The Ministry of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) presented its annual Budget Vote to parliament today (18 May 2017) in the National Assemble, Cape Town. The CoGTA presentation was led honourable Minister Des Van Rooyen, honourable Deputy Ministers Andries Nel and Obed Bapela. The Principals outlined the departmentâ€™s achievements over the past year, as well as the plans for the future.
Minister van Rooyen, begun his address by condemning the recent spate of attacks on women and children.
â€œThe Budget Voteâ€™s theme of – Transforming Municipal Spaces for Radical Social and Economic Development – encapsulates our vision for the local government sector for the next five yearsâ€, said Minister.
The Inter-Ministerial Committee on Elections, convened under the CoGTA leadership, was commended for its role in facilitating and managing the hosting of the successful 2016 local government elections.
Last yearâ€™s Budget Vote Speech promised to create more public participation platforms. To this end, Minister van Rooyen, said, â€œAt the end of March this year, 40 dysfunctional municipalities were supported in creating effective community engagement mechanisms. A total of 4 067 ward committees have been established.â€
The CoGTA Ministry in partnership with the National House of Traditional Leaders is organising an Indaba of traditional leaders to discuss and address the challenges facing the sector. The indaba will take place from 28 May to 01 June 2017.
The Community Work Programme (CWP) created 243 162 work opportunities, as at 31 March 2017. The CWP also trained 23 483 participants during the last financial year. Following a pre-Imbizo at Maluti-A-Phofung, the Minister shared the feedback from the CWP participants. â€œThey have requested professional business enterprise support. They want to run their own businesses, they don’t want to be perpetual dependents of this programme.â€
Among the results of the Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) during the 2015/16 financial year were:
- 131 337 households benefitted from the provision of water infrastructure,
- A total of 134 327 households benefitting from the provision of sanitation infrastructure.
- Spending on MIG resulted in the provision of community lighting to 136 786 households;
- As well as the upgrading and maintenance and provision of 2 150 kms of roads and storm water drainage;
- the development of 10 waste facilities and 76 community or public facilities;
- 221 sport and recreation facilities were also provided for.
- All this work created 161 697 jobs in the previous financial year.
To accelerate the spending level of struggling municipalities, the MIG Programme is being transferred from the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (DCoG) to MISA. On the other hand, the Municipal Infrastructure Support Agent (MISA) trained 372 apprentices towards qualifying as artisans in various trades critical for municipal infrastructure delivery and management. This apprenticeship programme is targeted at producing electricians, plumbers, diesel mechanics and bricklayers. A total of 62 apprentices from this cohort have since passed their trade tests to qualify as artisans and are now available to join the local government sector. The focus of capacity building in 2017/18 will be on the continuation of apprenticeship training for 300 learners currently in the programme.
Deputy Minister Andries Nel recounted the work done in support of the Integrated Urban Development Framework (IUDF) saying that the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Council resolved to implement the IUDF in a number of Strategic Infrastructure Projects (SIPS). The Deputy Minister stated that CoGTA has worked with National Treasury to ensure alignment of metropolitan Built Environment Performance Plans (BEPPs) for 2016/17â€“ 2018/19 with the IUDF.
Deputy Minister Bapela highlighted that the Portfolio Committee conducted successful public hearings on the Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Bill which is expected to be presented to parliament this year.
The Deputy Minister expressed his support for the work of the Commission for the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities. A report on the rooting out of commercialisation of religion will be presented to Parliament later this year.
An important issue that was raised sharply was the death of initiates. Efforts are underway to finalise the legal framework to fight the senseless deaths of initiates in some parts of the country. In this regard, the Customary Initiation Bill will soon be presented to Parliament and it aims to regulate the cultural initiation practice. We believe this bill will go a long way to reduce the number of fatalities emanating from this cultural practice and ensure better regulation of the practice.
Parliament appreciated, welcomed and accepted the budget as tabled by CoGTA. This budget will surely go a long way to contribute to ensuring services delivery, thus improving the lives of communities.
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