Cooperative Governance &Traditional Affairs, : Minister's Budget Speech
21 Apr 2010
SPEECH BY THE MINISTER OF COOPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS, MR SICELO SHICEKA PRESENTED AT THE BUDGET VOTE, OLD ASSEMBLY CHAMBER, PARLIAMENT,
22 APRIL 2010
Honourable Chairperson, Cabinet Ministers, Distinguished Members of the House, Honourable Premiers, MEC’s, Executive Mayors, Mayors and Councilors, Traditional Leaders present, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is indeed a great honour for me to be afforded an opportunity to present to this august House the second Budget Vote for the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) for the financial year 2010/2011. This occasion is significant for me in many ways than one.
In this budget vote, we want to present an assessment of what we have done in the previous year and outline programmes and projects that will be undertaken in the coming year. These are aimed at contributing in the improvement of the quality of lives of our people. Their nature and character is different as it is based on government’s new outcome based approach, wherein, a performance contract is to be signed between the President and the Minister by June this year. Each Minister will then sign agreements with their National Government counterparts, provincial governments and all municipalities across the country. These are exciting times in the history of an ANC-led government.
We have assessed the state of local government in
1. Service Delivery particularly focusing on the basic services;
2. The reversal of apartheid spatial patterns;
3. Financial viability and management;
4. Partnership between municipalities and organized labour; and
The outcome of this assessment overall demonstrated and showed that the system of local government is functional whilst at the same time acknowledging that it is experiencing a lot of distress. When you wake up in the morning you expect to press the button on the wall and access electricity and water from the tap, when driving you expect traffic lights to be functional, streets clean and waste being collected, roads well maintained, although some with potholes. However, I can broadly say that our system is working. The challenges that have been identified are linked to the issue of inter and intra-party conflicts which has impacted on local government in different ways.
One of the key observations is that the intergovernmental fiscal relations is based on outdated approaches wherein the baseline used for financing of municipalities is not aligned to their income, revenue base and the tasks at hand. The allocation of financial resources, particularly the equitable share, is based on population statistics; it does not take into consideration specific challenges of backlogs, topography, economic viability, etc. As the result of ths distortion, municipalities heavily rely on municipal surcharges as their source of income particularly electricity. The revenue sourced from them is not ploughed back to maintenance and broadening the access.
I will soon be meeting with the Ministers of National Treasury and Energy to look at revenue streams of municipalities that are sustainable.
In many municipalities, qualified and competent personnel is employed, however, in some areas unskilled people are employed in key positions which results in municipalities being unable to deliver on their mandate. The system of Ward Committees is a brilliant system, however, it needs to be enhanced and strengthened to ensure effective implementation. Municipalities are not engaging in a sustainable way with local communities. In actual fact, issues raised on the ground do not find expression in Council meetings and related processes.
We will be working with National Treasury to review the Supply Chain Management System with the view to ensure that the system is transparent and beyond reproach and that we are able to close any loophole for corrupt practices that might be perpetrated at that level.
One of the critical challenges which we will be ceased with will be to build a spirit of Comaradie and trust between the leadership of municipalities and organized labour. The trust between the two is at its lowest ebb. Any slightest provocation or disagreement results in a strike which seriously and negatively impacts on the integrity and image of municipalities in
The recent community protests have also presented us with an opportunity to look at our approach to public participation in a different way.
Martin Luther King, Jr referred to such concerted actions as the language of the unheard.
We have learned that as government we have not been engaging our communities and allowing them to influence local projects for their benefits. This requires the support of the broader civil society and our stakeholders. The role of community structures such as SANCO, Ward Committees, Churches, Cooperatives and Trade Unions is critical in ensuring that we achieve our objectives. The role already played by some of these social formations has been valuable thus far.
SALGA has also been identified as a critical role player in the successful implementation of the Local Government programmes for the relevant fiscal year especially the LGTAS. It is envisaged that SALGA will officially adopt the strategy at its National Members Assembly due to be held during the month of May 2010.
In December 2009, the Cabinet approved the Local Government Turn Around Strategy. The strategy will be the roadmap for local government practitioners for many years to come. Many policies and laws will be based on this strategy. Therefore, it is imperative that all South Africans from all walks of lives should know and understand the Local Government Turn Around Strategy. The strategy has been further distilled into a Local Government Ten (10) Point Plan:
1. Improve the quantity and quality of basic services for all people in terms of water, sanitation, electricity, waste management, roads and disaster management;
2. Enhance the municipal contribution to job creation and sustainable livelihoods through Local Economic Development (LEDs) utilizing cooperatives in every ward;
3. Deepening democracy through a refined ward committee system that will be based on the will of the people;
4. Municipalities that have reliable and credible Integrated Development Plans (IDPs) that are used as a guide for every development, programmes and projects within that municipality;
5. Build and strengthen the administrative, institutional and financial capabilities of municipalities;
6. The creation of a single window of co-ordination, support, monitoring and intervention as to deal with uncoordinated interaction by other spheres of government with municipalities including unfunded mandates;
7. Uprooting of corruption, nepotism, maladministration in our system of local government;
8. Develop a coherent and cohesive sytem of governance and a more equitable intergovernmental fiscal system;
9. Develop and strengthen a politically and administratively stable system of municipalities; and
10. Restore the institutional integrity of municipalities.
Martin Luther King, Jr, said, I quote “ the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy”.
We have agreed that municipalities must be approached on their own individual peculiar conditions and circumstances. Therefore, it means that municipal specific turn around strategies and implementation plans have to be developed by every municipality in
The majority of provinces and municipalities are on track to meet these deadlines and timeframes. We are also working very closely with those provinces and municipalities that are lagging behind. A total of 232 municipalities out of 283 (82%) have been touched and they have completed the draft Municipal Specific Turn Around strategies
This year, will be finishing a decade of a developmental democratic local government on the 5th of December 2010. It is a year preceding Local Government elections scheduled to take place in 2011. We must prepare and celebrate the achievements of this democratic developmental local government and ensure that the lessons learnt in the past 10 years assist us to improve in the next 10 years. The department will be engaging all political parties to ensure that the quality of the Cadres to be deployed as Councilors in the next Local Government elections is based on particular norms and standards. We must ensure that Local Government as an important sphere in
We intend to revive and strengthen the
Overall, our vision is to have an efficient, effective, accountable and responsive local government system in
As building blocks in the quest to attain the afore-mentioned vision, we are implementing flagship campaigns, i.e.
We have quantified the backlogs on municipal basic services. They require R495 billion. Therefore, the department will be establishing a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to deliver on these services, working with provinces and municipalities.
The Municipal Systems Act, the Municipal Structures Act, the Demarcation Board Act, the Municipal Finance Management Act and other related legislation impacting on local government are being reviewed. The review is aimed at ensuring that the bottlenecks and blockages to a speedy and quality service delivery are eliminated. The outcome of these reviews will be presented before this House later in the year for processing.
Local government is everybody’s business. All sectors of our society should join to ensure that the vision as outlined is attained.
The Department dealing with Traditional Affairs has been established, therefore, the leadership in terms of the Director-General and Deputy Directors- General are expected to start by the 1st July 2010. For the first time in the history of
The voices of people in rural areas and traditional communities must find expression in policy development and formulation, legislative development, planning, budgeting, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. The department is working on a range of policies, which amongst others include: Policy on Unity and Diversity; uKuthwala; uKungenwa; Initiation; Traditional Healing, Traditional Leaders Protocol; Family Trees; Involvement of the Khoisan people in the system of governance in South Africa; Remuneration and benefits of Traditional Leaders based on uniform norms and standards.
We hope that all these policies will culminate into legislative processes before the end of the year following discussions and deliberations by the nation.
In addition to the areas outlined above, the Traditional Leaders and Governance Framework Act, National House of Traditional Leaders Act and Property Rates Act will be comprehensively reviewed before the end of this year.
We want to commend all our Cities and Towns for the contribution that they have made in the building of infrastructure in preparation for the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup. They have made us proud. We are ready to host the world and all South Africans in our cities. We are ready to demonstrate who we are and what we are capable of as a country. We are calling upon all South Africans to enjoy the biggest game in the world by buying tickets and being the best hosts. We must remember that this event will never come back in our life time in
I wish to inform the House that in order to deliver on all our key priorities identified, there is an increase of allocation from an amount of R36.6 billion in 2009/10 to R43.5 billion for the financial year 2010/2011 (including equitable shares, cooperative governance and community works programme).
Out of this allocation, R20 million is for the implementation of LGTAS, with R70.9 million allocated for Traditional Affairs compared to R53.3 million in 2009/10 financial year.
Our contribution in building a better
In conclusion, we can say without any fear of contradiction that the choir in
I thank you
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