Honourable House Chairperson
Minister of COGTA Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma
Deputy Minister Obed Bapela
Honourable Chairperson Fikile Xasa & Members of the Portfolio Committee
Chairperson of the National House of Traditional Leaders Mama Mhlauli
Ladies and Gentlemen
It is my honour and privilege to join the Minister in presenting the budget of the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs. I want to thank my predecessors Honourable MEC Parks Tau for the work done in trying to improve the capacity of the department and the foundation work done to address the performance of local government. Local Government is everybody’s business.
I know that my predecessor participated in COGTA Budget Vote Debate in line with our mandate and guided by the department’s strategic plan. In the State of the Nation Address, His Excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa said that one of our foremost priorities is to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since my arrival in the department, I have had the opportunity to be acquainted with the department’s core mandate, key concerns and challenges which we are working hard to address and to provide strategic support across the three spheres, guided by the District Development Model (DDM).
This is an effort to see an effective and efficient local government as envisaged by the National Development Plan (NDP). It is within this context that we are engaging both internal and external stakeholders in discussions about how we can collaborate for the benefit of our people.
To this effect, this Vote is rightfully premised on these principles, cognizant of the need for three distinct yet interdependent and interrelated spheres to function as a cohesive whole.
To deal with these complexities of spheres the need for an all of government and society approach can be realized through the DDM, which implores all components of government to function as a cohesive whole, to effectively deliver a capable and developmental local government.
It is within this context that, S154 of the constitution is important to ensure that we strengthen our municipalities in pursuit of the objects of local government contained in S152.
Our budget vote should strategically enable conducive conditions to collectively harness all public resources behind common goals and within a framework of mutual support. DDM One Plans, we are laying a firm foundation for the seamless coordination of a cohesive and multi-sectoral driven development.
A key requirement for the success of the DDM is One Plan an operational model is the stability of municipalities. The State of Local Government Report, amongst other matters, confirmed the correlation between failures in governance and political oversight as the primary causes underpinning the increase in the number of dysfunctional municipalities.
We are working with all stakeholders to assist put municipalities to work better, in North-West, for example, it was agreed during the recent Presidential Imbizo, that municipalities such as Maquassi Hills, Ditsobotla and Mamusa would be assisted to open criminal charges against all those implicated in fraudulent activities.
Following the presentation of the State of Local Government to Cabinet, a Framework on Municipal Support and Intervention Plans (MSIPs) was developed to guide the development of support plans to address short to medium-term performance challenges, and progress has been registered in this regard.
In keeping with the principles of cooperative governance, Hon. Minister mentioned intervention and support that have been given to Enoch Mgijima Municipality and Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality under section 139 (7), in addition to the 64 municipalities as identified in the State of Local Government Report a joint approach of implementation has been adopted between CoGTA, the National Treasury as well as the provincial COGTAs and Provincial Treasuries. Additionally, Economic Recovery Plans (ERPs) were developed in 46 districts and metros and these have been integrated into the One Plans.
These support and recovery plans give expression to both sections 154 and 139 which enjoins national and provincial government to support and strengthen the capacity of municipalities in pursuit of the tenets of section 152.
During the recent Presidential DDM imbizo in the Free State, the Ngwathe Bulk Water Supply was identified as a catalytic project. It will refurbish the Koppies water treatment works to accommodate Edenville and Koppies and the existing Pump Station to Koppies.
A pump station to pump water to Edenville will also be constructed. This project is halfway there with 28 km of the 46 km of pipeline completed. 5 776 households will benefit from this project. A total of 21 local sub-contractors and SMMEs will be appointed.
We continue to work with the institutionalization of Labour-Intensive Construction (LIC) methods by municipalities in the implementation of municipal infrastructure projects to create as many job opportunities as possible.
To boost the average 70% spending of MIG by Municipalities, 23 pilot municipalities will be assisted with 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).
In streamlining our legislative basis, we are in the process of finalizing the Intergovernmental Monitoring, Support and Interventions Bill (IMSI). Currently, there is no national legislation regulating interventions in the provinces in terms of section 100 of the Constitution. In the case of municipalities, Chapter 13 of the Local Government: Municipal Finance Management Act, 2003, regulates section 139 interventions in municipalities, but only where the cause of the intervention is of a financial nature. There is no legislation to regulate interventions in municipalities arising from other causes.
This Bill is therefore intended to fill this void and regulate interventions in terms of both sections 100 and 139 of the Constitution. However, in order not to encroach on the area already covered by the Municipal Finance Management Act, the Bill will apply to discretionary financial interventions and section 139(4) and (5) interventions only to the extent that the Bill’s provisions are not inconsistent with the Municipal Finance Management Act, 2003.
As indicated by Minister Dlamini Zuma, key to the sustainability and financial viability of municipalities are Municipal Public Accounts Committees (MPACs) role of exercising oversight over municipal Councils.
The vital principle of public oversight and accountability is to ensure that those entrusted with executive powers and public resources are required to give an account of how they exercise their power and responsibilities. MPACs are thus important because they assist the municipal council in holding the executive and municipal administration accountable, and ensuring the effective and efficient utilization of municipal resources.
We are continuing to work with SALGA to train the PAC Committees so as to ensure that they fulfil their roles effectively.
We, through the Municipal Infrastructure Support Agency, continue to support identified municipalities with the alignment of Social and Labour Plans (SLPs) to IDPs in order to improve the implementation and financing of municipal infrastructure programs through the implementation of the Social and Labour Plans (SLPs) approved projects which are aligned to municipal Integrated Development Plans (IDPs).
A total of 14 municipalities identified under the distressed mining program were supported. Elias Motsoaledi, Lephalale, Mogale City, Merafong Randwest City, Rustenburg, Moses Kotane, Madibeng, Matlosana, Emalahleni, Steve Tshwete, Matjhabeng, Ga-Segonyana and Gamagara.
Ours is participatory governance that is committed to working with citizens and civil society organisations within the community to find sustainable ways to meet their social, economic and material needs and improve the quality of their lives.
This can only be attained if we maximize social development and economic growth, through integrated and coordinated citizen-centric development.
To this end, the IUDF which was adopted by the department has seen the development of intermediary cities to develop their smart cities strategies, like Umhlathuzi Municipality, on the same vein the department launched the Small-Town Regeneration Strategy (STR) aimed at the regeneration, restoration, and fulfilling the economic potential of underperforming small towns.
The strategy re-engineers municipal work through the use of public-private-community partnerships to deliver innovative services and capacitate municipalities through community participation. It has undergone various stakeholder engagements and all comments have been formally integrated and the STR was distributed in November 2021.
Through this strategy, we have identified three (3) pilot small towns namely: Modimolle in the Modimolle Municipality in Limpopo, Piketberg in the Bergrivier Municipality in the Western Cape and Senekal in the Setsoto Municipality in the Free State, respectively.
I must commend the communities of Piketberg and Senekal in particular for demonstrating active citizenry in practice, these communities are leading the public-private-community partnerships to deliver innovative services to their towns.
As I conclude I wish to thank the Minister of COGTA, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Deputy Minister Bapela for their leadership, as well as officials in the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs for their dedication and support as we work to achieve our mandate.
I thank you.