6 December 2017
Full Council Decisions
EThekwini Municipality will host the Radical Economic Transformation Conference and Expo.
A report was tabled at a Full Council meeting held today, 6 December where the Conference was outlined.
The Conference will be held from 27-28 February 2018 at the Durban Exhibition Centre and will involve all stakeholders including the umbrella body of business forums from different communities, the Federation for Radical Economic Transformation. Other parties involved include business chambers, the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs and the Department of Small Business.
The report stated that eThekwini Municipality is mandated to drive the economic transformation by assisting entrepreneurs to formalise their businesses by ensuring that they follow the necessary statutory compliance so that they can actively participate in the economy.
The City is also tasked with providing platforms and opportunities for these businesses to engage with the City and other relevant entities to discuss pertinent issues of business and provide a list of business opportunities available in different sectors.
The estimated cost of the Conference is R1.6 million and covers the venue, media launch, coordination fee, technical services, medical services, security, promotional material and a conference day pack summit among others.
Speaking at a special Executive Committee meeting held before Full Council, Acting Deputy City Manager of Economic Development and Planning Phillip Sithole said the Conference was a partnership between the City and business forums.
He said the aim of the summit was to discuss all the issues that affect projects taking place in the City which includes stoppages on construction sites.
“This engagement will bring hundreds of members from different forums together. They will engage among themselves and City officials will also do presentations. We will also be working with provincial and national government as some issues affect other spheres of government,” Sithole said.
He added that the outcomes will help and save millions of rands for the City as there are associated costs when projects are stopped in the City.
EThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede reiterated that all stakeholders needed to be included in the Conference.
“Information is power, if you are not informed you will continue doing things the incorrect way,” she said.
Civil society has claimed that the Rules of Order Amendment By-law proposed by eThekwini Municipality is unconstitutional.
This is incorrect and there is nothing untoward about the by-law amendment that was approved by Full Council by majority vote in a meeting held on 06 December 2017.
Section 160 of the Constitution as well as Section 20 of the Municipal Systems Act provides clear guidelines for holding Municipal meetings.
Both legislation states that a Municipal Committee or Council must open their meetings to the public.
However, the legislation further provides for certain meetings to be closed to the public subject to the nature of the issues being discussed.
The City has proactively amended the Rules of Order Amendment By-law by specifying under what circumstances the meetings will be closed to the public.
Amendment of Rule 7 of the eThekwini Municipality: Rules of Order By-Law, 2014
Rule 7 of the principal By-law is hereby amended─
(a) by the substitution for sub-rule (2) of the following sub-rule:
“(2) The Council or a committee of the Council, may not [for any reason,] exclude the public, including the media, when considering, voting or noting any of the following matters:
(a) a draft By-law tabled in the Council;
(b) a budget tabled in the Council;
(c) the municipality’s integrated development plan or any amendment of the plan tabled in the Council;
(d) the municipality’s draft performance management system, or any amendment of the system, tabled in the Council;
(e) the decision to enter into a service delivery agreement referred to in section 76(b) of the Systems Act; or
[(f) the disposal or acquisition of a municipal capital asset; or]
(g) any other matter prescribed by legislation.”; and
(b) by the insertion of the following sub-rules after sub-rule (2):
“(3) Subject to sub-rules (1) and (2), EXCO may close its meetings to the public, including the media, where it is reasonable to do so having regard to the nature of the matter under consideration and where—
(a) there may be disclosure of confidential or privileged information regarding any person to the public;
(b) any investigation, report or internal audit report which is in the course of consideration, could be compromised by its public disclosure; or
(c) there may be disclosure of any trade secrets of the Municipality or financial, business, scientific or technical information other than trade secrets which is likely to cause prejudice to the business or interests of the Municipality.
(4) A member of the media who is in attendance at a meeting may not use any type of device to record the proceedings of a meeting without the necessary permission of the Speaker or the Chairperson of EXCO as the case may be: Provided that a member of the media may in writing take note of the proceedings.”
Speaker William Mapena denied that members of the public were barred from attending the Full Council meeting which is open to the public.
The Rules of Order Amendment By-law has been amended to insert certain definitions, provide clarity in respect of dissolution of the Council and to provide for circumstances in terms of which the Executive Committee may close its meeting to the public and media as well as to provide clarity on matters pertaining to the attendance of councillors at meetings.
Issued by the eThekwini Municipality’s Head of Communications Tozi Mthethwa.
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