The City of Johannesburg has warned newly elected ward committee members that they cannot tender for goods and services in their wards as this would constitute a conflict of interest.
This was one of the points made during the second and last round of the City’s ward committee induction process held at the Roodepoort Civic Centre in Region C on Saturday July 29.
The induction, which will be followed by workshops, was aimed at giving ward committee members a clear understanding of their roles in their work to support the metro in the delivery of services.
The ward committee members were elected during citywide polls at the beginning of 2017 – six months after the August 3 local government elections. Acting Council Speaker Cllr Alex Christians said it was very important for ward committee members to understand the implications of a conflict of interest.
“The legislation does not prohibit [ward committee members] from tendering or supplying services to other parts of the city. However, they cannot do so in the wards in which they serve,” Cllr Christians said.
He cleared the misconception that ward committee members had powers to issue instructions to City officials. “As a ward committee member, and even a ward councillor, you are not allowed to instruct anyone because that is the function of the executive of the City,” Cllr Christians said.
He said there were certain ward committee members who had thought they could be involved in selection processes or the appointment of workers for community projects.
“The names of selected candidates are provided to the ward governance committee. It is the ward governance committee and the contractors that are allowed to conduct interviews and make appointments,” he said.
He said ward committee members would be evaluated on certain key performance indicators.
“For instance, if a ward committee member is responsible for health, the questions that would be put forward would be: How many health committees in the area have you been to? How many clinics have you visited? Have there been any issues that have been raised with you? And have you sent these to the ward governance committee so they could be escalated to the relevant departments,” Cllr Christian said.
The City’s Yusuf Lachporia said every ward committee member must understand their roles. “Once you fully understand the process, you can interact with the City in an effective manner,” he said.