Premier Zille Hosts Anti-Corruption Forum with Municipalities
State Capture in Nelson Mandela Bay is the topic of an anti-corruption forum Premier Helen Zille is hosting with Western Cape municipalities in the Southern Cape today. Premier Zille has dedicated her quarterly Premier’s Coordinating Forum with municipalities to lessons learnt in the fight against corruption.
Dr Crispan Olver, author of the acclaimed “How To Steal a City”, presented a case study to municipal officials on how the Nelson Mandela Bay metro had previously been captured by corrupt political forces, before an electoral loss loosened the grip of state capture on the metro.
“The story of Nelson Mandela Bay is instructive for the rest of the country. Now that we are diagnosing the details of how SA governments were captured by corrupt forces, we can use these lessons to design effective anti-corruption initiatives. Corruption steals from the poor and we must stamp it out,” said Premier Zille.
Dr Olver outlined how political control in NMB had extended to the capture of central functions in the metro, including supply chain, legal services, administration and the City Manager’s office. Various Mayco portfolios, and officials across departments, participated in this state capture for corrupt purposes.
Premier Zille said the Western Cape Government had taken a hard line on corruption since the new administration took office at provincial level in 2009.
“When we took office, the Western Cape had zero clean municipal audits. Recently we heard that over two-thirds of all clean municipal audits in SA are based in the Western Cape. For any government, at any level, to create conditions for sustained progress towards prosperity for all, requires three pre-conditions: the rule of law, a culture of accountability and a capable state,” said Premier Zille.
The Premier said the Province would continue to drive processes aimed at better service delivery and combatting corruption.
The provincial government has a monitoring and support role over municipalities, in terms of the Constitution. Various coordinating mechanisms are used to drive clean government at local level, including:
- The co-signing of Governance Action Plans with municipalities
- Capacity building in municipalities, with a special focus on supply chain
- Training for councillors on financial oversight and accountability
- Direct constitutional interventions where severe governance breakdowns have occurred
- Proactive requests to law enforcement authorities where serious allegations of corruption have occurred
Premier Zille said the Department of Local Government – led by MEC Anton Bredell – and the Provincial Treasury – led by MEC Ivan Meyer – had been instrumental in driving these initiatives.