On Monday, 10 July 2017, the Department of Cooperative Governance (DCoG) officially kicked off phase two of its public-private partnership with a short-term insurer Santam. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between government and Santam today at a ceremony held in Sandton, Johannesburg.
Director-General acting for DCoG, Dr Charles Nwaila, accompanied by senior executives from the department, officially led the process to seal the agreement with Santam.
The MoU focuses on the following areas of developmental local government:
Capacity building and institutional development in local government
Local Economic Development
The first phase of this important partnership has already been implemented from 2012 to 2014 through interventions and programmes in Thulamela; Mbombela; Eden; Ulundi and Mahikeng municipalities. Out of this implementation drive, the following were achieved:
Early warnings fire equipment was purchased and installed across all identified municipalities.
Fire-fighters were trained to a standard level of response through SA Fire Protection Services.
Community Fire Awareness programmes were put in place targeting primary schools, old age homes and high schools.
Flood risk early warning systems linked to the South African Weather Services were implemented.
Santam teamed up with the Community Work Programme (CWP) and made funds available to various NGOs to create jobs through clearing of alien vegetation.
Following todayâ€™s signing of MoU, a total of 22 municipalities across nine provinces stand to benefit from the implementation of the partnershipâ€™s second phase.
Speaking at the signing event, DG Dr Nwaila said effective implementation of the second phase of the partnership was key to demonstrating the objectives of strategic public-private partnerships.
â€œThe second phase of this partnership is pivotal as its results will be visible and felt by people on the ground. The impact of service delivery as well as unmitigated disaster risks can have devastating effects on communities,â€ said DG Nwaila.
Sanlamâ€™s Group Market Chief Executive Mr Themba Mvusi indicated that it was important for Santam to enter into such fruitful partnerships with government.â€œAs the insurance industry, weâ€™re known for receiving premiums and paying claims, itâ€™s important that we prioritise proactive risk management to empower communities to be aware, resilient as well as adapt to the climate change situation,â€ he said.
Santam also indicated that it was in talks with other insurance companies and sharing their model for Local Government Support Partnerships to encourage more private-public partnerships within the insurance sector.
Commenting from the sidelines of the BRICS Friendship Cities Forum and SA-China Local Government Dialogue in Sichuan Province, Minister Des van Rooyen commended the department for entering into the second phase of the partnership with Santam.
â€œWe are always advocating for a growing and fruitful relationship between the public and private sector as together we stand a good chance of achieving the goals we set ourselves to change the lives of many South Africans for the betterâ€, concluded Minister van Rooyen.