people are able to have inputs to ensure good governance.

That is why this week we held a public participation meeting in accordance with Section 127(5) of the Municipal Finance Management Act 56 of 2003 which states the the Annual Report for the year dated 30 June 2017 as adopted by the Council of Makana Municipality on 31 January 2013. The Oversight Report was discussed with the community during the Public Consultation Session.

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