Parliament saddened by Komani Town Hall fire

Johannesburg- The Portfolio Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs has expressed sadness at the fire that ravaged the historic Komani (Queenstown) Town Hall in the Enoch Mgijima Municipality in the Eastern Cape Province at the weekend.

In a statement, the Committee said it was devastating to lose such important and historic infrastructure as well as all the documents and archives that were housed in that building.

The committee said it understands that the cause of the fire was yet to be established and there was an investigation by the South African Police Service that was currently underway.

It also plans to ask the municipality to provide a report on the cause of the fire once the source of the fire has been established.

The committee urged municipalities to maintain and take care of infrastructure and assets that are under their responsibility.

“As stipulated in MFMA Circular No.71, the total repairs and maintenance expenditure of a municipality should at least be 8 percent of the carrying value of the municipality’s Property, plant and equipment and Investment property,” it said.

The committee also noted with concern that the implementation of the recommended National Treasury norm of 8 percent continues to elude most municipalities.

“The poor levels of spending on repairs and maintenance, as well as asset renewal, warrants considered attention, as inadequate investment in municipal infrastructure and its maintenance will make it difficult for municipalities to recover from disastrous incidents such as the Komani Town Hall fire,” reads the statement.


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