THE Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality has rules of order regulating the conduct of meetings. These rules of order are formulated to provide free and constructive debate during council meetings.
These rules are intended to promote freedom of expression by allowing for orderly debate by as large a number of members of council as is possible. The rules acknowledge that political parties may wish to address political issues which may not be on council's agenda.
According to rule 24 of the rules of order a councillor may submit a notice of intention to introduce a motion or question/s to council or a standing committee meeting at least 10 clear business days before the date of the said meeting. I followed this procedure when I submitted a motion as well as questions to be placed on the agenda of the public health standing committee to be held on October 23 last year.
My motion did appear on the agenda, but my questions regarding why the metro did not comply with a high court order from the Zwartkops Conservancy were blatantly ignored by the officials.
Out of frustration I re-submitted my questions directly to the council meeting on January 31 this year, but due to many long meetings my questions stood over until the council meeting that took place on February 28.
Needless to say, again no answers to my questions were forthcoming.
The speaker ruled that the answers be given to me within three working days, but there is still total silence from the metro!
As a councillor it is my duty to play an oversight role in ensuring that residents are kept abreast of what is happening with their hard-earned money in council. It is a totally unacceptable state of affairs that officials are blatantly disregarding municipal procedures.
On August 22 last year the high court attached assets worth R108050 from the metro's legal services due to non-compliance with a high court order from the Zwartkops Conservancy to make known the water quality test results of the Swartkops River.
In the meanwhile the results were made known at the public health standing committee, but I was not yet notified as to why the metro failed to comply with the high court order.
The residents of this metro have the right to know what steps will be put in place to prevent legal services again ignoring a high court order in future and thus wasting ratepayers' money. The DA condemns this total disregard of procedures.
DA PR councillor Brenda Matthee, NMBM