The Municipal Infrastructure Support Agent (MISA) is a national government component constituted in terms of Section 7(2) Schedule 3 of the Public Service Act of 1994 (as amended), accountable to the Minister for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs.
This initiative is an integral part of the Department of Cooperative Governance’s programme towards improving municipal infrastructure provisioning and maintenance for accelerated service delivery, in line with the objectives of the Back to Basics Strategy.
According to the Proclamation Notice No R29 MISA is mandated to:
- Support municipalities to conduct effective infrastructure planning to achieve sustainable service delivery;
- Support and assist municipalities with the implementation of infrastructure projects as determined by the municipal Integrated Development Plans (IDPs);
- Support and assist municipalities with the operation and maintenance of municipal infrastructure; and
- Build the capacity of municipalities to undertake effective planning, delivery, operations and management of municipal infrastructure
MISA interventions are executed through the provision of technical capacity deployments (engineers, town planners, project managers, and other built environment fields) in various municipalities. The support is managed at provincial level with the assistance of Provincial Programme Managers, who are also responsible for stakeholder management and coordination. Going forward, the deployment of support will be managed at district-level, to ensure that the Cabinet resolution to prioritise some of the struggling districts is implemented. The district-wide model will also assist in co-ordinating and managing other collaborative efforts from state institutions and private sector.
Whilst MISA’s core mandate is on building and providing technical capacity to municipalities, the reality is that most municipalities require a holistic intervention, to include issues of governance, infrastructure procurement and financial management. These realities are well-articulated in the Back to Basics strategy document and pillar 2 becomes relevant for MISA.
Pillar 2 – Create conditions for decent living by consistently delivering municipal services to the right quality and standard. This includes planning for and delivery of infrastructure and amenities, maintenance and upkeep, including the budgeting to do this. Ensure no failures in services and where there are, restore with urgency.
In response to pillar 2 and also the refocusing of MISA, the strategic focus has been extended to include the following objectives:
- MISA will monitor and analyse the extent and condition of existing municipal infrastructure, as well as progress with projects to deliver new infrastructure and progress of infrastructure expenditure against budgets, and proactively support and intervene where problems are acute
- MISA will work with National Treasury (Office of the Chief Procurement Officer) to put in place national framework contracts for municipal infrastructure goods and services and to develop municipal infrastructure procurement processes and capacity
- MISA will monitor the percentage of municipal budgets allocated to maintenance of infrastructure to ensure that national norms are met, and proactively support and intervene where these are not being me.