Honourable Chairperson and Members Parliament
Fellow Cabinet Members
Fellow South Africans
Ladies and Gentlemen
Let me appreciate the opportunity to participate in today’s debate on the Presidency budget vote.
Allow me to recognise the significance of this day as it marks the end of our celebration of Africa month and the ushering in of our commemorations of Youth month. As the continent of Africa, we have a Youth dividend that we have yet to leverage fully particularly to enhance state capacity and capability in order to drive a progressive socio-economic agenda that “leaves no one behind”.
At the heart of our approach as championed by the President is to find systematic solutions to address challenges facing our communities through citizen-centred instruments such as the District Development Model (DDM).
Our input today as CoGTA is premised on building a capable, ethical and developmental state anchored on the implementation capability of local government that is underpinned by cooperative governance – a functional and integrated government. Building of municipalities that are resilient, sustainable with durable infrastructure cannot continue without the recognition of the current crises that’s unfolding in Hammanskraal. I would like to express our sincere condolences to the families who have lost loved ones and the entire community of Hammanskraal for the hardships they are going through.
As part of our systematic response to episodes like those in Hammanskraal, we are putting in place the Water Resilience Action Plan which will form the foundation of our Bulk Water Supply and Waste Water Treatment plant infrastructure rehabilitation and energy efficiency interventions within the water reticulation and sewer systems.
Working with social partners, MISA is rolling out a training programme for water and wastewater process controllers, which is aimed at capacitating municipal officials in low and middle capacity municipalities. A similar programme is being implemented to train and qualify municipal general workers as artisans to complement the work of process controllers in ensuring optimal operation and maintenance of water and wastewater infrastructure.
The approach towards building local government capacity should involve creation of a technical skills pipeline by investing in the development of a new cohort of technical experts. As CoGTA, we have placed a number of Apprentices, Experiential Learners, and Young Graduates in municipalities to give them work exposure and introduce them to local government municipal infrastructure management.
MISA will continue to deploy built environment professionals to provide technical support to municipalities for infrastructure development. These technical professionals support municipalities throughout the project life cycle from planning, implementation, operation and maintenance. To-date MISA has deployed 103 built environment professionals (86 of which are professionally registered with Statutory bodies as engineers and town planners) to provide technical support to municipalities. The MISA professionals support municipalities to implement all infrastructure projects funded all stakeholders including sector departments like the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) and Department of Minerals and Energy (DMRE).
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 2021 Local Government Elections (LGE) is the fact that our democracy is giving practical expression to the values of multiparty governance, however this implies 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. Legislative review will include:
Fiscal & Infrastructure Development
The department will implement fiscal reforms that have previously been introduced through the Division of Revenue Act by leveraging the conditional grants allocations (e.g., MIG) to scale up the financing of infrastructure development. Issues related to procurement have been identified to be major contributory factor to poor spending of grants allocations. The rolling out of Infrastructure procurement reforms (Local Government Infrastructure Delivery Management System) and the use of framework contracts to the priority 22 dysfunctional municipalities to improve MIG expenditure will be prioritised.
To meet the infrastructure demand by the country, the department will continue to ensure efficient management of key grants.
District Development Model
Our collective oversight and accountability across all spheres of government can bear the desired impact when the oversight is cross-sectional and is able to view the performance of all spheres collectively. It is for this reason that the institutionalisation of the DDM as an operating model for energesing the cooperative governance system can never be underestimated.
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).
Developing Disaster Management Capacity and improving agility of disaster responses and reconstruction:
The realities of climate change and the need for a climate smart as well as resilient infrastructure led to adoption of a Programme of Action for implementation which amongst other things involves on improving the agility of disaster responses and reconstruction, through the following strategies:
Advancing rural development and Presidency strategic support for traditional leadership and the Khoi-San
The National House of Traditional and Khoi-San Leaders (NHTKL), compiled an Invest Rural Master Plan as a development niche for the institution of traditional leadership. The aim of the plan is to promote investments in areas under the jurisdiction of traditional leaders. To ensure integration and alignment with other government initiatives, the Department of Agriculture Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) has incorporated the plan into the Integrated Rural Development Strategy for further implementation.
Seeing that the Invest Rural Master Plan relates to various sectors of development, the department will continue establishing strategic partnerships to ensure that various government departments incorporate programmes and projects responding to the plan. These projects should be mainstreamed into the DDM One Plans and for traditional leaders to ensure maximum benefits of their respective communities.
Another aspect that will be considered in enhancing rural development, relates to mining activities taking place in traditional communities. Working closely with the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) and municipalities, the department will ensure that the Social and Labour Plans (SLPs) submitted by mining companies contribute towards the socio-economic development in traditional communities, for maximum benefit in terms of enterprise development, skills development, procurement, socio-economic development, ownership to mention a few.
Socio-economic development is critical as it seeks to change lives of people in traditional communities. The Department of Traditional Affairs (DTA) has partnered with the National School of Government (NSG) in capacitating traditional leaders on the Art of facilitating Socio economic development in traditional communities. These are some of the initiatives that the we will continue rolling out in advancing rural development for people living in areas under the jurisdiction of traditional leadership. This initiative has been piloted in the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu Natal and members of the National House of Traditional and Khoi-San Leaders have benefitted from this training. The department will ensure that this is rolled out in all other provinces.
Furthermore, working closely with MISA and municipalities, the department of traditional affairs will implement rural infrastructural projects to benefit traditional areas, thus improving service delivery. This will include but not limited to construction renovations and rehabilitation of road infrastructure, community halls and traditional council offices, etc. The department will continue facilitating such initiatives to for the benefit of traditional communities going forward.
Notwithstanding the challenges we have in municipalities, there are significant strides that have been made to ensure service delivery to our people. Going forward we need municipalities that function in the interest of their communities, “leaving no one behind”.
Local government is everybody’s business.
I thank you.