His Excellency, President of the Republic of South Africa, Mr. Cyril Ramaphosa
Deputy President, Mr. David Dabede Mabuza
Honourable Speaker of the National Assembly
Honourable Chairperson of the National House of Provinces, Mr. Amos Masondo
Honourable Ministers and Deputy Ministers
Acting President of SALGA Cllr. De Vos
Fellow South Africans
Honourable Speaker I feel very honoured today for being afforded the opportunity to address our people in response to the State of the Nation Debate which President Ramaphosa delivered on the 10th of February. Honourable President Thomas Sankara warned us “It’s really a pity that there are observers who view political events like comic strips. There has to be a Zorro, a star”, when the problem is complex for their comprehension, they assimilate being that star. Honourable John Steenhuisen just did that. Appoint himself to be a star of that comic show. Your address honourable, left with no words, instead of saying ke laka leo, and nod in agreement, he says no the script is mine not yours. Since when can the Democratic Alliance be more democratic than the ANC. Since when can the DA advise and lead the revolutionary movement and provide advice. No, Honourable John Steenhuisen, the ANC January 08 statement clearly articulates what the President was mandated by the party to do and that is what was mainly contained in the State of the Nation Address.
Honourable Speaker, we are enjoined by tenets of our progressive Constitution to recognize the fundamental principles of Cooperative Governance through the lens of distinctive, interdependent and interrelated mandates of our spheres of government. Local government is an integral component of our democratic state. Admittedly, the complex nature of government in modern society implores all components of government to function as a cohesive whole, to effectively deliver a capable and developmental local government. The White Paper of Local Government foresee a government in arms, working together and not against each other. It places local government as everybody’s business. So the DDM is a constitutional approach which pragmatically enables section both S152 in pursuit of the objects of local government and S154 in support of municipalities.
We have collectively harness all public resources behind common goals and within a framework of mutual support through the establishment of DDM Hubs in our three respective pilot sites (O.R. Tambo, Waterberg, and eThekwini). We have reforms in how integrated planning, budgeting and implementation should be undertaken to achieve integrated delivery and development across the 52 district. ‘One Plans’ have now been finalised in 39 districts and metro spaces with 10 still in the drafting stage. Three are still outstanding and support is being provided to complete all ‘One Plans’ in earnest. A National One Plan Quality Assurance Panel has been constituted comprising of key national sector departments, SALGA as well as provinces (provincial COGTAs and OTPs) to assess and oversee a rigorous quality assurance exercise of all ‘One Plans’. These integrated ‘One Plans’ reflect cohesive multi-sectoral perspectives towards inclusive development for these districts, within the discipline of national goals, policies and operating principles. These ‘One Plans’ contain implementation commitments (programmes and projects) by the three spheres of government to be implemented in the district and metro spaces over a short, medium and long term. DDM Champions have been appointed in all the districts and are the key drivers of implementation.
To cite an example eThekwini is being developed as a dynamic economic space for the country and as a key Export Hub. The upgrading of the Port remains critical in improving efficiencies and competitiveness which is a major step towards making eThekwini a leading Smart Port City Region. This work is led by Transnet, and is aimed at improving operational efficiencies at the ports through procuring additional equipment and implementing new systems and exploring private partnerships to reduce congestion.
In O.R. Tambo, the building blocks of the regional economy will include developments in the agriculture sector, as well as the development drive for the new oceans economy. A notable step towards unlocking the oceans economy, the Eastern Cape Provincial Government, in partnership with the National Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, launched the Eastern Cape Oceans Economy Master Plan in March 2020. The plan is aimed at unlocking the full potential of the oceans economy and focuses on connecting the proposed small rural beach towns to form a string of beads to ensure connectivity and accessibility to these towns.
To supplement this work, the department through Municipal Infrastructure Support Agency (MISA) continues to provide skills, capacity development and technical support to municipalities, especially the low and medium capacity municipalities by deploying built environment practitioners from its skills set of 153 Technical personnel comprised of engineers, planners, etc. to capacitate municipalities in accordance with the DDM One Plans but also to ensure that service delivery is improved.
Recruitment and placement of young graduates with technical qualifications, in municipalities, to get the requisite technical training and mentoring towards professional certification has begun.
- 89 Apprentices afforded the opportunity to learn about municipal infrastructure operations and maintenance.
- 39 Experiential Learners are afforded the opportunity to learn about municipal infrastructure operations and maintenance.
- 82 students awarded bursaries Technical Bursary Scheme focusing on technical fields such as Engineering (Civil and Engineering) and Town and Regional Planning.
- 362 municipal officials offered the opportunity to refresh their technical knowledge and earn Continuous Personal Development (CPD) points. Attendees came from municipalities such as Sol Plaatjie, Midvaal, Bojanala, Gamagara, City of Cape Town, City of Tshwane, Ba-Phalaborwa, Matatiela)
- 48 Municipal Officials enrolled in the RPL Programme. This leg of the programme targets mainly municipal general workers from low to medium capacity municipalities, such as Tswaing, New Castle, Lephalalle, Matlosana, Ngwathe, etc. Technical fields covered include Plumbing, electrical and diesel mechanics.
These technical personnel have implemented several initiatives, programmes and projects to improve the reliability of service delivery and accelerate basic services provision especially to under-serviced communities. For example:
- The eMondlo Waste Water Treatment Works in the Abaqulusi Local Municipality which focused on the construction and refurbishment of the plant benefitting 4900 households; and
- The eBhokwe Water Project in the Zululand District which saw the construction of Water Treatment Works, storage tanks and reticulation benefitting 289 households. Local government is everybody’s business.
The distressed Makana Municipality is also one of the municipalities that experienced service delivery protest and again a deployment of technical capacity and resources to support the district roads rehabilitation project in Makhanda (former Grahamstown) that resulted in the restoration of Somerset, High, Hill and New Streets. The 3.8km dual road was constructed, creating job opportunities benefiting local women, youth and persons with disabilities in the process. Local government is everybody’s business.
The department heeded the call of the Presidential Employment Stimulus, two key programmes are being rolled out in this regard. The first one is the institutionalisation of Labour-Intensive Construction (LIC) methods by municipalities in the implementation of municipal infrastructure projects to create as many job opportunities as possible. The department has identified 23 municipalities (including Greater Kokstad Municipality in Harry Gwala District Municipality in KZN, uMzimvubu Municipality in Alfred Nzo District Municipality in the EC, in DR JS Moroka Municipality in Nkangala District Municipality in Mpumalanga Province, Vhembe District Municipality and in Mogalakwena Municipality in Limpopo) as a pilot for this program and intends to roll out to the rest of municipalities in the outer years. The programme aims to assist municipalities to job opportunities on infrastructure projects and will be funded by different sources that include the Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) and the Water Services Infrastructure Grant (WSIG). As at the end of January 2022, the number of job opportunities reported were 5669.
The second programme of the PES in partnership with the Department of Environment, Forestry & Fisheries is the Innovative Waste Management Program that is targeting the youth and women in at least 45 municipalities across the country, as a pilot phase. The primary goal of this program is to promote, ensure effective and efficient delivery of waste management services whilst also improving livelihoods in communities through implementation of innovative solid waste management mechanisms. This program aims to create work-opportunities across the Solid Waste Management value chain components (Waste Generation, Collection, Sorting/Segregation and Disposal) as well as promote Enterprise development in communities to benefit 154 SMMEs. At the end, we will benefit as society by having cleaner and greener cities. Let’s support this initiative and ensure that local government is everybody’s business.
Quite a number of streams are involved, this includes producers of packaging material, electrical and electronic products taking financial responsibility for waste arising from their products and investing in waste collection and waste recycling economy. Over 1005 registrations have been done, 29 registered organisations and 976 producers have initiated schemes for collection and diversion of their waste products. Waste Buyback Centre was constructed at Sakhisizwe Local Municipality and in Laingsburg Local Municipality the Buy Back Centre was refurbished. Buy Back Centres ensure that more packaging waste is diverted from landfill to create jobs. A total of 25 municipalities were assisted to purchase specialized vehicles for waste management through the Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG).
Honourable members, we are in a process of stabilizing local government aided by multiple instruments that have given effect to a valuable collaboration between the Departments Cooperative Governance (DCoG) and National Treasury (NT) as well as the South African Local Government Association (SALGA). Evident, from the 2016 Local Government Elections (LGE) is the fact that our democracy is giving practical expression to the values of multiparty governance, however this also means that our legislative and policy environment needs to continuously adapt to the dictates of the new realities. Interestingly, these developments start as being marriage of convenience with the sole intention of destabilizing the ANC and remove it from power at all costs, going to an extent of coalition partners being willing to even kiss a frog with eyes wide open. But true form for such arrangements, they quickly become what Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection (MISTRA) calls Marriages of Inconvenience. There are no goals, no vision, no plan but worse no program of action. They operate on a stop and go mode. This as we have seen, tends to accentuate problems in the political-administrative interface.
Research by Forster 2015 confirms that the extent of turbulence in metropolitan administration is demonstrated by comparing the average tenure for municipal managers. In local government as a whole, they last an average of three and a half years while in Metros the average tenure is 15months.
In order to curb this anomaly, efforts are afoot to assimilate these changes and concurrently improve delivery by institutionalizing acceptable levels of performance and service delivery for Councils, as reflected in the minimum requirements and special Code of Conduct for Councillors entailed in the Municipal Structures Amendment Act, which came into effect on 1 November 2021.
For example, in the past term, the CoT failed to establish ward committees for five years. This flies negative against the legislation but above all is against the local government tenets of participatory governance. Part of amendments includes the modification to section 79 Committee which now makes it mandatory for all municipalities to have a Municipal Public Account Committee (MPAC). These committees are now compelled to amongst other things:
- (i) A review of the Auditor-General’s and internal audit reports and comments from the management committee and the audit committee and make recommendations to the municipal council;
- (ii) Initiating and developing the oversight report on annual reports contemplated in terms of section 129 of the MFMA;
Importantly, MPAC reports must be submitted to the Speaker who must table such reports in the next meeting of the municipal council. This will ensure that accountability is not undermined by instances whereby MPAC reports do not reach the Council for appropriate action.
Subsequent to the 2021 Local Government Elections, we are encouraged that 256 of 257 municipal Councils have been established.
The last Council to be established, Kai Garib LM in Northern Cape, is under way, after the conclusion of a by-election in the municipality on 2 February 2022. A total number of 241 municipalities have established section 79 and 80 Council Committees as required by the Municipal Structures Amendment Act. We are keeping a close eye on the 16 municipalities who are still to establish committees as in essence this means no real work in this municipalities have begun as there are no portfolio chairs.
For us to adequately ensure that local government is everybody’s business and is able to respond to the capable and developmental state, we need to collectively and collaboratively ensure an efficient, effective, and financially sustainable local government. To this end, NT leads our undertakings on local government financial management matters, whilst DCoG leads on governance, institutional development, citizen engagement and coordinate service delivery in collaboration with sector departments, and SALGA is driving the empowerment process of both administrators to perform their functions better and also Councilors to improve their oversight responsibilities and enforce accountability.
This multipronged approach operates under the following pillars:
Policy Response– which is looking at the Infrastructure Grant Review (I have showcased above that MIG can now be used for planning and maintenance) and restructuring as well as reviewing the powers and functions of district municipalities amongst others.
Regulatory Response– focusing on the overlap between the Municipal System Act (MSA) and Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA) which has distorted the functional responsibilities for local government performance monitoring and oversight that is shared among national and provincial treasuries and CoGTA’s.
Financial Management Response underpinned by the strategy to address municipal performance failures including Project finance, Revenue bonds, Tax increment financing and Conditional Grants pledging;
Capacity or Support Response encompassing Professionalizing of Local Government and Competency Regulations. Minimum requirements have been developed for Municipal Managers, CFO, Technical Directors and Corporate Services. Will be testing and enforcing these new guidelines in filling in the vacant positions in municipalities to help us streamline our capacity and support response to municipalities.
Monitoring and Oversight – DPME, AGSA, STATSSA are part of this pillar and assist in overseeing municipal performance through planning, budgeting, streamline reporting.
These team has initiated reforms like performance indicators for local government that are being piloted across all municipalities towards developing an Early Warning System whose main objective is to ensure that we diagnose challenges early and promptly provide support before a municipality become dysfunctional i.e. “early diagnosis and prompt treatment”, by dispatching multi-sectoral teams supported supported by the DDM Political Champions.
This monitoring and oversight, Honourable President will not only ensure prompt response but also begin to point us into the right direction before municipalities become dysfunctional.
Honourable members, the Eastern Seaboard Development launched by President Ramaphosa in November 2021 is a prime example of how the Department is championing citizen-centred development. This initiative represents DDM in action under the theme Building_Together. The Eastern Seaboard Development covers two provinces – KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape spanning over four district municipalities (UGu, Harry Gala, Alfred Nzo and O.R. Tambo), attesting to the value in collaborations. The concept is a polycentric / multi-nodal system of interconnected towns and bears the potential hallmarks of realizing “coastal, smart, vibrant, integrated, prosperous, sustainable and resilient communities.
The department is further recalibrating the Community Work Programme (CWP) with the aim of ensuring better reach of the employment safety net outcomes, and particularly the training and upskilling of participants to transition into self-sufficiency. The program now has exciting initiatives like a partnership with NYDA which has offered 100 participants exit opportunities through NYDA Networks which include amongst others a SAN Parks driven training programme in the area of Tourism, Tour Guide, Counting Animals, etc. Furthermore, the NYDA will procure scooters for participants to distribute parcels and food on behalf of Take-a-lot and also install car washes for participants and target government cars like SAPS vehicles.
Additionally, 100 young participants will be supported through Enterprise Development Program provided by NYDA and be provided with technical skills training in fixing mobile phones and plumbing as well as mandatory Computer Based Training. This is what we mean when we say local government is everybody’s business.
The support provided by partnerships to the Agrarian revolution projects includes inter alia the establishment of Local steering committees and the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI) has started providing training to the cooperatives to enable them to have business management skills. Moreover, the Department of Agriculture has also placed projects that have been visited by the CWP unit into their database so that they receive technical support from agricultural experts e.g., veterinary, crop and animal farming, to name but a few. Honourable President, this is DDM in practice, in Action.
The CWP participant’s intake has also been remodeled and new set of criteria has been developed to iinclude amongst others the crucial elements of geographical distribution; poor areas with high rates of unemployment; wards with the highest percentage of indigent families; and the interest and involvement of local government in the establishment of a CWP initiative in their locality. The focus has shifted towards the poorest wards in the poorest municipalities deliberately targeting women, youth and people with disabilities. Local government is everybody’s business.
At present Honourable President, the urbanization process in SA is creating an urban – rural divide, which has resulted in among other things, spatial fragmentation, racial and social division, to address this, the Department has reviewed its Small-Towns Regeneration (STR) strategy. The objectives of this strategy are to create a spatially enabling environment, by following a broad-based approach to local social development, that will bring about equitable economic growth, through co-operative, coherent, and responsible governance, that is able to attract investment in infrastructure and strengthened institutional mechanisms for monitoring, evaluation and data management.
South Africa has 100 small towns, for example, Kouga, Ndlambe, Kopanong, Ba-Phalaborwa, Musina, Kgatlelopele, etc. The small towns regeneration strategy aims to empower district municipalities to have the requisite skills to undertake feasibility studies and package bankable projects for the local municipalities within their jurisdictions. This development will be another sign that local government is everybody’s business.
Women are active in all the battles which confront our communities. In many of these battles, they fought in the frontlines against forced removals, starvation wages, increased rents and taxes, inferior education, provision of basic health services and a non-racial society. The outcomes of 2021 LGE have this time around put women at the backfoot of fair and equal representation. As I said, local development is everybody’s business- so are women’s rights. Women rights are everybody’s business. Of the 9473 councillors who won seats in the 2021 local government elections 5975 (63%) are male candidates and only 3498 (37%) are female.
This is a setback to gender sensitive municipal budgets. We call upon all political parties to give their support and concrete assistance to our heroic women, mothers and sisters so that they can play their meaningful role as co-warriors and co-liberators of our motherland. OR Tambo said “a nation cannot be completely free until its women are free” Honourable members, I must on the same vein, condemn the incident of Gender Base Violence in Amathole District Municipality where Councillor Rulashe was manhandled by municipal security. How ironic, that she was manhandled by those who are supposed to protect her. The department on the instruction of the Minister dispatched a team to also investigate the matter and a process of remedial intervention has been proposed to the municipality. It’s important that we learn from such a painful incident and make it all our business to protect both our employees and councilors. This departmental process is in no way a replacement of the work that the law enforcement officers are currently busy with but rather a way to try to harmonize the working relations so that the municipality can focus on servicing its people.
We are building a society in which every household will have access to decent housing, water, sanitation, electricity, quality health care and education. It must be society where all are feel safe and where no child goes to bed hungry. We shall not rest until that type of a society is achieved. Local government is everybody’s business; Local government is the exit of service delivery.
To date, the ANC has ensured that 90% of households had access to electricity in 2020 as compared to 2001.
89,1 households have adequate access to water in 2020 compared to 72% in 2001
83,2% of households have access to flushing, chemical or ventilated pit toilet compared with 64% in 2001
60,5% of household have access to refuse removal in 2020 compared to 2001.
On top of all these, the ANC government offer Free Basic Services to indigent families.
South Africa is a much better place today than it was before 1994.