The new Mogale City Local Municipality standing committee on petitions recently held its first public hearing session to resolve the city’s adopted yet unresolved service delivery-related petitions.

The hearing by the new committee gives effect to Section 152 of the Constitution, the Local Government: Municipal Systems Act 32 of 2000, Section 17(2)(a) that stipulates that a municipality must establish appropriate mechanisms, processes, and procedures to enable the local community to participate in its affairs, and to this end make provision for the receipt, processing and consideration of petitions and complaints lodged by members of the local community.

The Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Petitions, Cllr Thomas Ntando under the tutelage of the Speaker Jaqueline Pannall led the proceedings with the primary objective to ensure that the municipality review and resolve all adopted resident petitions, which remain unclosed to date – some dating back to 2015.

Out of a pool of 23 petitions, the hearing focused first on 6 “pressing” petitions that cover issues ranging from two local taverns’ noise pollution, outstanding allocation of municipal stands, local business buying pricy electricity from Randwest Municipality and a community’s dispute on the establishment of a carwash.

Relevant departments and divisions including Building Control, Local Economic Development and Public Works, Roads & Transport, to mention a few, were on hand to answer questions and assist in the resolution of the list of petitions.

Of the 23 petitions presented at the hearing, 14 are in the process of being dealt with, some remain unresolved, whilst the rest had to be referred to the relevant departments for feedback and dealing with some of the sticky issues.

According to Ntando, the committee aims to fast-track the residents’ petitions to address service delivery challenges in communities while strengthening the capacity of the Municipality to deliver on its mandate.

Speaking about relevance of the set quarterly hearings, Ntando said, “It is important for our communities to know their right to petition the Municipality and that they have a right for their grievances to be attended to. This platform was re-established on 30 March 2022 for residents to be involved in matters that concern them and their communities, holding authorities accountable – not merely during the IDPs but also beyond”.

The public hearing forms part of the Committee’s range of mechanisms that are geared towards holding the Municipality and its departments accountable for service delivery in communities. After not convening for many years, leaving several petitions unresolved this was indeed seen as a major milestone achievement by the Committee.