At The Cooperative Governance And Traditional Affairs Budget Vote Speech, Theme: “Local government is in your hands,” 04 MAY 2016, National Council of Provinces, Cape Town

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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,” 04 MAY 2016, National Council of Provinces, Cape Town

Honourable Chairperson of the NCOP,

Honourable Ministers and Deputy Ministers,

Honourable Chairperson of the Select Committee,

Honourable Members of the National Council of Provinces,

Honourable Members of Parliament,

Distinguished guests,

Introduction

I am honoured to table my maiden budget vote speech before the National Council of Provinces today, on the budget and priorities of the Departments of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Vote 4, for 2016/2017.

This follows our presentation to the National Assembly yesterday.

Our role in facilitating inter-governmental relations spans many areas, from roles in the President’s Coordinating Council and MinMecs to our in-depth involvement in municipalities through our Back to Basics task teams.

This year marks the 110th anniversary of the Bambatha Rebellion.

The Bambatha Uprising was a Zulu revolt against the Poll Tax.

The British imposed this in 1906, in a bid to force the black population to work on agricultural farms and on the mines.

It marked yet another chapter in our fight for a free and democratic South Africa.

Our achievements over the past 22 years pay tribute to your sacrifices, and those of many others.

The 5th of December 2015 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 percent in 2001 to 86 percent in 2014.

5,8 million households have received electricity.

Over 2 million indigent households benefit from the provision of electricity through indigent support systems.

The provision of water infrastructure increased from 61,3 percent to 90 percent.

Free basic water services expanded 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.

This is testament to the fact 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.

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 sustainable, meaningful change in our communities.

Over the last year we’ve learnt many lessons from our Back to Basics interventions.

Among these, are that a direct hands-on support is yielding positive results.

The second phase aims to tackle these problems and involves the execution of the 10-Point Plan.

We believe this 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.

This will ensure basic services such as the cutting of grass, working streetlights and the timeous fixing of water leaks, are delivered easily.

To give more teeth to B2B’s goal of public participation we have developed a compliance framework to inform the establishment and operations of ward committees

The framework will come into effect after this year’s local government elections.

Let me congratulate the Blouberg Municipality in Limpopo Province.

And the Overstrand Municipality in the Western Cape Province.

They have established 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.

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.

Let me congratulate the City of Johannesburg, which hosted its State of the City Address today.

The City of Johannesburg has been rated as the best city in Africa, economically, according to ratings agency, Fitch.

We are also implementing the findings of forensic reports after collating the reports from provinces and 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.’

Tomorrow, on the 05th of 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.

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 ANC project”.

The Makana Municipality is another example of a B2B success story.

Rhodes University was shut down several times due to water stoppages, experienced by the municipality.

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 historic.

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.

An amount of R296 million for new infrastructure development was secured through the Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) and donor funding from Netherlands.

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 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

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.

The work of the Municipal Demarcation Board has been instrumental in ensuring the finalization of the redemarcation process.

We condemn the acts of violence and intimidation that has occurred in Vuwani.

This has resulted in the burning down of thirteen schools, mostly in the Mashau area.

This follows the High Court judgment to uphold the decision of the MDB, to merge parts of Vuwani and Malamulele to form a new municipality.

We urge law enforcement agencies to act with speed in bringing offenders to book.

Our country prides itself on abiding by the decisions of our courts, even when they are not in our favour.

We urge residents, through the leadership of the community, to sit down with us to work towards resolving this matter amicably.

Let me reiterate that 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 a critical Constitutional Court decision.

This relates to 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 09 May 2016.

I urge all political parties to abide by the collectively signed Charter of Election Ethics.

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.

INTEGRATED URBAN DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK (IUDF)

Honourable Members,

Last week Cabinet approved the Integrated Urban Development Framework.

The IUDF marks a New Deal for South African cities and towns. It will steer urban growth towards a sustainable model of compact, connected and coordinated towns and cities.

The IUDF provides a roadmap to implement the NDP’s vision for spatial trans-formation – creating liveable, inclusive and resilient towns and cities while re-versing the apartheid spatial legacy.

COMMUNITY WORK PROGRAMME

The Community Work Programme (CWP) is an important intervention to deal with poverty, unemployment and inequality. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) recognizes it as one of the best in the world.

CWP will receive close to R3.2 billion for the 2016/17 financial year.

Ninety-five per cent of this goes towards implementation. Only five percent is spent on administration by the department.

We are working with other departments, civil society and business to increase the reach and impact of CWP.

CWP aims to provide participants with skills, both to do useful work in communities but also to enhance their employability and ability to start their own ventures.

For example:

In Eastern Cape, Vumile Msoki joined the CWP in 2012.

While on the programme he learnt welding.

Now he is responsible for all welding work done at the Amahlathi CWP site.

On weekends he takes up private welding jobs in Keiskammahoek where he leads a team of welders.

In KwaZulu-Natal at Ukhahlamba, a participant used his stipend to take a course in security services and is now registering his own security company.

The CWP is but one of the many public employment programmes formulated by the ruling party.

We are a party that cares.

These pro-poor policies have become the hallmark of an ANC-led government.

This is how we place local government back into the hands of our citizens.

DROUGHT/NDMC

Honourable Members,

The past year has seen the continuation of an endemic drought that has hurt our economy.

It has 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 manner.

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, 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 vital role they are playing in assisting water-stressed communities, through provision of water and drilling of boreholes.

This complements Government’s efforts to address the situation.

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.

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.

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.

This took 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 improve revenue collection, and reduce non-revenue electricity.

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.

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.

We therefore call upon all our traditional leaders, to get involved in development programmes, with a view of alleviating poverty and hunger in your communities.

Local Government is ensuring the meaningful participation of traditional leadership within council and municipal affairs in general.

We intend ensuring that such participation happens uniformly across all provinces.

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.

House Chairperson,

The 2016 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) allocations to the Department amount to R73 billion in 2016/17, R78, 5 billion in 2017/18 and R84, 2 billion in 2018/19.

  1. a) Transfers and subsidies: R69 billion (94.27%).
  2. b) Operational costs (Including Compensation of employees, goods and services and payment of capital assets): R513, 5 million (0.70%).
  3. c) Community Work Programme: R3, 191 billion (4.37%).
  4. d) Municipal Infrastructure Support Agency (MISA) R349.9 million (0.48%).
  5. 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

 

Honourable Chairperson, I have the pleasure to submit Budget Vote 4 for approval.

Kea leboga.

I thank you.