CONTACT US

HOUSE CHAIRPERSON,

HONOURABLE MEMBERS, AND

GUESTS SITTING IN THE GALLERY.  

GOOD AFTERNOON.

 

In developing the RDP, before the first democratic elections, the ANC identified 5 key programs for reconstruction and development:

  1. Meeting basic needs,
  2. Developing our Human Resources,
  3. Building the economy,
  4. Democratizing the state and society and
  5. Implementing the RDP.

The task of meeting basic needs was critical considering the huge amounts of people that were systematically excluded and deprived of basic services. In the 1995 Census these were the statistics:

Water – 33%

Electricity – 51%

Sanitation – 22%

The democratic government has made great strides in implementing the RDP:

  • 88, 5% of South Africans live in formal dwellings.
  • 94,7% of South Africa has access to electricity.
  • 82,4% of South Africans have access to piped Water.
  • Grant expenditure is at 89%.

 

The White Paper on Local Government adopted in 1998, set out the architecture of our local government system post-1994. This progressive policy is regarded as a “mini constitution” for local government, as it would henceforth affect all South Africans. It was established as the basis or benchmark for a new developmental local government system, which is committed to working with various citizens and communities to create sustainable human settlements that provide for a holistic and decent quality of life enshrined in the Constitution’s Bill of Rights. As we gather here during Human Rights Month, we cannot afford to pay mere lip service to the ideals of equality and dignity as enshrined in our Constitution.

 

The 6th administration set out to consolidate and accelerate the District Development Model as a mechanism for integrated inter-governmental planning, budgeting, and implementation. We identified the need to build strategic partnerships to accelerate the work of local government and improve mechanisms of support through the Municipal Infrastructure Support Agency.

 

 

As this 6th Administration, led by President Ramaphosa we stand before you today filled with optimism and determination as we reflect on the remarkable progress we’ve made in Provincial and Municipal Infrastructure Development.

 

HONOURABLE MEMBERS

At the heart of our mission lies the development of viable provincial and municipal infrastructure. Infrastructure is not just about roads and buildings; it is about laying the foundation for a society where every individual has access to the basic necessities of life. To this end, we have been working tirelessly as the 6th Administration to protect our people’s right to their cities.

 

Our commitment to progress is not mere rhetoric; it is backed by tangible achievements. From the Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) to the efforts of the Municipal Infrastructure Support Agency (MISA), we have made significant strides in improving access to essential services for our people. Since its inception in the 2004/5 financial year, a total of R208,1 Billion has been spent from the MIG. Over this period, the average spend has been around 89%. Over the past three years, average spend of the MIG has been 90%.

We take pride of the role that MISA is playing in assisting municipalities with technical capacity. MISA has deployed about 87 professionals (consisting of 8 provincial managers, 6 assistant provincial managers, 8 chief engineers, 14 electrical engineers, 36 civil engineers and 15 town planners) across 44 districts to assist around 217 MIG receiving municipalities, with technical support, project or programme planning, project technical reports review, design reviews, construction monitoring, cost verifications and project implementation monitoring. Additional resources deployed to assist municipalities with the above support, was the deployment of 150 young graduates (59 females and 91 males) across the nine provinces. But our work is far from done. We must redouble our efforts, leaving no stone unturned in our quest to uplift the marginalized and empower the disenfranchised. To this end, we have intervened and have developed a mechanism to assist municipalities to reprioritize their budgets towards repairs and refurbishments, the purchasing of yellow fleet and other such innovations to prevent money from being returned to the fiscus, and ultimately, benefiting the residents in our municipalities.

We note with concern the rate at which municipalities are returning monies to the national fiscus. We are, however, concerned that underspending is reaching our Metropolitan municipalities. It is particularly worrying that in our capital city, where there is a visible deterioration of municipal infrastructure, over R2 billion has been returned to the national treasury and this is also applicable to other Metropolitan cities.

HONOURABLE CHAIR

Funding needed to deal with the infrastructure challenges faced by municipalities requires the involvement of the private sector. The government has made progress in paving the way for private sector involvement in infrastructure investment. As a result, Institutions such as DBSA, New Development Bank, World Bank, AFDB have developed programs targeted at municipal infrastructure investments.

We have simplified how we do Public Private Partnerships (PPPs). An example of this is the partnership led by our Minister, Honourable Thembisile Nkadimeng, with the Limpopo Roads Agency where 8 Mining companies contributed over R100 million to make the construction of the Steel bridge on road DD2219 Ga-Malekane in the Fetakgomo-Tubatse Local Municipality, in the Sekhukhune District, a reality. Again, this is demonstrating the capability of this government to partner effectively and deliver services to the people.

Through our partnership with the Public Private Growth Initiative (PPGI), Nation Business Initiative (NBI), and the World Resource Institute, we are going to ensure that we continue to better the lives of the people of South Africa. We are also roping them into initiatives in Sedibeng as well to turn the infrastructure situation there around.

 

We recently joined the Deputy President on the visit to the Knysna Municipality to engage with some of the issues that the municipality is facing particularly around Water. Chairperson, I am happy to report that with the support of MISA, the pump station that had been vandalized in the Hornlee area has been repaired and the water supply has been restored to the community. Through our relationship with the NBI, we have mobilized Deloitte SA to enhance the capacity of the Municipality to deal with some of the broader water challenges in Knysna. As this government, we are committed to working within the Inter-Governmental Relations Framework to ensure that we help the municipality to service all communities in Knysna.

Honourable Chairperson,

As part of the global community of nations, we must confront the existential threat of climate change. In this regard, we must show leadership and resolve. Our infrastructure must not only withstand the ravages of nature but also adapt and evolve in the face of adversity. Through legislative reforms and capacity-building initiatives, we will ensure that our response to disasters is swift and effective, sparing no expense to protect the lives and livelihoods of our people. Through the National Disaster Management Centre, we would have disbursed R5,8 billion by the end of March 2024 to municipalities in response to disasters over the past two years. We have partnered with the European Union to accelerate the work on Climate resilience. In line with the financing agreement signed by the Minister of Finance with the EU, we are positioning Local governments as critical implementing agents on climate change mitigation and adaptation measures.

Honourable Members,

Through our partnership with the World Resources Institute, we will address work in the following areas:

  1. Strategic urban water resilience planning and implementation, including spatial data analysis, project and business case development, integrated land use planning that advances water-sensitive design and enhances integrated blue-green-grey infrastructure, and urban climate resilience building.
  2. Building climate resilience through nature-based solutions (NBS) including identification and planning, proof of concept implementation projects, business case development, orchestrating, managing NBS implementation projects at city and basin level in priority cities and attracting scaled finance for city-wide NBS deployment
  3. Piloting and scaling up nature-based solutions and water resilience interventions
  4. Knowledge exchange and coordination between regional peer cities, identified municipalities, provinces, and national authorities.
  5. Dissemination of knowledge and best practices at national and international events agreed upon by both Parties.

 

OUR GUESTS IN THE GALLERY

In conclusion, let me leave you with this: the road ahead will not be easy, but together, we can overcome any obstacle in our way. Let us march forward with determination and purpose, knowing that the future of our nation depends on our actions today. In the words of our President:

“We still have many more hills to climb. We will climb them together, leaving no one behind.” 

I Thank You.