The Inter-Ministerial Task Team on Service Delivery (IMTT) met in Pretoria today bringing together the three spheres of government – national, provincial and local – to discuss the implementation plan in response to the issues raised by the community of Alexandra in a memorandum to President Cyril Ramaphosa.
The President visited Alexandra on 11 April 2019 and issued a directive for the IMTT to work with provincial and national government to resolve issues raised by residents of Alexandra.
This first intergovernmental meeting on Alexandra was chaired by the Minister of Home Affairs Dr Siyabonga Cwele, on behalf of the IMTT convenor, CoGTA Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize, who was accompanying the President in KwaZulu-Natal in visits to the flood-hit areas.
The meeting was preceded by a meeting of the IMTT with the Alexandra Property Owners Association, the Alexandra Land Task Team, the Alexandra Land and Property Owners Association and the South African National Civics Organisation (SANCO), to hear their concerns and issues. Last week the IMTT had met with the Alexandra Shut Down Committee.
Dr Cwele has expressed his satisfaction with the intergovernmental meeting and described it as having been “cordial, frank, encouraging and cooperative”.
The meeting was attended by the following leaders who were accompanied by senior officials;
The Minister of Home Affairs, Dr Siyabonga Cwele, Minister of Small Business Development, Ms Lindiwe Zulu, Minister of Human Settlements, Ms NomaIndia Mfeketho, Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform, Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Deputy Minister of CoGTA Mr Andries Nel and Deputy Minister of Public Service and Administration, Dr Chana Pilane-Majake.
Gauteng Provincial Government
• Premier Mr David Makhura
• MEC for Human Settlements, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Mr Dikgang Uhuru Moiloa
City of Johannesburg
• Executive Mayor Councillor Herman Mashaba,
• Members of the Mayoral Council.
“We are encouraged with the spirit of cooperation from the three spheres of government displayed in this very first meeting. We believe that the intergovernmental approach is the sustainable solution to the problems facing Alex. We have assigned the technical team of senior officials from the three spheres to undertake further work so that we can soon have an implementable plan to discuss with stakeholders in Alex. The work done thus far is encouraging and provides a good basis for us to move forward,” said Minister Cwele.
The IMTT’s approach discussed today includes a short term action plan that addresses immediate basic service delivery issues within the next six months.
Within this period of time, the relevant sphere of government, especially the municipality, will work with communities of Alexandra to:
• Embark on an intensive clean-up campaign, including poorly kept cemeteries and over-gown vegetation on the side of the roads,
• Fix sewerage spillage into the streets,
• Address the proliferation of illegal shacks and other structures that are contravening municipal by-laws,
• Address the high crime rate and proliferation of large illegal weapons used in robbery and murder, making Alex too dangerous to raise families.
The IMTT was pleased with reports that some of this work is already being done for example by the city and the SAPS and urged that it should be intensified.
Parallel to this process, a medium term plan is proposed to be developed in partnership with communities, the private sector, research institutions and government with a view to use Alexandra and its surrounding areas as a model to develop a post-apartheid city, using existing frameworks such as the Integrated Urban Development Framework, the National Development Plan, the Gauteng Spatial Development Framework and the Municipal Spatial Development Framework.
The issues raised by the Alexandra community are the following;
• Unresolved land issues and release of title deeds to unlock future development and court orders prohibiting building on the land.
• High demand for housing, illegal occupation of houses and other premises for unscrupulous money making scheme.
• Lack of refuse removal and illegal dumping of litter resulting in intolerable stench and unhygienic conditions.
• Poorly kept parks, cemeteries and overgrown vegetation on the side of the roads.
• Poor service delivery including challenges of sewerage spillage into streets or deliberately diverted into living areas, illegal connection of water, electricity and dangerous electric connections.
• Proliferation of illegal shacks and other structures in contravention of bylaws and failure of city officials to enforce bylaws.
• Failure to remove illegal structures and the mushrooming of shacks located under high voltage lines, river banks and flood plains, school premises and unused empty old factories.
• High crime rate and proliferation of large illegal weapons used in robbery and murder, making Alex too dangerous to raise families.
• Rapid increase in illegal and undocumented immigrants associated with crime and untraceable to law enforcement agents.
• Need for economic upliftment and investment promotion for income generation and eradication of poverty unemployment and inequality.
Enquiries: Musa Zondi