ActionSA Chairpersons Cllrs Sarah Wissler, Lerato Ngobeni, Carin Van Der Schyf and Meshack Van Wyk note, with concern, the seemingly indefinite cancellation of the strategic planning sessions for the City of Johannesburg Section 79 Chairpersons. No reasons were provided and new dates have not yet been scheduled despite the need for legislative oversight over the Executive and its spending.
These sessions are critical to the effective exercise of oversight of the Executive.
As such, ActionSA Chairpersons calls on the Speaker of Council, Vasco da Gama, to schedule these strategic planning sessions as a matter of urgency and institute a probe into why these strategic planning sessions were abandoned in the first place.
Allegations have emerged that officials in the Speaker’s Office unduly collapsed procurement processes which prohibited these sessions from taking place. If this turns out to be the case, action must be taken against the offending officials and measures be put in place to ensure that this doesn’t occur in future.
At present, Section 79 Chairpersons sit with dated terms of reference from the previous administration and not of the current administration which makes effective and robust oversight over the current administration and its activities difficult.
We are optimistic that the Speaker will address these concerns and see to it that these sessions are scheduled as soon as possible so councillors are empowered to perform their crucial oversight functions.