During the 2015/2016 financial year, the municipality had 20 functional ward committees which serve as a conduit between the municipality and the committee. In addition, a draft public participation policy and guideline was developed.
In addition to ward committees, the Service Delivery and Budget Implementation Plan (SDBIP) is made public and is made available at the Local Libraries. This contains projected financial and service delivery Indicators and deliverables. Members of the public are also invited to participate in the Oversight process related to the Annual Report.
In the promotion of public accountability and participation members of the public are invited to attend all meetings of the Council and its committees.
Another mechanism of public participation is conducted through Mayoral Budget and Integrated Development Plan (IDP) Steering Forum. These are held prior to developing the draft budget in order to provide feedback to the community the implementation of projects in the current financial year and to illicit the needs of the community in order to provide input for the new financial year. A second imbizo is held once the draft budget has been developed in order to inform the public of key elements in the proposed budget and illicit responses thereto.
Section 2.4 below provides an outline of further mechanisms which the municipality utilizes as a mean of public participation.
Communication, Participation And Forums
The Ramotshere Moiloa Municipality has adopted a Communication Strategy during the course of 2015/16 financial year and the Public Participation Policy is going through various committees for consultation and finally approval by Full Council.
The policy categorized the stakeholders as follows:
- Internal Stakeholders:
- Public Sector Stakeholders:
Provincial and National Departments, District, Local Municipalities, Councilors, Executive
and Portfolio Committees, Ward Committees, Parastatals eg Eskom, Telkom, Traditional Leaders.
- Public Sector Forums:
Police Forums, IDP Forums, Local Implementation Forums.
- External Stakeholders
- Business and Labour Stakeholders:
Organized Business (Chamber Of Business and Industry) and Labour Formations, Service Providers
- Civil Society Organizations:
NGOs, CBOs, Faith Based Organisations, Youth Organisations; Lobby Groups - (Environmentalist Groups), Unorganized Groupings – (the poor and other Vulnerable Groups), Sports Organizations, Civic or Resident Associations, Citizens etc.
The IDP Representative Forum becomes a very central forum to finalize the prioritization process, it is also envisaged that the Budget and PMS stakeholders engagement structures as reflected in the IDP Guides, must be the same or integrated structures.
Every year around the end of August, Ramotshere Moiloa Municipality finalize a Process Plan which is approved by Full Council, once approved a public notice is posted on various newspapers inviting members of public as well as various stakeholders to make submissions with regards to developmental priority needs
The Ramotshere Moiloa Municipality has a structured program or public participation. This program is articulated in the Process Plan and forms the basis for citizenry engagement framework.
The public participation is an on-going engagement process, and the following are forms of citizenry participation that are utilized by the Municipality to ensure the citizen and stakeholders voice are accommodated in the planning, execution and review of the IDP, Budget processes:
- Ward Committee Monthly Meetings
- Stakeholders Quarterly Meeting (Reporting on SDBIP and IDP)
- Monthly Community Meetings by Councilors
- Project Based Meetings
- Sector Plan Based Engagements
- Executive committee – Council Chambers
- Full Council Meeting – Council Chambers
- Integrated Development Planning Meetings:
- Izimbizo: Public Meetings for Budget, IDP etc
- Municipal Property Rates Act (MPRA)
- Complaints Register: Customer Care and Batho Pele Engagements
- Attendance to invitations by Interest groups
- Partnerships and MOUs
Some of the above various forms of public participation engagements are conducted throughout the year specifically at an operational level and then some of them are organized on a fortnightly, monthly, and quarterly and annually as reflected in our Process Plan.
Section 74 of the Municipal Structures Act, and regulation 5 of the Government Gazette No. 27699 Ward Committee, state that Ward Committees may have powers and functions delegated to them (which are essentially advisory in nature) in terms of S59 of the Municipal Systems Act, these are:
- To serve as an official specialized participatory structure in the Ramotshere Moiloa Local Municipality.
- To create formal unbiased communication channels as well as a co-operative partnership between the community and the Council.
- Advise and make recommendations to the Ward Councillor on matters of policy affecting the Ward.
- Assisting the Ward Councillors in identifying the challenges and needs of residents.
- Dissemination of information in the Ward concerning municipal affairs such as the budget, integrated development planning, performance management systems, service delivery options and municipal properties.
- Receive queries and complaints from residents concerning municipal service delivery, communication with Council and provide feedback to the community on Council’s response.
- Ensure constructive and harmonious interaction between the municipality and community through the use and co-ordination of ward residents meetings and other community development forums, and Interact with other organizations and forums on matters affecting the ward.
- A ward committee may also make recommendations on any matter affecting its ward to the ward councillor or through the ward councillor to the local council.