Address by Mr Andries Nel, MP Deputy Minister of Co-operative Governance & Traditional Affairs during the debate on: Budget Vote 4: Co-operative Governance & Traditional Affairs in the National Assembly on 3 May 2016
Chairperson Honourable Members,
I associate myself with the protocol observed by Minister van Rooyen.
Today is World Press Freedom Day. South Africa is ranked thirty-nine out of one-hundred-and-eighty countries for press freedom, ahead of the United States at forty-one, and France at forty-five.
We treasure and defend the freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution that we adopted twenty years ago in this chamber on 8 May 1996.
Members of the media, please feel free to report this debate fully and freely. It is important because local government is government that is closest to the people. Local government is in our hands. We must make it work. We are making it work. We are getting Back to Basics.
On 25 May we celebrate Africa Day. On this day we sing loudly the words of African Union Anthem: “O Sons and Daughters of Africa / Flesh of the Sun and Flesh of the Sky / Let us make Africa the Tree of Life.â€
INTEGRATED URBAN DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK (IUDF)
African cities are important roots that feed the â€œAfrican Tree of Life.â€ Their economies, culture, and creativity represent some of the fruits of this tree.
As President Nelson Mandela said when South Africa was readmitted to the Organisation of African Unity in 1994:
â€œAll human civilisation rests on foundations such as the ruins of the African city of Carthage. These architectural remains … all speak of Africa`s contribu- tion to the formation of the condition of civilisation.”
The world is urbanizing very rapidly. According to the UN, fifty-four percent of the worldâ€™s population lives in urban areas. By 2050 this will increase to sixty- six percent. In 1950 only three in ten people lived in urban areas.
Continuing population growth and urbanization will add two-and-a-half billion people to the worldâ€™s urban population by 2050. Ninety percent of this in- crease will be in Asia and Africa.
In fact, according to the UN, Africa is expected to be the fastest urbanizing region between 2020 to 2050. By 2050 most of the worldâ€™s urban population will be concentrated in Asia (with fifty-two percent) and Africa (with twenty-one percent).
Sixty-three percent of South Africans already live in urban areas. This will rise to seventy-one percent by 2030. By 2050 eight in ten South Africans will live in urban areas.
We need to guide the growth and management of urban areas in ways that unleash the potential of our cities and towns and reverse the terrible legacy of apartheid spatial injustice.
Last year we said we would finalise an Integrated Urban Development Framework (IUDF) to do so. We have done so.
Cabinet approved the IUDF last week, very appropriately, on the day before Freedom Day.
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 coor- dinated towns and cities.
The IUDF provides a roadmap to implement the NDP’s vision for spatial trans- formation â€“ creating liveable, inclusive and resilient towns and cities while re- versing the apartheid spatial legacy.
The IUDF provides key principles and policy levers for creating better urban spaces.
We will strengthen rural-urban linkages, promote urban resilience, create safe urban spaces and ensure that the needs of the most vulnerable groups are addressed.
The Framework recognises that the country has different types of cities and towns with different roles and requirements.
The IUDF must be implemented in locally relevant ways that also promote sustainable rural development and strengthen rural-urban linkages.
The Framework proposes that jobs, housing and transport should be used to promote urban restructuring as outlined in the NDP.
The objective is to transform urban spaces by:
â€¢ Reducing travel costs and distances; â€¢ Preventing further development of housing in marginal places; â€¢ Increasing urban densities to reduce sprawl; â€¢ Improving public transport and the coordination between transport modes; and â€¢ Shifting jobs and investment towards dense peripheral townships.
Achieving this vision of spatial transformation will require all spheres of gov- ernment, the private sector, labour and civil society, and most importantly the citizens of our municipalities.
We thank the Deputy Ministers in the IUDF Political Oversight Committee for their guidance, wisdom and hard work. We thank our partners the SA Cities Network and SA Local Government Association as well as our international partners GIZ and the EU. We thank Dr Edgar Pieterse and the IUDF Panel of Experts. We pay tribute to then Deputy Minister Yunus Carrim who took the first steps on this long journey. Special thanks to Dr Modjadji Malahlela and her dedicated team in the department.
We repeat the point we made last year: Our success or failure in effecting spatial transformation and implementing integrated urban development will have a decisive influence on whether we become a nation united in our diver- sity or people living together separately.
COMMUNITY WORK PROGRAMME (CWP)
The Community Work Programme (CWP) is an important intervention to deal with poverty, unemployment and inequality. The International Labour Organi- sation (ILO) recognizes it as one of the best in the world. We welcome the CWP participants in the gallery. We are proud of you.
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.
Out of this money seventy per cent or R2.1 billion will go into the pockets and on the tables of participants. This is R446 million more than last year.
CWP participants contribute by doing useful work identified by the community.
For example, in Gauteng CWP participants cleaned almost 300 000 square meters of pubic spaces, rivers and canals. 1051 illegal dumping sites were cleared. 2076 community gardens were maintained. 81 000 square meters of cemeteries were cleaned. 10 800 children benefitted at creches. 2058 desks were refurbished. 34 000 learners benefitted from scholar patrols.
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 com- munities 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 pro- gramme 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.
Last year we said we would expand the CWP. We have done so.
By the end of the 2015/16 financial year, 223 315 participants had benefitted from the programme.
We can announce that an additional 21 423 participants and their families will benefit from the programme by 31 March 2017.
In Gauteng, Limpopo and Mpumalanga all municipalities had a CWP site by the end of the financial year 2015/16.
We can also announce that all the municipalities in KwaZulu-Natal, Free State, North West, Eastern Cape and Northern Cape will have at least one CWP site established this year.
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.
In the Western Cape eight additional municipalities will have sites by the end of the financial year.
A total of thirty six additional municipalities will have CWP sites established by March 2017, bringing the total number of municipalities implementing the CWP to 234.
CRIMINAL MATTERS AMENDMENT BILL
Theft and damage to infrastructure, especially metal and copper cable theft, devastate our economy and the lives of our citizens. Municipalities are par- ticularly hard hit.
Last year we said we would introduce tougher legislation. We have done so.
The Criminal Matters Amendment Act now provides for tougher bail condi- tions, jail terms of up to 30 years and fines of up to R1 million on conviction for the new offence of tampering, interference and the destruction of essential infrastructure which may prejudice the livelihood, well-being, daily opera- tions/or economic activity of the public.
We can report that soon after the Act became law five members of a cable theft syndicate received heavy sentences of between 15 and 48 years. Collec- tively they were sentenced to 140 years.
MUNICIPAL DEMARCATION BOARD (MDB)
We commend Ms Jane Thupana, the Chairperson, and members of the Mu- nicipal Demarcation Board (MDB) for their excellent work under difficult condi- tions and tight deadlines.
Last year we said the MDB would meet its deadlines. It has done so. Their efforts have allowed the IEC to finalise voting districts for local government elections on 3 August.
The MDB will be hosting a conference at the end of June to plan for the future based on lessons learned from past demarcation exercises. It will examine the role of demarcation in spatial transformation, improving public participation and consultation in demarcation, as well as the role of wards in integrated planning, matters fundamental to the NDP and Back to Basics.
This might lead to proposals for policy and/or legislative reform, including the controversial issue of the frequency with which municipalities and wards are re-demarcated.
SOUTH AFRICAN CITIES NETWORK (SACN)
We commend Mayor Parks Tau, the Chairperson, Mr Sithole Mbanga, the CEO, and the leadership of the South African Cities Network (SACN).
Our work continues to be enriched by the well researched and thoughtful pa- pers and reports produced by the Cities Network.
We look forward to the release of their 2016 State Of the Cities Report and their continued involvement in implementing the IUDF.
SOUTH AFRICAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION (SALGA)
We commend Mayor Thabo Manyoni, the Chairperson, and leadership of the SALGA which continues to discharge its constitutional mandate of represent- ing organized local government and being at the forefront of implementing the Back to Basics programme.
We commend Mr Xolile George the CEO for the fourth successive clean audit achieved by SALGA.
The department is working with SALGA to ensure a smooth transition after local government elections by preparing a comprehensive councillor training programme and updating the Councillor Induction Manual to focus on the Back to Basics programme.
Our municipalities and councilors must be ready to hit the ground working and delivering after elections. Local government is in our hands.
My thanks to Minister van Rooyen and Deputy Minister Bapela for their colle- giality and comradeship, and to Directors-General Vusi Madonsela and Charles Nwaila, the officials in the Departments of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs and the Ministry for their dedication and support.
Our thanks to the Chairpersons and members of the Portfolio and Select Committees.
Last but not least, my appreciation to the ward councillor of my home and the mayor of my heart, my wife Kim Robinson.
I thank you.