Knysna Council adopts Diagnostic Assessment and Support Plan from WC Government | Western Cape Government


Knysna Council adopts Diagnostic Assessment and Support Plan from WC Government

2 March 2024

Joint Media Release: Knysna Council adopts Diagnostic Assessment and Support Plan from provincial government

Anton Bredell, Western Cape Minister for Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning today confirmed that the Knysna Council adopted the Diagnostic Assessment and Support Plan drafted by the provincial government.

Among the key actions the Diagnostic Assessment identified are:

  • The relationship with the community must be strengthened and managed through amongst others a communication strategy;
  • The council currently overregulates administrative decision-making which affects the overall functionality of the administration;
  • Attention should be paid to council oversight responsibilities, and the Code of Conduct for Councillors needs to be revisited;
  • Fiscal discipline needs to be re-introduced, to ensure the sustainability of the municipality;
  • Critical appointments must be finalised at all levels in accordance with relevant legislative requirements and municipal policies;
  • An organisational structure that is aligned to the requirements of the municipal staff regulations should be finalised;
  • The organisational culture requires improvement to re-institute relevant control measures and discipline with the aim to ensure that the community receives basic service delivery; and
  • Compliance with legislation and management of legal actions against the municipality should be analysed to determine where procedures should be improved on, and which controls need to be tightened.

In terms of the Support Plan, Minister Bredell said the provincial and national officials will convene in a week’s time to coordinate the support measures, as proposed by the Western Cape Government (WCG) and those from the National Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs. “It is important that the various spheres of government work together as one team if our interventions in Knysna are to have any chance of success,” Minister Bredell said.

Premier Alan Winde emphasised, “We strongly urge the Knysna Municipality to implement the steps outline in the report tabled on Friday, to bring stability to the town, in the interests of the residents. We as the WCG are willing to provide any further support to the council. It is vitally important that service delivery is restored.”

Critical issues that were identified for immediate attention in the Support Plan include the dire state of the municipality’s solid waste management system and drinking water system, and sanitation as well as pollution issues that stem from a dysfunctional wastewater and sewage system. The Premier reiterated, “The problems that have been plaguing the town pose a very real threat to the health of residents. We must work together to resolve this matter.”

“The Western Cape Department of Environmental Affairs and Planning issued Pre-Directives to the council regarding sewage spills at the end of 2023. These Pre-Directives have now become Directives, and if the agreed interventions and progress are not forthcoming, criminal charges against the responsible officials and council members will have to be considered,” Minister Bredell warned.