The Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA), Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma will in keeping with the constitutional mandate as encapsulated in Chapter 3, convene a national Local Government (LG) Summit from 27 to 28 September 2022, under the theme – “DDM in Action – Towards an Ideal Municipality”. The summit will be held in Gauteng at the Birchwood Conference Center.
The LG summit will draw participation from multiple perspectives including senior government leaders across all spheres of government as well as legislatures and most importantly key stakeholder representatives from Business, Academia, Traditional Leaders, Civil Society, Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, to cite but a few.
Fundamental principles guiding the summit will be to strengthen the capacity for an ethical and developmental state for the realisation of resilient, sustainable, coherent, cohesive, integrated, non-sexist, vibrant and climate-smart communities.
The constitution enjoins the three spheres of government to recognise their distinct mandates with due appreciation of their interdependencies and interrelatedness. The summit, therefore, aims to strengthen and support the local government as per section 154 of our constitution. In terms of the act, the national government and provincial governments are obligated to support and strengthen municipalities to manage their own affairs and perform their functions.
Our State of Local Government Report, amongst other matters, confirms the underlying root causes of the less ideal Municipality and the shortcomings of Cooperative Governance that manifest at the coalface of government – in municipalities where communities experience government.
The LG Summit comes at an opportune moment to recognize progressive improvements in legislative provisions including the recent promulgated Municipal Systems Amendment Act 2022, signifying an era of demonstrable interventions to strengthen municipalities to exercise their powers to the benefit of communities.
The summit will serve as a coalescent platform to hone good practices for replication and an opportunity to find sustainable solutions to challenges facing local government and cooperative governance by extension.
The summit will bring to the fore the importance of institutionalising the District Development Model (DDM) as an operating model for cooperative governance. Through the DDM, all spheres of government operate coherently guided by an integrated plan “One Plan” in collaboration with social partners in every district and metro space to build inclusive local economies and improve the lives of citizens.
Having sufficiently defined challenges impeding the complete realisation of a developmental local government, stakeholders at the summit will, among other things, deliberate broadly on how to foster an environment of seamless interface that clearly delineates roles and responsibilities as legislated, thus cultivating conditions for continuity beyond electoral cycles and safeguards an upward trajectory of gender representation as well as entrenches community-based monitoring through Ward Committees.
Key to the summit will be to emerge with a collective programme of action to enable an ideal Municipality that strategically demonstrates the pursuit of a long-term development trajectory anchored on the transformational areas of the One Plan, as they pertain to governance and financial management as well as integrated service delivery to bolster economic positioning through infrastructure engineering and spatial restructuring.
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