Cllr Jonathan Lawack, Speaker of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Council, said the newly established Rules and Ethics Committee should not just be considered as a policeman for Councillors but also as an important instrument to improve the workings of the local legislature.
“Yes, this committee will hold all Councillors responsible for adherence to the Code of Conduct for Councillors, including myself, Executive Mayor Athol Trollip as well as the rest of the 120 lawmakers represented in Council.
“This is most important to ensure accountability and transparency. However, it is also critical that this structure will be duty bound to annually review the rules pertained in the Council’s Rules of Order and to report directly to Council regarding its findings,” Speaker Lawack said.
Established in accordance with Section 79 of the Local Government Municipal Structures Act, the Rules and Ethics Committee, has nine members fairly representing parties in Council, with Councillor Andy Jordan (DA) as its Chairperson.
“Previously the Speaker’s Office was solely responsible for dealing with disciplinary matters where Councillors were involved. I will still investigate complaints and send my findings to the Rules and Ethics Committee for further deliberations and sanctions, but this body now ultimately has the powers to deal with these matters,” Councillor Lawack added.
Jordan presides while assisted by Cllr Maki Feni (ANC), Cllr Lance Grootboom (ACDP), Cllr Leander Kruger (DA), Cllr Buyelwa Mafaya (ANC), Cllr Lukhanyo Mrara (EFF), Cllr Koleka Ngumbela (DA), Cllr Morné Steyn (DA) and one representative from the minority parties.
The establishment of the Rules and Ethics Committee was first approved by Council on 30 March this year and the Terms of Reference for the structure was approved at a full sitting last week (14 June).
The first sitting of the Rules and Ethics Committee took place on 16 May.
To report breaches to the Councillors’ Code of Conduct, submit grievance in writing to the Director: Office of the Speaker, Nimrod Mqulwana, firstname.lastname@example.org / Executive Secretary to the Speaker, Lungisa Sihlahla email@example.com. Alternatively call 041 505 4422 or 041 505 4455.