CoGTA National Council of Provinces NCOP 2023 Budget Vote Speech by Minister Thembi Nkadimeng

Honourable Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces

Chairperson and Members of the Committee

Members of the Provincial Executive Committees

Honourable Members

Fellow Cabinet Members

Deputy Ministers of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs

Chairperson of the National House of Traditional and Khoi-San leaders

Chairperson of the Municipal Demarcation Board and its members

President of the South African Local Government Association

Directors General of DCOG and DTA

Acting CEO of MISA

Organised Labour – IMATU & SAMWU

Fellow South Africans

Ladies and Gentlemen

Good afternoon

Let me first appreciate the opportunity to table budget votes 3 and 15 for the Departments of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs.

I am joined today by the two Deputy Ministers of CoGTA in tabling these budget votes, Prince Zolile Burns-Ncamashe and Mr Parks Tau.

It is truly an honour to come to this august house to outline to you and all South Africans our plans and provide progress on the implementation of our programme since last year’s budget. The tabling of this budget is an important and integral part of our democratic government as explained by former President Mandela presenting to the then Senate, today known as NCOP. Delivering the Presidency Budget Debate on the 1st of June 1995, the father of our democracy, President Nelson Mandela said, “Opportunities for us to account in this manner before the Senate are few and far between. We therefore value this occasion for critical engagement with a House that is central in the body politic of the nation”.

Honourable Members,

On a more negative and sobering note, the developments in Hammanskraal are a dark mark for our democratic dispensation. As CoGTA, we respectfully express our condolences to those families who have lost, needlessly so, their loved ones to the cholera outbreak.

The systematic response of CoGTA and DWS to episodes like those in Hammanskraal, to be detailed later in this budget vote speech, includes 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. We are also monitoring the situation through the National Disaster Management Centre. We are encouraged that from our observation, it seems that the cholera outbreak is contained, but we will  however continue to monitor. Deputy Minister Tau will touch on the Blue Drop, Green Drop and No Drop Report Water Certification Programme issued by Minister Mchunu yesterday.

Allow me to solemnly recognise one of the most poignant moments in our tragic history by wishing all of us, especially our young people a happy “Happy Youth Month which is this year commemorated befittingly under the theme “Accelerating youth economic emancipation for a sustainable future”.

As we mark the 47th anniversary of the June 16 Soweto and other related uprisings, we are encouraged to deliver a budget vote that is inspired by the youth. It is in this Month that we remember the huge ultimate sacrifices and role that was played by the Youth towards in the attainment of our democracy. The realities of our democratic dispensation implores us to also consider how do we mobilise our young people to actively participate in democratic processes to innovatively ensure that municipalities are delivering on their mandate. We can affirm that our budget will have a significant impact on the lives of the youth in our nation, instilling hope and reaffirming their importance as strategic partners who possess immense potential, especially in the face of the economic challenges that have arisen post COVID-19.

We will in less than a year go to the polls to renew the democratic mandate in an election which will herald 30 years of democracy and freedom. As we mark this important milestone, we must be united in saying that we have delivered a stable democracy across all spheres that is responsive to the wishes of our people. To this effect, we must work together to ensure efficient and effective functioning democratic local government that works for the people.

As we draw closer to the 2024 elections, the noises will be loudest in the environment of those who will be making many promises about how they can change the people’s lives. As Amilcar Cabral, puts it, “Always bear in mind that the people are not fighting for ideas, for the things in anyone’s head. They are fighting to win material benefits, to live better and in peace, to see their lives go forward, to guarantee the future of their children”.

Honourable Chairperson,


We present a budget that fully takes into consideration the plight of communities struggling against the triple challenges, unemployment, poverty and inequality. This means that ours should be the people’s budget, taking into account the needs of communities across all our 257 municipalities.

In respect of Vote 3, the Department’s approved budget allocation for the 2023/24 financial year amounts to R121,7 billion. This total allocation is expected to increase at an average annual rate of 5.9 per cent, from R121.7 billion in 2023/24 to R136.5 billion in 2025/26, which will bring the total allocation for the department over the Medium-Term Expenditure (MTEF) period to R387, 7 billion.

The largest portion of this budget is allocated for transfers to municipalities at an estimated R364.7 billion (95.per cent of the total allocation) over the MTEF period. These grants include the local government equitable share (LGES) and the municipal infrastructure grant (MIG), realising an average growth of 7,8 per cent and 4,4 per cent, respectively, over the MTEF period. The local government equitable share comprises an estimated 81.8 per cent (R309.79 billion) of the department’s spending over the medium term. In this amount is an additional R8.1 billion to compensate municipalities for the increased cost of bulk electricity and water, as well as the MIG allocation being R55 billion over the MTEF period.

In respect of Vote 15, the appropriated budget for 2023/24 amounts to R193,1 million. This allocation is expected to increase to R201,2 million in 2024/25 and R209,7 million in the outer year of 2025/26. Out of this allocation, 25% is a transfer payment to the Commission for Religious, Linguistics (CRL) Rights Commission, which translates to R49,1 million in 2023/24, R49,1 million in 2024/25 and R51,3 million in 2025/26.



Today we present this budget under a theme – “Local government is everybody’s business”. This theme is a clarion call to action for all South Africans to come together and play their part to build an effective and efficient functioning community centred local government.



South Africa is a constitutional democracy with a three spheres of government wherein national, provincial and local levels of government all have legislative and executive authority in their own spheres, and are defined in the Constitution as distinctive, interdependent and interrelated. The White Paper on Local Government envisions a government characterised by working together, not unilaterally and in silos. This speaks to the significance of the DDM which is the flagship programme of the 6th administration.

Guided by our need to enable a people centred, competent and professional local government free of corruption, maladministration and all other perennial challenges that continue to hamper the performance of our municipalities, DDM is an operating model for the pursuit of the objects of local government, S152.

The District Development Model (DDM) is a government planning and coordination mechanism that ensures improve integrated planning and service delivery across the three spheres of government including interventions by private sector. It also promotes more accountable and coherent service delivery approach and implementation of solutions to address service delivery in an efficient manner.

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 energising the cooperative governance system can never be underestimated.

To this effect, the institutionalization and implementation of the DDM is well on course and we are seeing greater buy-in and commitment towards not only the objectives of the model and approach but also towards the implementation and monitoring thereof across the three spheres of government.

DDM IGR structures are in place and functioning in ALL 9 provinces and in the majority of DDM district and metro spaces. Sector departments, in part through the support and guidance of the department, have actively started to set-up their own internal DDM structures and arrangements and even heeded the call to identify and second senior officials to be part of the various provincial and district/metro DDM IGR platforms and structures. These structures were instrumental in the reviewing and updating of the intergovernmental One Plans of which 46 were submitted to the department already. It is pleasing to note that implementation of certain catalytic projects identified in One Plans have commenced or are very close to being implemented.

This has been demonstrated in the recently held Presidential DDM Imbizo in the Western Cape, where ordinary residents expressed their sincere appreciation towards the Honorable President and the entire Executive for using the DDM as an outreach and communication mechanism.

As with previously held Presidential DDM Izimbizos, the department together with the Presidency, the DPME, and respective Offices of the Premier developed an integrated quarterly Izimbizo outcomes tracking matrix, which are consolidated and submitted to the relevant sector departments and DDM political champions for actioning, follow-ups and general reporting. Once automated and in full operation the currently developed DDM Information Management System, will incorporate these outcomes as part of the overall DDM implementation tracking, monitoring and evaluation objective.

As part of the efforts to institutionalise the DDM, we recognise the importance of working collaboratively with Magoshi. If you consider the Eastern Seaboard Development Initiative, for example, all indications are that a lot of the development would be taking place in areas under the custodianship of Magoshi. Accordingly, they will be a critical partner as we mobilise communities to ensure that the plans we put in place are informed by and are grounded in their local contextual realities. Thus far we have already had initial engagements with the affected Local Houses of Traditional and Khoi-san Leaders in the Eastern Cape and Kwazulu Natal, and we will be taking those engagements further during the current financial year.  Not only is this kind of collaboration the very essence of DDM-in-action, but it also gives effect to the principles behind the Invest-Rural Masterplan which the National House of Traditional and Khoi-san Leaders has developed.

Eastern Seaboard

The Eastern Seaboard is one of the Departmental flagship projects that demonstrate the usefulness of the DDM (DDM in Action) which covers four district municipalities, spanning across Eastern Cape and Kwa Zulu Natal Provinces  and  being implemented to accelerate socio-economic development and improve the quality of life of the communities within the Region.

A Regional Spatial Development Framework (RSDF), Renewable Energy feasibility study, Regional Infrastructure Master Plan, Regional Integrated Transport Master Plan, Social Facilitation, and Project Preparation are underway to get to the realisation of the Eastern Seaboard Development. The RSDF is currently in Phase 4, with the draft Framework and Implementation Plan gazetted for public participation and comments. The Final RSDF will be gazetted by the Minister of the National Department of Agriculture, Rural Development and Land Reform in September 2023.




We need to commit ourselves to a greater policy coherence across the three spheres supported by sound policy decisions and coherent actions, all showing clearly that ours is a caring government which has the interest of communities at heart.

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.

In line with our theme, I want to emphasise that it is critical to provide the much needed support to local government to ensure that it functions optimally. This means that we can’t afford to stand on the side-lines and leave municipalities to drown in challenges that we can provide support and assistance in. In terms of municipalities in co-operative government, section 154 (1) states that the national government and provincial governments, by legislative and other measures, must support and strengthen the capacity of municipalities to manage their own affairs, to exercise their powers and to perform their functions.

Chapter 13 of the NDP outlines a vision for building a capable and developmental state through interdepartmental coordination and strengthening local government. Therefore, through this Budget, as CoGTA we are sounding a clarion call to all South Africans to join hands with us, leaving no one behind to make of our country a better one – because as our theme indicates, “local government is everyone’s business”.

AGSA Report Intervention Plans

We have noted with concern the recent Auditor General of South Africa (AGSA) report for the 2021/22 audit to individual municipalities on 31 May 2023 under the theme – “A culture of accountability will improve service delivery”. Our main concern are those Municipalities that have regressed as well as those who have not improved as per the Audit outcomes report for the financial year ended 30 June 2022.

In this regard, the Department of Cooperative Governance will implement initiatives aimed at ensuring, amongst others, that:

  1. there is a multi-stakeholder approach with clear roles and responsibilities in supporting local government – our collaboration with National Treasury, SALGA, provinces and the AGSA has already commenced in this regard, more especially in monitoring the functionality of oversight committees in municipalities;
  2. linked to the theme of “a culture of accountability”, the Ministry, launched the Local Government Anti-Corruption Forum, and the Local Government Ethical Leadership Institute during September last year;
  3. regulations on the Code of Conduct for Councillors will soon be promulgated to address instability within municipal councils and ensure that there is accountability and consequences for undesired behaviour;
  4. in promoting professionalisation in the public service, Cabinet approved the Framework Towards the Professionalisation of the Public Service in November 2022. The Framework requires amongst others that senior managers across all three spheres must be appointed on merit. This, the Minister believes, will ensure that qualified and competent officials are appointed within municipalities, and the Department will therefore monitor the appointment of senior managers in municipalities; to cite but a few interventions.

We also noted some green-shoots in the area of municipal audits as confirmed by the AGSA in her MFMA audit outcomes to parliament and this is in line with our State of Local Government Report which outlined these improvements. For example, when we look at the number of municipalities in 2007 that fell within the category of having disclaimed and/or adverse audit outcomes, they numbered 111. Last year, that number fell to 34, and this year, the Auditor-General indicated that there were 21 municipalities that fell into that category. This is a significant improvement, and if we continue to follow that trajectory, we could soon have eliminate municipalities that have the worse-or-worse outcomes.

When the Auditor-General released the outcomes last year, she stated the following in respect  of clean audits: “A clean audit outcome is not always an indicator of good service delivery and does not always directly correlate to the lived experience of all the communities in a municipal area. A clean audit is one where the unqualified audit is free from material misstatements, there are no material findings on the annual performance report and lastly, there are no material findings on non-compliance with key legislation.”

It is the former statement that is  key – while we believe that we must strive towards obtaining clean audits, we must do so ensuring that we do not lose sight of the developmental and service delivery priorities of local government, including eradicating unemployment, poverty, homelessness

Local government funding

The department will collaborate with South African Local Government Association (SALGA) to explore and propose alternative vertical funding model for local government as this was one of the recommendations of the 2022 Local Government Summit. The review will especially look at the Local Government Equitable Share, including exploring measures to account for cost differentials in providing the same levels of services across municipalities and improving on the costing of community services.

The state of local government report:

Whilst tangible progress has been made to fulfil our Constitutional obligation to provide developmental and transformation local governance and visible service delivery, we admit there are challenges in ensuring that our people’s growing expectations are met and realised.

The 2022 State of Local Government Report to Cabinet shows that the number of dysfunctional municipalities has increased from 64 to 66 in July 2022. The number of stable municipalities had increased from 16 to 27 an increase of 11 municipalities, however, this cannot be celebrated as the number of dysfunctional municipalities, increased. This report paints a concerning picture which was also raised by the latter AG report.

These structural challenges of some municipalities require national interventions that will also address the rooted weak institutional capacity, poor governance, poor financial management, corruption, and political instability. This accounts for why a total of 66 municipalities, in 2022, were identified as dysfunctional with challenges across the key performance areas of administration, governance, financial administration, service delivery and Local Economic Development (LED).

In the current financial year the Department will support 22 dysfunctional municipalities to increase their revenue as well as decreasing debt owed to these municipalities.

Hung councils and coalitions:

As a result of maturing democracy and competitive politics in the local government sphere, the 2021 local government elections left us with 70 hung councils which have regrettably since been the source of instability that characterizes our coalition governments. Surprisingly, this regressive phenomenon of instability is more prevalent in Metros which ideally should be exemplary case studies for stable coalition governments. Dishearteningly, when municipalities cannot pass budgets they indirectly deny communities access to basic service delivery as enshrined in the injunctions of S152 of our progressive Constitution.

The instability caused by the change in executives due to coalition dynamics over the past year has underscored the fact that political parties in South Africa are clearly struggling to cope with the delicate demands and dilemmas of coalition politics, hence the many challenges they continue to face, which includes, but not limited to the following.

  1. Unscrupulous manipulation by smaller parties;


  1. In-fighting in councils characterised by walkouts resulting in inquorate councils failing to execute their legislated mandates;


  1. Inability to adopt budgets resulting in an administration that cannot spend its budget to address service delivery backlogs; and

To effectively address the issues of coalitions, we definitely require an inclusive approach which will involve various stakeholders like the South African Local Government Association (SALGA), communities, political parties, provincial Departments responsible for local government, etc. To this effect, we are currently developing a coalition framework and a draft Bill amending the Local Government: Municipal Structures Act, 1998. This amendment will introduce, amongst others, that:

  1. Political parties contesting an election in a municipal council must obtain a minimum of 1% of the valid votes cast in order to qualify for the awarding of a seat on the council – thus minimising number of parties in a municipal council;


  1. A motion of no confidence in either the speaker or the mayor will only be permitted after 2 years since the council was last elected and by adopting a resolution to this effect with a supporting vote of at least two thirds of the councillors – thus reducing the prevalence of disruptions in as far as office bearers are concerned; and


  1. Regulations be developed to govern arrangements in municipalities where coalitions are in place between political parties, or with independent candidates.

In addition, CoGTA is also considering developing standard draft Standing rules and orders for municipal councils as permitted by Section 14(1)(i) of the Local Government: Municipal Systems Act. The draft standard Standing rules and orders will encompass that “A motion of no confidence in either the speaker or the mayor will only be permitted after 2 years since the council was last elected and by adopting a resolution to this effect with a supporting vote of at least two thirds of the councillors”. Once adopted by councils, these rules and orders will be legally binding as they are the municipal by-law which can provide the immediate solutions that can assist in stabilising municipal councils governed through coalitions.

Strengthening intergovernmental relations system

Despite the successes of the DDM, the full institutionalization and implementation still requires a very focused and targeted policy framework. In this financial year, the department will finalise the policy and regulatory framework of the DDM, as part of its institutionalization phase, which spans till March 2025, through the gazetting of a set of regulations. These regulations will outline clear steps and measures on how existing planning, budgeting and implementation orientated IGR platforms will be used within the DDM approach to ensure improved functionality. Setting-out clear DDM responsibilities for national, provincial and local government executives and leaders, including that of the DDM political champions, form part of the main focus of the regulations.

The set of regulations will also provide the legal framework and context for the development, approval, endorsement, and implementation of the long-term intergovernmental One Plans and how these plans relate to existing intergovernmental plans and planning frameworks. Currently these regulations are being gazette for public comments with the hope to have a final set of regulations published in the beginning of Q2 of this financial year. Once published the institutionalization and implementation of the DDM will truly become an all of government focus and responsibility.


We have initiated a process to review legislation that impacts on local government with the view to entrenching good practices and to address the challenges that have been experienced.

  • Intergovernmental Monitoring, Support and Intervention Bill (IMSI): We have developed the IMSI Bill in compliance with the requirements of Section 100(3) and 139(8) of the Constitution. The aim of this Bill is to strengthen the processes and procedures of intervening by the national and provincial governments in provinces and municipalities, respectively. The Bill will provide unambiguous, clear processes and procedures on how to deal uniformly with the invocation of Sections 100 and 139 of the Constitution. The Bill will also provide legal rights and legalities for all parties concerned, including benefiting the communities in that, when the provincial administration or the municipalities are not fulfilling their executive obligations, then the envisaged legislation will assist by returning these organs of state to normalcy and restoring stability in municipalities across the country. The Bill will be submitted to Cabinet soon to request approval to commence with the public and stakeholder consultation Bill.


  • Inter-Governmental Relations Framework Act (IGR) Review: We will be publishing Regulations in terms of Section 47 of the Intergovernmental Relations Framework Act for public comments. The introduction of these Regulations will be a significant milestone as it will enable all three (3) spheres of government to strengthen their relations through the lens of the DDM. The regulations will confirm that the DDM is institutionalised within the existing IGR framework as defined in the Act but also makes provision for the establishment of DDM technical structures at national, provincial and district levels.

Infrastructure development:

According to the Local Government: Municipal Structures Act, municipal capacity refers to the ability of a municipality to govern, administer its affairs, manage finances and to manage the infrastructure. CoGTA has recently approved a rollout of an Integrated Local Government Capacity Building Strategy that aims at improving the capacity of municipalities to execute their mandates. At the heart of the strategy is to improve municipal governance, administration, and management of finances and infrastructure.

Working with DWS, 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.

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 by all stakeholders including sector departments like the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) and Department of Minerals and Energy (DMRE).

There is glaring challenge of poor asset management manifesting in rampant sewer spillages, unreliable drinking water and potholes to name a few. These are consequences of many factors including insufficient budget and capacity for sound asset management. DCOG introduced a reform in the Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) allowing a maximum of 5 per cent of a municipality’s allocation may be used to fund activities related to the development of an Infrastructure Asset Management Plans and actual management of infrastructure using ten per cent of the grant. CoGTA will intervene in municipalities where there is under-expenditure by applying provisions of the Division of Revenue Act (DORA) allowing the department to retain a portion of the MIG allocation and create an indirect grant (Schedule 6B). The Department may use indirect MIG allocations to fund the urgent repairs and refurbishment of water, sanitation and solid waste management infrastructure.

Strategic partnerships are critical to accelerate the development of municipal infrastructure that is needed to deal with issues of service delivery. The Department through MISA will facilitate the implementation of infrastructure projects prioritized in the Social and Labour Plans of mines within jurisdiction of respective municipalities. The alignment of Social Labour Plans and the municipal Integrated Development Plans (IDPs) has been prioritized to improve the development of infrastructure for service delivery.

Young Graduates, Experiential Leaners and Apprenticeship

As I had stated, we are mindful of the challenges young people face and continue to work as part of government to place them in better positions. Working through MISA we have deployed a total of 118 candidates through the Young Graduate program with 56 of them being Females and 62 Males. These candidates are in possession of formal qualifications in Project Construction Management, Electrical Engineering, Town and Regional Planning and environmental Management.

To date we have a total of 70 Experiential Leaners (EL) in trades like Electrical, Civil and Town Planning across the country. Out of these 31 are female while the remaining 39 are male placed as follows in our provinces:

  • Gauteng (16); Eastern Cape (12); Free state (7); North West (9); Western Cape (2); Northern Cape (1); KwaZulu Natal (8); Mpumalanga (11); Limpopo (4).


Further to this, a total of 100 apprentices in the fields of Plumbing, electrical, diesel mechanic, brick laying and motor mechanic are deployed across the country.

Disaster Coordination

The National Disaster Management Centre has during the 2022/23 fiscal year not only managed and coordinated multiple national disasters but has also achieved all of its APP and Operational plan commitments. This achievement is especially significant as the NDMC had a number of vacant positions in key leadership positions during the period and also migrated to the new departmental staff establishment. In terms of the MTSF 2019 – 2024 the NDMC has contributed in two specific projects.

In terms of the target “Disaster risk management framework updated and institutional capacity established” the NDMC completed a review of the National Disaster Management Framework. It is expected that the updated framework will be published for public comment before 30 June 2023 and published in the Gazette before 31 March 2024. The NDMC has also made significant progress with the review of the Disaster Management System and it is expected that the NDMC will table recommendations to the Cabinet before the 30 June 2023 on how the Disaster Management System can be overhauled to improve the institutional capacity.

In terms of the target “44 district municipal disaster risk management plans developed/ reviewed to enhance climate protection and reduce losses (human life; livestock/crop yield; houses/shelter)”, the NDMC assessed 42 disaster management plans and advised stakeholders on how the plans are to be developed / reviewed.

The NDMC has during the floods disaster occurring in at least four provinces during April 2022 developed and implemented a coordination system and network to coordinate and manage the response to the disaster. This system comprised of various work streams that furthered relief and rehabilitation efforts both vertically and horizontally.

The NDMC in 2023 is looking to further support the 28 qualifying students to which bursaries are provided in undergraduate and post graduate disaster management programs. The NDMC is also looking to allocate bursaries to qualifying students for the 2024 academic year to further their post graduate studies in line with the Disaster Management research agenda which includes research into climate change adaptation. The NDMC will also work with stakeholders in local government to improve disaster management strategies to prevent, prepare for, and mitigate disaster risks in terms of the Disaster Management Act.

The Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Act:

We have noted the Constitutional Court ruling on the Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Act handed down on 30 May 2023 which declared the Act invalid. While the Ministry of CoGTA notes the court ruling with great concern, we are also hopeful that Parliament will attend to the issues raised by the court and rectify them within the timeframe prescribed by the court order.

At this stage it is important to clarify the ruling so that there is a common understanding of the current status of the Act by the traditional affairs sector. The order declaring the Act invalid is suspended for a period of 24 months which in in essence, means that the Act will continue to remain in force until the suspension period of 24 months has lapsed or until Parliament has rectified the source of its invalidity. We will together with the Commission on Khoi-San Matters and Provincial Governments continue with the implementation of the provisions of the Act and all related activities such as the constitution of traditional councils and the recognition of Khoi-San communities, branches and leaders, to name a few.

Legal constitution of traditional leadership and Khoi-San councils

For the traditional and Khoi-San leadership councils to play their role of supporting municipalities in the identification of communities’ service delivery and developmental needs for inclusion in the IDPs and to facilitate the involvement of traditional and Khoi-San communities in the IDPs, we will continue to focus on the implementation of the Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Act of 2019. In this regard, our key area of focus during this financial year will be the legal constitution of our traditional councils working together with our provincial counterparts and traditional leadership. All the provinces with recognised traditional leadership will be part of this process.

We acknowledge the issues raised by traditional leaders regarding the gazetted formula for the constitution of traditional councils. We have started engagements with the various Houses of Traditional and Khoi-San leaders to resolve those issues for the constitution of traditional councils to be finalised within the legislated timeframes.

Following the constitution of traditional councils, working with our provincial counterparts, kingships/queenships and principal traditional leadership, we will ensure that kingship/queenship and principal traditional councils are legally constituted/established. To pave way for this process, in May 2023 we published the formula for determining the number of members of kingship/queenship councils. This will apply to all provinces in which there is legally recognised kingships/queenships and principal traditional leadership, namely, Eastern Cape, Free State, Limpopo, and kwaZulu Natal.

Furthermore, the formula for determining the number of members of Khoi-San councils will be published to provide a legal tool for the establishment /constitution of Khoi-San councils once the Khoi-San communities and leaders are legally recognised.

I would also want to assure our Kings and Queens that we remain committed to the establishment of the Kings/ Queen’s Forum as pronounced by His Excellency the President when he addressed the official opening of the National House in February this year.

Resourcing of the Institution of Traditional and Khoi-san Leadership

We remain committed to addressing the concerns of traditional leaders regarding the provision of resources to enable them to function effectively. This House will recall that for a number of years now concerns were raised regarding the payment of the backlog of salaries of headmen and headwomen in kwaZulu Natal. Following a careful costing process and a series of consultations, we are pleased that this can now be a thing of the past as the province has since been allocated funds to address the backlog. We are very encouraged by this development and have no doubt that if we continue to work together in this way, outstanding matters such as finalising and implementing a costed Handbook on Traditional Leadership will be achieved. This financial year we will also be engaging with municipalities to ensure that in all provinces traditional leaders who serve in municipal councils are provided with tools of trade and other necessary benefits similar to what is provided to councillors serving in the same councils.


Given what is stated above, in pursuit of improving and enhancing the delivery of quality and sustainable municipal basic services, the Department adopted a Results-based Planning and Implementation approach towards the key programmes that will result in meaningful impact. To that effect, a Results Management Office (RMO) is being established (operating like a WarRoom or Operations Room).

Of course, the WarRoom approach is not new to local government. Rather, it is being implemented not only to measure the acceleration of our programmes but gauge how impactful this is done whilst also closing the loopholes as illustrated in what the DDM concept note expects us to do. Therefore, the RMO is a strategic form of professional support through which municipalities will be capacitated to deliver infrastructure and strategic projects in order to drive the necessary enhancements required to improve service delivery.

A primary purpose of establishing a fully functional RMO is to ensure that all the infrastructure and/or strategic programmes produce the intended outcomes. This will be achieved through supporting delivery of projects as well as reporting and monitoring the realisation of the intended benefits during project execution and post the implementation of projects.

The RMO will also support and strengthen traditional leadership infrastructure by providing technical support for their offices as well as access to roads.

The RMO will be resourced through the recruitment and placement of highly qualified, skilled and experienced local government experts and specialist who will be working with municipalities, provincial governments, national sector departments and State-owned entities to bring about the much-needed basic services to communities in all the 9 provinces.


In conclusion, I strongly believe that this budget debate will go a long way to add and provide the much-needed advice and guidance to the possible solutions on addressing the challenges facing municipalities.

We commit to working together with everyone (all stakeholders and role-players, government, communities, NGO, etc) to address challenges faced by the CoGTA sector and support it to deliver as per their mandate bearing in mind that we need to unite for greater impact.

#Local Government is everybody’s business

I thank you