At The Cooperative Governance And Traditional Affairs Budget Vote Speech, Theme: “Local government is in your hands,” 03 MAY 2016

Posted on Posted in Minister Des Van Rooyen

ADDRESS BY THE HONOURABLE MINISTER OF COOPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS, MR DES VAN ROOYEN, AT THE COOPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS BUDGET VOTE SPEECH, Theme: “Local government is in your hands,” 03 MAY 2016

Speaker of the House,
Colleagues Ministers and Deputy Ministers,
Honourable Members,
Your Majesties and Royal Highnesses,
MECs,
Chairperson of the South African Local Government Association and all Executive Mayors,
Chairperson of the National House of Traditional Leaders, Kgosi Maubane Traditional and Religious leaders,
Chairperson of the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rigihts of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities, Ms Mkhwanazi- Xaluva,
Auditor-General, Mr Thembekile Makwetu,
President of Contralesa, Kgoshi Thobejane,
The business sector,
Fellow South Africans,
Ladies and gentlemen,

 

Introduction

It is fitting that we gather here merely days after the anniversary of the first democratic elections held on 27 April 1994. As we celebrate this milestone let us salute South African workers for having stood with dignity and marched forward in their noble struggle for Workers rights. We salute Clements Kadalie, Vuyisile Mini, Viola Hashe, Elijah Barayi “Oom Bari” and hundreds more for their sacrifices and dedication.

As we celebrate the 55th anniversary of the founding of Umkhonto we Sizwe this year, I am here to tell you that our fighting spirit remains as steadfast and we continue that fight. Our achievements over the past 22 years pay tribute to your sacrifices, and many others.

On the 5th of December 2015 we marked 15 years of democratic local government. In that time the number of households increased from 10.8 million to 15.6 million between 2002 and 2014. The local government sphere has matched this with a concomitant escalation in the delivery of basic services.

The share of households accessing electricity increased from 69, 7 % in 2001 to 86 % in 2014 – 5,8 million households have received electricity, with over 2 million indigent households benefitting from the provision of electricity through indigent support systems.

The provision of water infrastructure rose from 61,3 percent to 90 percent. The provision of free basic water services rose from over 7 million citizens in 2007 to over 11 million in 2013.

Access to basic sanitation services increased from over 62 percent in 2002 to over 79 percent in 2014.

Water and sanitation percentages have exceeded the targets set by the Millennium Development Goals. What this says is that local government has

 

been successful in changing the lives of our citizens for the better. This good story of excellent government performance runs contrary to a simplistic proposition and blatant lies peddled by modern day pessimists and opportunists.

CWP GUESTS

I welcome our guests from the Community Work Programme, Ms Noxolo Mapolisa, Ms Jennifer Cupido and Mr Lincoln Williams from the CWP site in Drakenstein; and Ms Carmen Bennett from the Cape Flats site. Thank you for coming and sharing your success stories with us. I’d like to recount the experience of Ms Mapolisa. She joined CWP in 2012 as a regular participant and was subsequently promoted to be a Supervisor in ward 16 in Dromedaris, Paarl due to her hard work and commitment. During the day she worked in CWP and at night she studied at West Coast College, an opportunity that was created through a partnership with CWPs. She now has a N6 Certificate in Human Resource Management.

So while we reel off the numbers, we are failing to see the deeper impact of the CWP, especially in terms of giving the previously unemployed and unskilled, life-changing experiences. Deputy Minister Nel will give us more detail on the impact of the CWP and plans to expand the programme.

Back to Basics

Distinguished guests,

In his State of the Nation Address, His Excellency President Zuma announced the implementation of the second phase of the Back to Basics (B2B) programme. Assessment of the first phase of B2B confirms that tackling development challenges created by many years of colonisation and apartheid systems is a mammoth assignment requiring long term and sustainable solutions. It’s a challenge transcending populist politics driven by a principle of “Everything For Free”. We are well aware that there are no overnight

 

successes or easy victories. B2B is here to create long-term, meaningful change in our communities.

The second phase involves the execution of the 10-Point Plan that we believe will vastly improve the state of local government. In line with our belief that local government should be in the hands of our citizens, one of the key elements of the 10-Point Plan is fostering more positive community experiences. To this end, we are developing ward-based service delivery dashboards and implementing Ward Improvement Plans that ensure basic services such as the cutting of grass, ensuring working streetlights and the timeous fixing of water leaks.

To give more teeth to the B2B’s goal of public participation we have developed a compliance framework to inform the establishment and operations of ward committees, that will come into effect after this year’s local government elections.

Let me congratulate the Blouberg Municipality in Limpopo Province and Overstrand Municipality in the Western Cape Province for good practices in the implementation of the ward participatory model to strengthen community participation at the local level.

Over the next year we want to increase public participation platforms so that councilors engage more regularly with their constituencies, and provide constant feedback on progress made. We aim to ensure the election of more credible ward committees and will introduce a national induction programme for newly elected ward committee members. We also intend institutionalizing community complaints management systems and processes in municipalities.

Our efforts to improve public participation through the B2B programme have not gone unnoticed. The Back to Basics programme has been selected as an example of the Open Government Partnership commitment of ‘mainstreaming citizen participation in the public sector.’ On Thursday, 05 May, South Africa hosts the OGP Africa Regional Conference. I urge you to join us as we

 

showcase our country’s efforts towards an Open Government that is more responsive, accountable and transparent. As a founding member of the OGP, South Africa remains committed to ensuring the dissemination and entrenchment of the OGP’s commitments.

Honourable Members,

Last year we indicated that our B2B programme had intervened in distressed municipalities. I’m glad to report that the situation in these municipalities is steadily improving. I’ve visited both Mogalakwena and Nelson Mandela Bay in the last month and it is heartening to note that Nelson Mandela Bay is on the road to good health.

Let me take this opportunity to congratulate the newly installed collective of the Mayoral Committee, under the capable leadership of Executive Mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality, Mr Danny Jordan. They took over the municipality a little less than a year ago. In this time there is no doubt that they has turned the city’s fortunes around. From being faced with a R400 million budget deficit, the city now sits with almost R2 billion in holdings. Decisive action was taken to clean up the municipality and rebuild community confidence. In this regard, twenty-nine senior managers were fired for corruption. So, while some may erect billboards in a futile attempt to denigrate the Executive Mayor, we’d like to put up one that says “another successful project by the ANC”.

The Makana Municipality is another example of a B2B success story. Rhodes University was shut down several times due to water stoppages that the municipality experienced. Through the intervention of the Municipal Infrastructure Support Agent (MISA), the water supply has been reinstated in a sustainable manner. The university is able to operate normally and water stoppages and disruptions are now a thing of the past. The previously affected communities are provided with normal water supply.

 

In the past year MISA supported 75 municipalities in the development of new infrastructure as well as the refurbishment of existing assets to improve the provision of services. MISA was also involved in the training of learners and technical officials in municipalities.

As a result of technical support from MISA, the Elundini Municipality completed a feasibility study that enabled it to secure funding through the Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) and donor funding from Netherlands, amounting to R296 million for new infrastructure development. Once completed, this project will ultimately benefit 12 176 households in the area. The project also has the potential to create at least 2 000 temporary jobs and 107 permanent jobs.

In the forthcoming year, MISA will implement the Regional Management Support Contracts (RMSCs) to improve infrastructure delivery, management and operations. This project will assist municipalities to put in place improved management systems and processes for infrastructure delivery and management of services provision.

Back to Basics is not an event, but a process, one that entails a mindset change in the manner that municipalities operate. This change involves CoGTA, civil society and all the sectors in all spheres of government driving that change. We look forward to welcoming the cooperation of all sectors. Later this month we will host the business sector to discuss what role they can play in the B2B programme.

ELECTIONS

In exactly 3 months from now, on the 3rd of August 2016, we hold South Africa’s fourth democratic local government elections. To ensure that preparations are on track, the Inter-Ministerial Committee has been collaborating with various stakeholders.

 

Let me reiterate that despite the last voter registration weekend being final, citizens can still register to vote and update their registration and address details at the offices of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) countrywide.

We have been reluctant to proclaim the election date as we are awaiting an important Constitutional Court decision on the clarification of the issue of the challenge relating to citizens and households without formal addresses. Being committed to ensuring a free and fair election, we have filed our affidavit and await the decision of the Constitutional Court to be delivered on 9 May 2016.

I urge all political parties to abide by the Charter of Election Ethics, to which most parties have signed. The Charter aims to promote social cohesion and nation building, raise awareness on the importance of voting, and promote free and fair elections based on tolerance. Let’s not be a signatory to the Charter and then call for the removal of the government through the barrel of a gun, if the election results are not to your liking.

DROUGHT/NDMC

Honourable Members,

The past year has seen the continuation of an endemic drought that has not only hurt our economy, but also impacted on the lives of farmers and citizens who have had to bear the cost of rising food prices and water shortages. The IMC on Drought has ensured that government delivers a coordinated response to the drought. The National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC) has been at the centre of efforts to mitigate the effects of the drought.

The NDMC has been working tirelessly with all role-players to respond to the widespread drought in a coordinated and integrated approach. Currently affected provinces are receiving drought relief in the form of feeds for livestock, livestock water, and water for human consumption. Boreholes have been drilled for both human and animal consumption. In those areas, where

 

boreholes are not feasible due to topography and lack of groundwater, amongst other things, water tankering services have been provided.

The National Joint Drought Coordination Committee has also established a task team to coordinate civil society involvement. I wish to thank civil society for the important role they are playing in assisting water-stressed communities through provision of water and drilling of boreholes, complementing Government’s efforts to address the situation.

Speaking of civil society, Operation Hydrate has mobilised various sectors of society, from learners at school to big business. Since January they have distributed over 12 million litres of drinking water to five provinces. Their efforts have brought home the severity of the drought to those more fortunate and shown that tough times bring out the best in South Africans. When we say local government is in your hands, this is what we mean, this is what we expect, this is what we are striving for, placing local government in the hands of our citizens.

ESKOM DEBT

Another of our commitments last year was to reduce municipal debt and improve payments to Eskom. As you are aware, late last year Eskom initiated a debt collection process that would lead to municipal disconnections on bulk electricity supply in various provinces. This necessitated an intervention from the Ministers of CoGTA, Finance and Public Enterprises.

We facilitated the development of new or revised agreements between the affected municipalities and Eskom, taking into consideration the financial circumstances of individual municipalities and other key creditors. Recovery plans were also proposed by identifying opportunities that will assist the municipalities to improve revenue collection and reduce non-revenue electricity.

 

Our intervention has placed local government in the hands of the municipalities.

TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS

While we live in a constitutional democracy, we also reside in a country that recognises the value that traditional leaders bring to the smooth functioning of this democracy. Over the past year, we’ve worked with traditional authorities on a number of development related issues.

With the onset of the winter initiation season upon us, let me assure you that our preparations have begun in earnest to ensure the safety of our young men. DM Bapela will shed more light on this subject. We want to reiterate our commitment to zero tolerance on initiate deaths during this winter season.

We are pleased to report that the Traditional and KhoiSan Leadership Bill was introduced in Parliament in September 2015. The Bill is intended to affirm and recognise our brothers and sisters, the descendants of the KhoiSan leaders, structures and communities.

We are going to expend all effort in pursuit of providing support to the traditional councils, individually and collectively, in order to improve the level of functionality and strengthen their performance. Through these efforts we seek to position traditional leadership as a key player in local governance, whilst contributing to the Back to Basics programme.

Honourable Members,

In keeping with the times, traditional leaders have embraced the mantle of development. There are a multitude of success stories in different provinces that tell of development championed by traditional leaders to improve the lives of their communities. DM Bapela will share more information on these achievements.

 

Local Government needs to ensure the meaningful participation of traditional leadership within council and municipal affairs in general. As shown by ILembe District Municipality, this could be done, through, amongst others, the allocation of seats to identified recognised traditional leaders in Committees of Council. We want to also thank those traditional leaders who continue to release land for development.

CONCLUSION

Honourable Members,

This year also marks the 50th anniversary of the declaration of District Six as a ‘Whites Only’ area. It marked the beginning of the forced removals of over 60 000 residents, from an area noted for its racial diversity, at the height of apartheid. House Chairperson, Local government prior to the establishment of democracy, was a tool of repression. Today, this government has placed local government in the hands of the citizens of South Africa. From their inputs into the development of Integrated Development Plans to the establishment of ward committees, the promotion of deeper public participation and a more responsive and accountable administration and executive, we’ve delivered a local government system that belongs to the people.

Madam Speaker,

The 2016 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) allocations to the Department amount to R72, 994 billion in 2016/17, R78, 557 billion in 2017/18 and R84, 258 billion in 2018/19.

  1. a)  Transfers and subsidies: R68, 809 billion (94.27%).
  2. b)  Operational costs (Including Compensation of employees, goods and

services and payment of capital assets): R513.5 million (0.70%). c) Community Work Programme: R3, 191 billion (4.37%).

 

d) Municipal Infrastructure Support Agency (MISA) R349.9 million (0.48%).
e) Department of Traditional Affairs: R129.7million (0.18%).
The other key transfer and special allocations for the 2016/17 financial year are as follows:

R

Municipal Infrastructure Grant

14 914 028

Municipal Systems Improvement Grant

104 349

Municipal Disaster Relief Grant

269 922

Provincial Disaster Relief Grant

111 545

Municipal Disaster Recovery Grant

140 000

Municipal Demarcation Transition Grant

297 422

Local Government Equitable Share

52 568 706

Non-returning Local Government Councillors

309 276

South African Local Government Association

29 500

Municipal Demarcation Board

58 220

South African Cities Network

6 619

TOTAL

68 809 587

Allow me House Chairperson, to convey my sincere words of gratitude to the following:

My Party the ANC for continuous guidance and support,
Deputy Minister Nel and Bapela for working as a collective,
COGTA Family guided by the two DGs, Mr Madonsela and Dr Nwaila for working hard,
My Family, especially my beloved wife Ntsebo, for support and understanding, and lastly,
Almighty and my ancestors for guidance and blessings,
Honourable Chairperson, I have the pleasure to submit Budget Vote 4 for approval.

Kea leboga. I thank you.