It was celebrations across Bokone Bophirima Province as a number of hard working municipalities were awarded during the Moses Kotane Municipal Excellence Awards ceremony held in Rustenburg.
Minister of CoGTA, honourable Des van Rooyen joined Premier, MECs and Local Government leaders of Bokone Bophirima Province. â€œThis initiative will encourage municipalities work harder, better and smarter to deliver services to communities. The commitment and good work by Municipalities will surely be a befitting to a leader of Moses Kotaneâ€™s calibre,â€ said Minister van Rooyen.
The event was also used to launch the second phase of Back to Basics (B2B) and the Minister commended the province that its leadership has taken this important programme to heart and implemented it accordingly. To this effect, the second phase of the B2B programme intends to build on the successes of the first phase setting us in course to achieve the targets we set ourselves.
The Inter-Ministerial Task Team (IMTT) on the delivery of basic services held in September 2016, emphasised the need to now focus on the provisioning of â€˜reliableâ€™ services, signalling the transition to the second phase.
Versus the previous approach of providing only access to â€˜infrastructureâ€™, said the Minister. He said that the 2016 Local Government Elections have led to the reduction of municipalities from 278 to 257, which was a way of removing unviable municipalities.
Through the process of reducing the number of municipalities from 278 to 257, the number of vulnerable municipalities decreased from 71 to 46 since the start of the B2B programme in 2014, meanwhile the number of municipalities performing well increased from 47 to 59. This confirms that we are indeed on curse to meet the B2B objectives.
â€œOur hope is that as we improve, implement B2B programme and win awards we will pay more attention to being prudent and thorough with our work in line with our key policies and the Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA).
This work will respond adequately to the concerns of the Auditor-General that shows a lack of consequence management in municipalities. â€œThere seem to be a failure to conduct the required investigations for all instances of unauthorised, irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure in 45% of the municipalitiesâ€, added Minister.
Minister also urged the municipalities to use the grants allocated to them for improving the lives of communities. In terms of the vulnerable municipalities, Minister urged that they should be supported so that they can improve. With the implementation of second phase of B2B, which also includes the 10 Point Plan, it can address many of the challenges identified and can lead to major improvements going forward for municipalities.
The Minister said that B2B remains the only Local Government improvement programme endorsed by Government and CoGTA is the custodian that must oversee the implementation of this programme. â€œWe will provide national leadership, guide the implementation, support, supervise, intervene and monitor the B2B implementationâ€, concluded Minister.
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