DCoG Deputy Minister Andries Nel

Address by Deputy Minister Andries Nel at the National Summit on Crime and Violence Prevention on: “The role of local government in the implementation of the White Paper on Safety & Security and linkages with the Integrated Urban Development Framework”

Members of Parliament,
Traditional Leaders,
Leadership of SAP
International partners
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Comrades and friends,

We associate ourselves with the moment of silence for those firefighters who have lost their lives saving the lives of others.

A very good morning to all present here today, and thank you for the opportunity to address this national summit on crime and violence prevention on the topic of the “role of local government in the implementation of the White Paper on Safety and Security; and linkages with the Integrated Urban Development Framework”.

Safety and security is not only a fundamental responsibility of the state, but also a fundamental human right and a necessary condition for human development, improved quality of life and enhanced productivity.

Everything, that happens, happens in a municipality – this is the result of the wall-to-wall demarcation in South Africa.

Section 152 of the South African Constitution defines the responsibilities of local government.

Local government is responsible for four things:

a) to ensure the sustainable delivery of services to communities;
b) to promote social and economic development;
c) to promote a safe and healthy environment; and
d) to involve communities and community organisations in the matters of local government through participation.

Urban safety, particularly safety in public spaces are essential ingredients for creating liveable and prosperous cities.

Unfortunately safety is not always a focus for cities and local government.

This is often because the responsibility for delivering a safer environment has vested with the national authorities, despite safety being one of the highest demands by citizens.

There is general consensus in the existing body of knowledge that urban safety should be defined more holistically.

It should include not only the traditional safety functions of municipalities, such as traffic safety, emergency services or disaster risk management, but also social violence and crime prevention.

Violence and crime must be understood as not only security or policing concerns, but as deeply embedded in socio-economic realities that local government must help to transform.

The New Urban Agenda (NUA) and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are increasingly a focal point in the policy and planning space.

Among the 17 SDG “Global Goals” Goal 11 prioritises ‘making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable’.

Locally, this urban policy momentum is mirrored in Chapter 8 of the National Development Plan (NDP, 2011) and the Integrated Urban Development Framework (IUDF).

The implementation of both the IUDF and the White Paper on Safety and Security (WPSS), will place cities in a better position to achieve the objectives of SDG Goal 11 and the New Urban Agenda.

We welcome the the White Paper on Safety and Security (WPSS).

Municipal role

The Constitution indicates that municipalities have executive authority in terms of matters listed in Schedules 4 and 5B.

These thirty-eight (38) matters vary from municipal public transport, including municipal airports, electricity and gas reticulation to matters such as providing facilities for the accommodation, care and burial of animals and noise pollution.

By-laws, such as those regulating liquor sales, public parks, streets and public spaces etc. have a significant impact on urban safety.

Inherent to all of these functions, are the safety and security of communities.

Safety and security is not a local government matter listed in section 4B or 5B. The associated functions of safety and security however, are crosscutting in municipalities.

As a crosscutting issue, safety has implications for all of the local government functions, from planning to infrastructure management to the softer issues such as municipal health functions and early childhood development.

Although there is consensus on the potential of municipalities to play a key role in safety and security, direct quantification of the costs are rare and methods of appreciation of the cost of violence and the benefits of safety are inadequate.

More research is needed alongside the implementation of pilot schemes that demonstrate the benefits of programs focusing on an urban approach to safety.

Although safety and security is a national priority, central resources and targeted finance of violence prevention initiatives at the local level are missing in South Africa.

Some of the roles and responsibilities envisaged in the White Paper, such as the establishment of directorates at municipal level, conducting annual community safety audits, specifically the resourcing thereof, might be challenging for municipalities.

The question that arises is, can we expect of municipalities to raise the required funding or shoulder the financial burden of losses by themselves.

The assignment of the roles and responsibilities allocated to municipalities in the White Paper on Security and Safety should be considered, following the processes set out in section 9 of the Municipal Systems Act, 32 of 2000.

Intensification of Back to Basics. Dysfunctional. Five pillars. Corruption. Political instability. Service delivery. Protests.

Integrated Urban Development Framework

Prosperous and liveable cities are urban spaces where citizens feel safe from violence and crime, and can take full advantage of the economic, social and cultural opportunities offered by cities.

Safety – living free from the threat or fear of violence and crime – is a basic human right and a public good.

It is also a necessary condition for realising the intended outcomes of the IUDF, such as spatial transformation, integrated and sustainable human settlements, economic development and job creation, and active citizenship.

South Africa’s crime statistics consistently show that crime, especially violent crime, is disproportionately concentrated in metros and larger cities and towns.

The causes can be attributed to many interrelated risk factors that converge in cities, including high levels of inequality, social exclusion, (youth) unemployment, poverty, and substance and alcohol abuse.

Other factors are fragmented family structures, insufficient gun control, inadequately planned/ managed urbanisation, poor access to decent housing and services, and the socio-spatial segregation caused by apartheid and subsequent housing policies in the democratic era.

High rates of violent crime are having a devastating impact on the quality of life of many communities, especially the poorest and most marginalised.

While the safety of all communities (both urban and rural) matters equally, an urgent, dedicated focus on urban safety is required.

A lack of safety in urban areas directly affects the socio- economic development prospects, not only of cities and their inhabitants, but also of the entire country and its population.

Moreover, the pervasive fear of violence and crime is one of the greatest barriers to urban residents, especially women and girls, being able to take full advantage of the economic, social and cultural opportunities offered by cities.

In particular, safety concerns in public spaces and when using public transport have an extremely detrimental impact on the access to economic opportunities and basic services, social cohesion and quality of life safety.

Living free from the threat or fear of violence and crime – is a basic human right

In line with Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 11, the vision of the Integrated Urban Development Framework is “‘Liveable, safe, integrated, economically inclusive and globally competitive, where residents actively participate in urban life’.

The IUDF seeks to foster a shared understanding across government and society about how best to manage urbanisation and achieve the goals of economic development, job creation and improved living conditions by addressing current urban inefficiencies as outlined in the NDP.

The IUDF’s overall outcome – spatial transformation: reversing the inefficient spatial patterns in a way that promotes both social and economic development while protecting the environment.

The overall objectives is to create efficient urban spaces by:

– Reducing travel costs and distances
– Aligning land use, transport planning and housing
– Preventing development of housing in marginal areas
– Increasing urban densities and reducing sprawl
– shift jobs and investment towards dense peripheral townships
– improve public transport and the coordination between transport modes

The IUDF recognises urban safety as a crosscutting policy lever that has a direct impact on the socio-economic development potential of urban areas.

The IUDF makes a number of key recommendations in terms of interventions required to promote urban safety, which are in line with the policy proposals of the 2016 WPSS, such as:

– The development of integrated local safety plans
– The improvement of the urban build environment
– A focus on prevention initiatives
– The incorporation of social components into prevention initiatives
– The incorporation of community/ public participation in prevention initiatives

Critical points identified in the White paper on Safety and Security that link with the Integrated Urban Development Framework are:

– Safety through environmental design; (WPSS) vs Integrated urban planning and management (IUDF); and
– Active public and community participation (WPSS) vs Empowered active communities (IUDF).

Integrated Development Planning

The White Paper on Safety and Security (WPSS) highlights the need for integration, collaboration and cooperation at all levels, as a critical part of the process of building safer communities.

The successful implementation of the policy will require different spheres of government to work together and contribute to the implementation thereof from within their respective mandates.

This has implications for integrated development planning and how we as government, go about this important exercise.

The Municipal Systems Act, act 32 of 2000 clearly indicates that municipalities must participate in national and provincial development programmes.

However, if municipalities are required to comply with planning requirements in terms of national or provincial legislation, the responsible organs of state must align with the provisions of the Municipal Systems Act, consult with municipalities and take reasonable steps to assist the municipality to meet the time limits with regard to the adoption of their integrated development plans.

An integrated development plan may be amended after its annual review, but remains in force until an integrated development plan is adopted by the next council.

It was already mentioned for example that safety and security is crosscutting and inherent to all the local government matters and not a separate function of municipalities.

In the light of this, a municipal safety and security strategy (and consequent plan), is not included currently included as a core component of integrated development plans.

It is recommended that this conundrum be deliberated during the summit to assist municipalities in the integration of safety and security in the planning and resourcing of all their development objectives.

The cycle of local government started in August 2016 and therefore we are 2 years down the 5- year cycle that started in August 2016.

The current fragmentation among government spheres and departments is largely because the hierarchy and relationship of the different planning instruments are not sufficiently acknowledged and considered, both horizontally and vertically.

IGR structures and intergovernmental planning are detached from each other, missing the opportunity to integrate and align development initiatives.

During the deliberations of this summit, it could serve us well to consider ways and means to consult with and assist our municipalities in the spirit of cooperative government.

The Premiers, together with the MECs responsible for local government, are key role-players in intergovernmental planning in provinces.

Therefore, when provincial departments conduct reviews or draft their strategic plans and annual performance plans, the Offices of the Premier and provincial departments responsible for local government should work together, to ensure that the plans of the different spheres are informed by and aligned to municipal long-term plans, SDFs and IDPs.

They should also identify regional spatial development priorities that require joint planning initiatives and collaboration with other sectors.

Premiers and MECs should then direct and focus the necessary resources to create coherent centres of planning at provincial level that will support the convergence of investment and development in municipalities.

Safety and Security in urban design

Ladies and Gentlemen

With the concern for safety and security inherent to all municipalities, where and how should municipalities align to the White Paper on Safety and Security?

The answer is with planning and the design of our human settlements.

Crime prevention through environmental design can be defined as the implementation of measures to reduce the causes of, and the opportunities for, criminal events, and to address the fear of crime through the application of sound design and management principles to built environments.

Globally, studies have shown that urban upgrading can contribute to reductions in violence and crimes.”

Community participation

Community participation is a core tenet of our developmental local government system. Municipalities are required to encourage, and create conditions for the local community to participate in the affairs of the municipality.

Despite the legislative framework that places citizen participation at the centre of local governance processes, the question of political will to facilitate this participation remains.

This might be because community participation is very complex.

We should not confuse community participation with consultation.

Meaningful participation means that people are actively involved in making decisions about the planning and implementation of the processes, programmes and projects that affect them.

It is not sufficient to organise a meeting where a project or programme is presented to the interested and affected people and parties for discussion or their approval.

The White Paper on Safety and Security, acknowledges that active citizen involvement should be meaningful and extend to active participation in crime and violence prevention through participation in needs assessments and safety audits, development of strategies and implementation of plans, and monitoring and evaluation of impact.

To achieve this, might however prove difficult for a variety of reasons.

It is recommended that the deliberations consider ways and means to meaningfully engage communities, considering the limited resources of the majority if IDP units in municipalities. How could inputs from CPF’s for example be integrated into programmes envisaged?

Intergovernmental relations

Lastly, I would like to touch on the issue of intergovernmental relations.

I would like to start off by reminding all of us of chapter 3 in the Constitution where it is stated that government is constituted as national, provincial and local spheres of government which are distinctive, inter-dependent and interrelated.

Even more important, each sphere must co-operate with one another in mutual trust and good faith by-
– Fostering friendly relations;
– assisting and supporting one another;
– informing one another of; and consulting one another on, matters of common interest;
– coordinating their actions and legislation with one another …

Now following the concept of a developmental approach, if local government is found to struggle with the implementation of their mandate, what should the other spheres in government do?

A proactive approach is required to identify and resolve intergovernmental and planning problems. This should include the use of mechanisms, such as spatial compacts, to negotiate spatial conflicts among spheres, sectors or other actors.

The logic for sectoral plans and capital investments should be informed by strategic plans, such as the spatial development frameworks (SDFs), local area plans, precinct plans, etc. of municipalities.

At a local level, these should all be expressed within the IDPs, which should be seen not as municipal plans, but rather as an expression of all of government and its partners in a local space.

Intergovernmental and differentiated planning needs to be strongly positioned within the local government governance framework, (not within each of the national or provincial sectors) together with initiatives to build spatial and long-term intergovernmental planning capabilities for growth and development.

This is particularly urgent for metropolitan municipalities, intermediary cities and the city-regions.

Although the different sectors will determine their targets, norms and standards, the locality and sequencing of their programmes and projects must be informed by local spatial plans.

This implies that national and provincial government, and state-owned entities (SOEs), should engage with municipalities before deciding where programmes will be implemented, to ensure that their programmes and investments are aligned to municipal spatial plans.

In conclusion, I want to touch upon the following matters:

a) The role of traditional leaders and the importance of good working relationships with municipalities and law enforcement agencies.

b) The devastating consequences of cable and metal theft and the importance of an integrated and collaborative approach to investing and prosecuting it.
c) The corrosive impact of corruption and local state capture on governance and service delivery, including political instability and attacks on councillors.

d) The important contribution that public employment programmes such as the Community Work Programme and Expanded Public Works Programme, especially in combatting gender based violence.

Thank you.