Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs & responses by ANC & DA
03 May 2016
Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Mr Des van Rooyen gave his Budget Vote Speech on the 03 May 2016.
Theme: “Local government is in your hands,”
Speaker of the House,
Colleagues Ministers and Deputy Ministers,
Your Majesties and Royal Highnesses,
Chairperson of the South African Local Government Association and all Executive Mayors,
Chairperson of the National House of Traditional Leaders,
Traditional and Religious leaders,
Chairperson of the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the
Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities, Ms Mkhwanazi-Xaluva,
Auditor-General, Mr Thembekile Makwetu,
President of Contralesa, Kgoshi Thobejane,
The business sector,
Fellow South Africans,
Ladies and gentlemen,
It is fitting that we gather here merely days after the anniversary of the first democratic elections held on 27 April 1994. As we celebrate this milestone let us salute South African workers for having stood with dignity and marched forward in their noble struggle for Workers rights. We salute Clements Kadalie, Vuyisile Mini, Viola Hashe, Elijah Barayi “Oom Bari” and hundreds more for their sacrifices and dedication.
As we celebrate the 55th anniversary of the founding of Umkhonto we Sizwe this year, I am here to tell you that our fighting spirit remains as steadfast and we continue that fight.
Our achievements over the past 22 years pay tribute to your sacrifices, and many others. On the 5th of December 2015 we marked 15 years of democratic local government. In that time the number of households increased from 10.8 million to 15.6 million between 2002 and 2014. The local government sphere has matched this with a concomitant escalation in the delivery of basic services.
The share of households accessing electricity increased from 69, 7 % in 2001 to 86 % in 2014– 5,8 million households have received electricity, with over 2 million indigent households benefitting from the provision of electricity through indigent support systems.
The provision of water infrastructure rose from 61,3 percent to 90 percent. The provision of free basic water services rose from over 7 million citizens in 2007 to over 11 million in 2013.
Access to basic sanitation services increased from over 62 percent in 2002 to over 79 percent in 2014. Water and sanitation percentages have exceeded the targets set by the Millennium Development Goals. What this says is that local government has been successful in changing the lives of our citizens for the better.
This good story of excellent government performance runs contrary to a simplistic proposition and blatant lies peddled by modern day pessimists and opportunists.
I welcome our guests from the Community Work Programme, Ms Noxolo Mapolisa, Ms Jennifer Cupido and Mr Lincoln Williams from the CWP site in Drakenstein; and Ms Carmen Bennett from the Cape Flats site. Thank you for coming and sharing your success stories with us. I’d like to recount the experience of Ms Mapolisa. She joined CWP in 2012 as a regular participant and was subsequently promoted to be a Supervisor in ward 16 in Dromedaris, Paarl due to her hard work and commitment. During the day she worked in CWP and at night she studied at West Coast College, an opportunity that was created through a partnership with CWPs. She now has a N6 Certificate in Human Resource Management.
So while we reel off the numbers, we are failing to see the deeper impact of the CWP, especially in terms of giving the previously unemployed and unskilled, life-changing experiences. Deputy Minister Nel will give us more detail on the impact of the CWP and plans to expand the programme.
Back to Basics
In his State of the Nation Address, His Excellency President Zuma announced the implementation of the second phase of the Back to Basics (B2B) programme.
Assessment of the first phase of B2B confirms that tackling development challenges created by many years of colonisation and apartheid systems is a mammoth assignment requiring long term and sustainable solutions.
It’s a challenge transcending populist politics driven by a principle of “Everything For Free”. We are well aware that there are no overnight successes or easy victories. B2B is here to create long-term, meaningful change in our communities.
The second phase involves the execution of the 10-Point Plan that we believe will vastly improve the state of local government. In line with our belief that local government should be in the hands of our citizens, one of the key elements of the 10-Point Plan is fostering more positive community experiences.
To this end, we are developing ward-based service delivery dashboards and implementing Ward Improvement Plans that ensure basic services such as the cutting of grass, ensuring working streetlights and the timeous fixing of water leaks.
To give more teeth to the B2B’s goal of public participation we have developed a compliance framework to inform the establishment and operations of ward committees, that will come into effect after this year’s local government elections.
Let me congratulate the Blouberg Municipality in Limpopo Province and Overstrand Municipality in the Western Cape Province for good practices in the implementation of the ward participatory model to strengthen community participation at the local level. Over the next year we want to increase public participation platforms so that councilors engage more regularly with their constituencies, and provide constant feedback on progress made. We aim to ensure the election of more credible ward committees and will introduce a national induction programme for newly elected ward committee members. We also intend institutionalizing community complaints management systems and processes in municipalities.
Our efforts to improve public participation through the B2B programme have not gone unnoticed. The Back to Basics programme has been selected as an example of the Open Government Partnership commitment of ‘mainstreaming citizen participation in the public sector.’ On Thursday, 05 May, South Africa hosts the
OGP Africa Regional Conference. I urge you to join us as we showcase our country’s efforts towards an Open Government that is more responsive, accountable and transparent. As a founding member of the OGP, South Africa remains committed to ensuring the dissemination and entrenchment of the OGP’s commitments.
Last year we indicated that our B2B programme had intervened in distressed municipalities.
I’m glad to report that the situation in these municipalities is steadily improving.
I’ve visited both Mogalakwena and Nelson Mandela Bay in the last month and it is heartening to note that Nelson Mandela Bay is on the road to good health.
Let me take this opportunity to congratulate the newly installed collective of the Mayoral Committee, under the capable leadership of Executive Mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality, Mr Danny Jordan.
They took over the municipality a little less than a year ago. In this time there is no doubt that they has turned the city’s fortunes around. From being faced with a R400 million budget deficit, the city now sits with almost R2 billion in holdings.
Decisive action was taken to clean up the municipality and rebuild community confidence. In this regard, twenty-nine senior managers were fired for corruption. So, while some may erect billboards in a futile attempt to denigrate the Executive Mayor, we’d like to put up one that says "another successful project by the ANC".
The Makana Municipality is another example of a B2B success story. Rhodes University was shut down several times due to water stoppages that the municipality experienced. Through the intervention of the Municipal Infrastructure Support Agent (MISA), the water supply has been reinstated in a sustainable manner. The university is able to operate normally and water stoppages and disruptions are now a thing of the past. The previously affected communities are provided with normal water supply.
In the past year MISA supported 75 municipalities in the development of new infrastructure as well as the refurbishment of existing assets to improve the provision of services. MISA was also involved in the training of learners and technical officials in municipalities.
As a result of technical support from MISA, the Elundini Municipality completed a feasibility study that enabled it to secure funding through the Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) and donor funding from Netherlands, amounting to R296 million for new infrastructure development. Once completed, this project will ultimately benefit 12 176 households in the area.
The project also has the potential to create at least 2 000 temporary jobs and 107 permanent jobs. In the forthcoming year, MISA will implement the Regional Management Support Contracts (RMSCs) to improve infrastructure delivery, management and operations. This project will assist municipalities to put in place improved management systems and processes for infrastructure delivery and management of services provision.
Back to Basics is not an event, but a process, one that entails a mindset change in the manner that municipalities operate. This change involves CoGTA, civil society and all the sectors in all spheres of government driving that change.
We look forward to welcoming the cooperation of all sectors. Later this month we will host the business sector to discuss what role they can play in the B2B programme.
In exactly 3 months from now, on the 3rd of August 2016, we hold South Africa’s fourth democratic local government elections.
To ensure that preparations are on track, the Inter-Ministerial Committee has been collaborating with various stakeholders.
Let me reiterate that despite the last voter registration weekend being final, citizens can still register to vote and update their registration and address details at the offices of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) countrywide.
We have been reluctant to proclaim the election date as we are awaiting an important Constitutional Court decision on the clarification of the issue of the challenge relating to citizens and households without formal addresses. Being committed to ensuring a free and fair election, we have filed our affidavit and await the decision of the Constitutional Court to be delivered on 9 May 2016.
I urge all political parties to abide by the Charter of Election Ethics, to which most parties have signed. The Charter aims to promote social cohesion and nation building, raise awareness on the importance of voting, and promote free and fair elections based on tolerance.
Let’s not be a signatory to the Charter and then call for the removal of the government through the barrel of a gun, if the election results are not to your liking.
The past year has seen the continuation of an endemic drought that has not only hurt our economy, but also impacted on the lives of farmers and citizens who have had to bear the cost of rising food prices and water shortages. The IMC on Drought has ensured that government delivers a coordinated response to the drought. The National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC) has been at the centre of efforts to mitigate the effects of the drought.
The NDMC has been working tirelessly with all role-players to respond to the widespread drought in a coordinated and integrated approach. Currently affected provinces are receiving drought relief in the form of feeds for livestock, livestock water, and water for human consumption. Boreholes have been drilled for bot
h human and animal consumption. In those areas, where boreholes are not feasible due to topography and lack of groundwater, amongst other things, water tankering services have been provided.
The National Joint Drought Coordination Committee has also established a task team to coordinate civil society involvement. I wish to thank civil society for the important role they are playing in assisting water-stressed communities through provision of water and drilling of boreholes, complementing Government’s efforts to address the situation.
Speaking of civil society,
Operation Hydrate has mobilised various sectors of society, from learners at school to big business. Since January they have distributed over 12 million litres of drinking water to five provinces.
Their efforts have brought home the severity of the drought to those more fortunate and shown that tough times bring out the best in South Africans. When we say local government is in your hands, this is what we mean, this is what we expect, this is what we are striving for, placing local government in the hands of our citizens.
Another of our commitments last year was to reduce municipal debt and improve payments to Eskom. As you are aware, late last year Eskom initiated a debt collection process that would lead to municipal disconnections on bulk electricity supply in various provinces.
This necessitated an intervention from the Ministers of CoGTA, Finance and Public Enterprises. We facilitated the development of new or revised agreements between the affected municipalities and Eskom, taking into consideration the financial circumstances of individual municipalities and other key creditors.
Recovery plans were also proposed by identifying opportunities that will assist the municipalities to improve revenue collection and reduce non-revenue electricity. Our intervention has placed local government in the hands of the municipalities.
While we live in a constitutional democracy, we also reside in a country that recognises the value that traditional leaders bring to the smooth functioning of this democracy. Over the past year, we’ve worked with traditional authorities on a number of development related issues.
With the onset of the winter initiation season upon us, let me assure you that our preparations have begun in earnest to ensure the safety of our young men.
DM Bapela will shed more light on this subject. We want to reiterate our commitment to zero tolerance on initiate deaths during this winter season.
We are pleased to report that the Traditional and KhoiSan Leadership Bill was introduced in Parliament in September 2015. The Bill is intended to affirm and recognise our brothers and sisters, the descendants of the KhoiSan leaders, structures and communities. We are going to expend all effort in pursuit of providing support to the traditional councils, individually and collectively, in order to improve the level of functionality and strengthen their performance. Through these efforts we seek to position traditional leadership as a key player in local governance, whilst contributing to the Back to Basics programme.
In keeping with the times, traditional leaders have embraced the mantle of development. There are a multitude of success stories in different provinces that tell of development championed by traditional leaders to improve the lives of their communities.
DM Bapela will share more information on these achievements. Local Government needs to ensure the meaningful participation of traditional leadership within council and municipal affairs in general.
As shown by ILembe District Municipality, this could be done, through, amongst others, the allocation of seats to identified recognised traditional leaders in Committees of Council.
We want to also thank those traditional leaders who continue to release land for development.
This year also marks the 50th anniversary of the declaration of District Six as a ‘Whites Only’ area. It marked the beginning of the forced removals of over 60 000 residents, from an area noted for its racial diversity, at the height of apartheid.
Local government prior to the establishment of democracy, was a tool of repression. Today, this government has placed local government in the hands of the citizens of South Africa. From their inputs into the development of Integrated Development Plans to the establishment of ward committees, the promotion of deeper public participation and a more responsive and accountable administration and executive, we’ve delivered a local government system that belongs to the people.
The 2016 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) allocations to the Department amount to R72, 994 billion in 2016/17, R78, 557 billion in 2017/18 and R84, 258 billion in 2018/19.
a) Transfers and subsidies: R68, 809 billion (94.27%).
b) Operational costs (Including Compensation of employees, goods and services and payment of capital assets): R513.5 million (0.70%).
c) Community Work Programme: R3, 191 billion (4.37%).
d) Municipal Infrastructure Support Agency (MISA) R349.9 million (0.48%).
e) Department of Traditional Affairs: R129.7million (0.18%).
The other key transfer and special allocations for the 2016/17 financial year are as follows:
Municipal Infrastructure Grant - 14 914 028
Municipal Systems Improvement Grant - 104 349
Municipal Disaster Relief Grant - 269 922
Provincial Disaster Relief Grant - 111 545
Municipal Disaster Recovery Grant - 140 000
Municipal Demarcation Transition Grant - 297 422
Local Government Equitable Share - 52568 706
Non - returning Local Government Councillors - 309 276
South African Local Government Association - 29 500
Municipal Demarcation Board - 58 220
South African Cities Network - 6 619
TOTAL- 68 809 587
Allow me House Chairperson, to convey my sincere words of gratitude to the following: My Party the ANC for continuous guidance and support, Deputy Minister Nel and Bapela for working as a collective, COGTA Family guided by the two DGs,
Mr Madonsela and Dr Nwaila for working hard, My Family, especially my beloved wife Ntsebo, for support and understanding, and lastly, Almighty and my ancestors for guidance and blessings, Honourable Chairperson, I have the pleasure to submit Budget Vote 4 for approval.
I thank you
Address by Mr Andries Nel, MP Deputy Minister of Co-operative Governance & Traditional Affairs during the debate on: Budget Vote 4: Co-operative Governance & Traditional Affairs in the National Assembly
I associate myself with the protocol observed by Minister van Rooyen.
Today is World Press Freedom Day. South Africa is ranked thirty-nine out of one-hundred-and-eighty countries for press freedom, ahead of the United States at forty-one, and France at forty-five.
We treasure and defend the freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution that we adopted twenty years ago in this chamber on 8 May 1996.
Members of the media, please feel free to report this debate fully and freely. It is important because local government is government that is closest to the people. Local government is in our hands. We must make it work. We are making it work. We are getting Back to Basics.
On 25 May we celebrate Africa Day. On this day we sing loudly the words of African Union Anthem: "O Sons and Daughters of Africa / Flesh of the Sun and Flesh of the Sky / Let us make Africa the Tree of Life.”
Integrated Urban Development Framework (IUDF)
African cities are important roots that feed the “African Tree of Life.” Their economies, culture, and creativity represent some of the fruits of this tree.
As President Nelson Mandela said when South Africa was readmitted to the Organisation of African Unity in 1994: “All human civilisation rests on foundations such as the ruins of the African city of Carthage. These architectural remains ... all speak of Africa`s contribution to the formation of the condition of civilisation."
The world is urbanizing very rapidly. According to the UN, fifty-four percent of the world’s population lives in urban areas. By 2050 this will increase to sixty-six percent. In 1950 only three in ten people lived in urban areas.
Continuing population growth and urbanization will add two-and-a-half billion people to the world’s urban population by 2050. Ninety percent of this increase will be in Asia and Africa.
In fact, according to the UN, Africa is expected to be the fastest urbanizing region between 2020 to 2050. By 2050 most of the world’s urban population will be concentrated in Asia (with fifty-two percent) and Africa (with twenty-one percent).
Sixty-three percent of South Africans already live in urban areas. This will rise to seventy-one percent by 2030. By 2050 eight in ten South Africans will live in urban areas.
We need to guide the growth and management of urban areas in ways that unleash the potential of our cities and towns and reverse the terrible legacy of apartheid spatial injustice.
Last year we said we would finalise an Integrated Urban Development Framework (IUDF) to do so. We have done so.
Cabinet approved the IUDF last week, very appropriately, on the day before Freedom Day.
The IUDF marks a New Deal for South African cities and towns. It will steer urban growth towards a sustainable model of compact, connected and coordinated towns and cities.
The IUDF provides a roadmap to implement the NDP's vision for spatial transformation – creating liveable, inclusive and resilient towns and cities while reversing the apartheid spatial legacy.
The IUDF provides key principles and policy levers for creating better urban spaces.
We will strengthen rural-urban linkages, promote urban resilience, create safe urban spaces and ensure that the needs of the most vulnerable groups are addressed.
The Framework recognises that the country has different types of cities and towns with different roles and requirements.
The IUDF must be implemented in locally relevant ways that also promote sustainable rural development and strengthen rural-urban linkages.
The Framework proposes that jobs, housing and transport should be used to promote urban restructuring as outlined in the NDP.
The objective is to transform urban spaces by:
- Reducing travel costs and distances;
- Preventing further development of housing in marginal places;
- Increasing urban densities to reduce sprawl;
- Improving public transport and the coordination between transport modes; and
- Shifting jobs and investment towards dense peripheral townships.
Achieving this vision of spatial transformation will require all spheres of government, the private sector, labour and civil society, and most importantly the citizens of our municipalities.
We thank the Deputy Ministers in the IUDF Political Oversight Committee for their guidance, wisdom and hard work. We thank our partners the SA Cities Network and SA Local Government Association as well as our international partners GIZ and the EU. We thank Dr Edgar Pieterse and the IUDF Panel of Experts. We pay tribute to then Deputy Minister Yunus Carrim who took the first steps on this long journey. Special thanks to Dr Modjadji Malahlela and her dedicated team in the department.
We repeat the point we made last year: Our success or failure in effecting spatial transformation and implementing integrated urban development will have a decisive influence on whether we become a nation united in our diversity or people living together separately.
Community Work Programme (CWP)
The Community Work Programme (CWP) is an important intervention to deal with poverty, unemployment and inequality. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) recognizes it as one of the best in the world. We welcome the CWP participants in the gallery. We are proud of you.
CWP will receive close to R3.2 billion for the 2016/17 financial year.
Ninety-five per cent of this goes towards implementation. Only five percent is spent on administration by the department.
Out of this money seventy per cent or R2.1 billion will go into the pockets and on the tables of participants. This is R446 million more than last year.
CWP participants contribute by doing useful work identified by the community. For example, in Gauteng CWP participants cleaned almost 300 000 square meters of pubic spaces, rivers and canals. 1051 illegal dumping sites were cleared. 2076 community gardens were maintained. 81 000 square meters of cemeteries were cleaned. 10 800 children benefitted at creches. 2058 desks were refurbished. 34 000 learners benefitted from scholar patrols.
We are working with other departments, civil society and business to increase the reach and impact of CWP.
CWP aims to provide participants with skills, both to do useful work in communities but also to enhance their employability and ability to start their own ventures. For example:
In Eastern Cape, Vumile Msoki joined the CWP in 2012. While on the programme he learnt welding. Now he is responsible for all welding work done at the Amahlathi CWP site. On weekends he takes up private welding jobs in Keiskammahoek where he leads a team of welders.
In KwaZulu-Natal at Ukhahlamba, a participant used his stipend to take a course in security services and is now registering his own security company.
Last year we said we would expand the CWP. We have done so.
By the end of the 2015/16 financial year, 223 315 participants had benefitted from the programme.
We can announce that an additional 21 423 participants and their families will benefit from the programme by 31 March 2017.
In Gauteng, Limpopo and Mpumalanga all municipalities had a CWP site by the end of the financial year 2015/16.
We can also announce that all the municipalities in KwaZulu-Natal, Free State, North West, Eastern Cape and Northern Cape will have at least one CWP site established this year.
In the Western Cape eight additional municipalities will have sites by the end of the financial year.
A total of thirty-six additional municipalities will have CWP sites established by March 2017, bringing the total number of municipalities implementing the CWP to 234.
Criminal Matters Amendment Bill
Theft and damage to infrastructure, especially metal and copper cable theft, devastate our economy and the lives of our citizens. Municipalities are particularly hard hit.
Last year we said we would introduce tougher legislation. We have done so.
The Criminal Matters Amendment Act now provides for tougher bail conditions, jail terms of up to 30 years and fines of up to R1 million on conviction for the new offence of tampering, interference and the destruction of essential infrastructure which may prejudice the livelihood, well-being, daily operations/or economic activity of the public.
We can report that soon after the Act became law five members of a cable theft syndicate received heavy sentences of between 15 and 48 years. Collectively they were sentenced to 140 years.
Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB)
We commend Ms Jane Thupana, the Chairperson, and members of the Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB) for their excellent work under difficult conditions and tight deadlines.
Last year we said the MDB would meet its deadlines. It has done so. Their efforts have allowed the IEC to finalise voting districts for local government elections on 3 August.
The MDB will be hosting a conference at the end of June to plan for the future based on lessons learned from past demarcation exercises. It will examine the role of demarcation in spatial transformation, improving public participation and consultation in demarcation, as well as the role of wards in integrated planning, matters fundamental to the NDP and Back to Basics.
This might lead to proposals for policy and/or legislative reform, including the controversial issue of the frequency with which municipalities and wards are re-demarcated.
South African Cities Network (SACN)
We commend Mayor Parks Tau, the Chairperson, Mr Sithole Mbanga, the CEO, and the leadership of the South African Cities Network (SACN).
Our work continues to be enriched by the well researched and thoughtful papers and reports produced by the Cities Network.
We look forward to the release of their 2016 State Of the Cities Report and their continued involvement in implementing the IUDF.
South African Local Government Association (SALGA)
We commend Mayor Thabo Manyoni, the Chairperson, and leadership of the SALGA which continues to discharge its constitutional mandate of representing organized local government and being at the forefront of implementing the Back to Basics programme.
We commend Mr Xolile George the CEO for the fourth successive clean audit achieved by SALGA.
The department is working with SALGA to ensure a smooth transition after local government elections by preparing a comprehensive councillor training programme and updating the Councillor Induction Manual to focus on the Back to Basics programme.
Our municipalities and councillors must be ready to hit the ground working and delivering after elections. Local government is in our hands.
My thanks to Minister van Rooyen and Deputy Minister Bapela for their collegiality and comradeship, and to Directors-General Vusi Madonsela and Charles Nwaila, the officials in the Departments of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs and the Ministry for their dedication and support.
Our thanks to the Chairpersons and members of the Portfolio and Select Committees.
Last but not least, my appreciation to the ward councillor of my home and the mayor of my heart, my wife Kim Robinson.
I thank you.
Debate on Budget Vote 4: Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs by Cogta Chairperson - Hon Richard Mdakane (ANC)
The Presiding Officer
Hon Minister, Mr Des Van Rooyen
Hon Deputy Ministers
Hon Members of Parliament
Ladies and Gentlemen
Let me take this opportunity to extend my warm welcome on behalf of the Portfolio Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs to this important Budget Vote debate.
Presiding Officer, I rise on this occasion on behalf of the Peoples Movement, the African National Congress and with the support of the Portfolio Committee to support the budget vote allocation to the department.
This year, marks 16 years of democratic local government in South Africa. As we debate this budget vote, we should reflect on the 16 year journey and celebrate its successes. Our communities also have an opportunity to reflect on the road we have travelled towards creating a better life for all through the provision of basic services over the years.
As we celebrate the 16 years of democratic local government we must mobilise our communities behind the National Development Plan: Vision 2030 as our collective response to the challenges faced by our people.
We are debating this budget vote when the country is currently experiencing one of the worst drought in 100 years. Many of our municipalities will experience challenges in the provision of water to our communities. As the Committee we welcome the various forms of interventions by government in assisting both farmers and communities.
The world, is also experiencing slow economic growth. This has a serious impact on the ability of our municipalities to address the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality.
Despite these challenges the majority of our people continue to vote for the ANC to lead this country. They do so, because the ANC working together with our communities have established a strong, accountable, transparent and resilient system of local government. They will continue to do so on the 3 August 2016 because we have a track record of service delivery.
The ANC Government has done well in expanding basic services to the people. We have an undisputed record of service delivery despite criticism. We have electrified 86 % of households in urban, peri-urban and rural areas. This amounted to over 5.8 million households.
Despite the challenges of the current drought, 90 percent of households have access to piped water. We witnessed this during our joint oversight visit in Kwazulu Natal in September 2015. In the District of Umgungundlovu we visited the Greater Eston Regional Water Project. This project provides 41 200 rural communities with potable water. This Communities never have access to potable water before. This is just one example of how we have made progress in increasing the number of households with access to water infrastructure.
The ANC government has increased access to basic sanitation services from 62.3% to 79.5%. We have thus insured that many of our people live a dignified life.
Presiding Officer, the ANC government has made strides in providing shelter to millions of our people. Today we have provided more than 12, 5 million South Africans with a home. Between 2004 and 2014, the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) created over 5 million work opportunities for poor and unemployed people. This programme has alleviated the social and economic living conditions of many struggling families. We will continue to improve access to basic services because we have a clear plan.
Despite our delivery record our municipalities still continue to experience challenges. Some of the key challenges includes inter alia migration into our urban centres especially to Gauteng, Institutional capacity, maintenance of aging infrastructure and poverty.
The viability of some of our municipalities is a key concern of the Members of the Portfolio Committee. That`s why we will continue to support the amalgamation of those municipalities that we think are not financially viable. I want to take this opportunity to thank the Municipal Demarcation Board for the steeling work they have done in this regard. We have now substantially reduced the number of local municipalities from 278 to 257. I know others are challenging this in court.
The low rate of collection of revenue continues to undermine the ability of our municipalities to deliver basic services to our communities and also pay Eskom and water boards.
Presiding Officer, I am mentioning these challenges still confronting our municipalities because as the ANC we have a clear plan. We launched Back to Basics in 2014. Today as clearly reflected in this Budget Vote the Department relooked at its role and structure and reconfigure itself to be able to deliver the second phase of the programme. We welcome as the Portfolio Committee the new programmes Hon Minister.
As a Committee, we have accepted the Back to Basics programme. We dedicated 2015 oversight visits on the implementation of the programme. The Committee was very much satisfied with progress made in the Districts of Dr Ruth Segomotsa Mampati, Dr Kenneth Kaunda, Amajuba, Umzinyathi and Umgungundlovu District to mention a few. Of concern to the Committee, Honourable Minister was a vandalised waste water purification plant in Lekwa Taemane local municipality in the North West Province.
The Committee welcome your willingness Hon Minister and that of your Deputy Ministers to account to the Committee as and when necessary. We appreciate the transparent, honest manner in which you engage with us. We further appreciate the manner in which your department takes our recommendations serious. As a Committee we will be calling MEC`s of local government and municipalities to account before the Committee especially on the appointment of competent staff and on the implementation of recommendations of forensic reports after the elections. Presiding Officer we have started this already in the past year by calling Madibeng and Mogalakwena municipalities to account before the Committee.
As a Committee we welcome the ten point plan which will now take us into the second phase of the implementation of the program. We are satisfied that the ten point plan addresses challenges that we have observed in our work in municipalities.
Today Back to Basics programme does not belong only to a specific unit in the Department, nor to CoGTA, but it is a collective responsibility for which we are all responsible and accountable.
As the ANC government we will ensure that we tackle the challenges that are still visible in local government through the ten point plan which is as follows:
Ensure that there is positive community Experiences; (the ANC will ensure that we implement ward improvement plans that will address basic services, e.g. cutting of grass, working street lights and robots, water leakages, repair potholes, etc. We will also improve our complaints management systems to ensure that our people have positive experience of local government.)
Prioritise municipalities receiving Disclaimers over 5 years; (We will target and prioritise municipalities that have been receiving disclaimers for more than 3 years. Hands on programme will be put in place to reverse the trend of disclaimers.)
Support Revenue Enhancement Programmes; (We will continue to address government debt, municipal debt, challenges relating to tariff setting, issues of metering and credibility of data and Bills. Through this programme we will consider a workable model for the allocation and distribution of powers and functions between District and local municipalities.)
Appointment of Senior Managers with Appropriate and Requisite Skills in Municipalities; ( we welcome as the Committee the plan of the department to play a strong oversight over the pre- election and post -election phases in monitoring the illegal cancellation of contracts and removal of senior managers. This will assist to avoid court challenges which comes with huge financial costs to municipal budgets. As indicated in our recommendations, the Department should ensure that all senior Managers who will be appointed in municipalities following the upcoming elections have appropriate and requisite skills. Where appointment will be made in contravention of the regulations, the Minister or the MEC in the affected province must take appropriate action to correct such appointment. Enhancing the capacity of our municipalities is at the heart of our 2016 manifesto.)
Quality service and maintenance of infrastructure; (In the next phase of B2B, we will increase access to quality, reliable and sustainable levels of service delivery. More funding will be mobilised for rehabilitation, refurbishment and replacement of ageing infrastructure. As the ANC we welcome the budget announcement of R7.9 billion to DBSA. This will go a long way in enabling the bank to expand lending and implementation support to municipalities. This funding we hope will enhance the capacity of municipalities to accelerate upgrading and integration of informal settlements. We hope Chair the City of Cape Town will take advantage of this grant and improve the living conditions of our people in Dunoon and other informal settlements around the city.)
Implementation of Forensic reports; (As the ANC government we have registered tremendous achievements in the fight against fraud and corruption in municipalities. We will ensure that all forensic reports recommendations commissioned by municipalities and provinces are implemented. A number of reports have been referred by the department to other law enforcement agencies.)
Metropolitan B2B Programme; (Our metros and secondary cities are drivers of economic growth and economic activity. They produce 80% of the country`s Cross Domestic products and are home to 69% of the population. It is in this cities and larger towns that we find the largest number of informal settlements. In the next phase of B2B we will ensure that interim services are provided to the informal settlements. Special attention will be given to the metros given their unique and complex challenges.)
Strengthening the roles of District Municipalities; (Clarity will be provided on the distribution of powers and functions. Shared service model and strong district support plans for weaker municipalities will be put in place. )
Spatial Regional Integration Zones/Spatial Contracts; (As the ANC government we would like to eradicate the last remnants of apartheid in our spatial planning. We will ensure that municipalities develop spatial development strategies for various localities and spaces. We will ensure that we forge integrated forms of settlements and transport.)
Strengthening capacity and role of Provincial GoGTA departments. (Provincial departments of Local Government plays a critical role in the implementation of B2B.)
Presiding Officer, the Committee believes that these ten point plan will go a long way in addressing the remaining challenges in local government. We are committed to working with our people in municipalities to ensure that we improve the provision of basic services, alleviate poverty and create job opportunities. We shall continue to intensify the oversee of the B2B programme to ensure that municipalities serve our communities better.
As the ANC, we are a very transparent organisation. We have listened to our people as we are at their service. Our election manifesto is an outcome of listening to the people and of lessons learned in the past 16 years of democratic local government.
We are satisfied with the department achievements in the implementation of Back 2 Basics programme. The R72.9 billion budget allocation for 2016/17 is welcomed as it is geared towards the implementation of B2B interventions in areas of service delivery, municipal infrastructure development, job creation and local economic development.
We call upon all South Africans, especially youth and women to renew the mandate of the ANC to govern municipalities for a better life for all.
I thank you.
The ANC serves only its own interests in Local Governance: David Matsepe DA member of COGTA Portfolio Committee
The following speech was delivered in Parliament today by the DA’s Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Portfolio Committee Member, David Matsepe MP.
The South African Local Government Association (SALGA), the Municipal Infrastructure Support Agency (MISA), as well as the Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB) collectively failed to attain the targets that they set for themselves through their Annual Performance Plans.
To begin with SALGA operates with an annual revenue of 90% which in real terms amounts to R567 million for the 2016/17 financial year, with the said amount derived from membership levies.
In the preceding financial year SALGA was forced to increase its membership fees by 6.3% given its high operational costs.
Contemplating further financial constraints for 2016/17, as revealed by its Annual Performance Plan, SALGA states that it will be revising its membership levy formula in order to maximise the membership levy revenue stream.
Madam Speaker, the ANC controlled municipalities will never attain resilience as envisaged by the Back to Basics programme because while these municipalities, as well as the metros, are relatively income yielding, the entire ANC bureaucracy and its political masters have an insatiable thirst for money.
They have put their lust for money above that of service delivery. Worse still, the 2016 Budget points to a gloomy picture as its warns that the Local Government sector will be facing tough fiscal choices in the period ahead as growth in transfers slows and the cost of providing services increases.
The Municipal Infrastructure Support Agency (MISA) is also punctuated by a series of examples of financial mismanagement. Its recent Audit Report for the year ended March 2015 revealed material irregular expenditure amounting to R73.2 million; unauthorised expenditure amounting R6.6m; and fruitless and wasteful expenditure amounting to R512,303.
Madam Speaker, the 2015 financial report states that the persisting problems in the Local Government Sector are the result of shortcomings in performance based on incapacity and inadequate financial human resources management. Of course these problems will persist for as long as the ANC’s recruitment policy is based on whether one is an ANC card-carrying member or not, in contrast to the DA’s clear-cut recruitment framework namely “fit for purpose”.
Both the Auditor-General and the Audit Committee were not satisfied with the control exercised in respect of the administration of predetermined objectives at MISA, and recommended that more had to be done to improve reporting and accountability responsibilities in this area. The entity unsurprisingly paid bonuses amounting to R979,634 in spite of the recurring performance problems.
For some time now, the MDB has been targeting achieving a clean audit, but it keeps falling short of this target. And it also fails to pay suppliers within the stipulated 30 day period.
If you want to address the question: “Whose interest is the Board serving?” Go to North West and see how it absorbs Motsweding District Municipality and Nkungwini as well as Nokeng Tsa Taemane local municipalities into Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality.
This is a clear indication that the Board is bent on entrenching the ANC’s majority in that region.
The Board did not end there, it went on to approve the merger of the DA-run Midvaal and the ANC-run Emfuleni Local Municipalities. It became clear to the DA that the Board was both a player and referee in this scenario.
For the DA the writing on the wall was clear, namely that the Board was bent on removing its power by dissolving its only municipality in Gauteng ahead of the 2016 Local Government Elections.
The DA reacted by challenging the Board’s decision and took the matter to the Pretoria High Court and the discussion was thus set aside.
All the Board’s partisan decisions showed that it bowed to the ANC’s political power thus consequently determined municipal boundaries to suit ANC’s designs. This, Madam Speaker, is obviously damaging to the Board’s reputation as it has Constitutional responsibilities to implement and uphold the Electoral Act.
Another key highlight failure of the Board is its inability to retain critical staff. In this connection the Board was plagued by the resignation of the Chief Financial Officer as well as the acting Chief Executive Officer and this marked the fifth to leave the Board in five years.
The DA is the only party that can bring change to SA: Kevin Mileham (DA) Shadow Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs
The following speeches were delivered in Parliament today by the DA’s Shadow Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Kevin Mileham MP.
We’ve heard a lot about “Back to Basics” over the past few years. This was to be Minister Gordhan’s legacy to South Africa – a return to the principles on which local government was founded, namely:
· Putting people and their concerns first;
· Supporting the delivery of municipal services to the right quality and standard;
· Promoting good governance, transparency and accountability;
· Ensuring sound financial management and accounting; and
· Building institutional resilience and administrative capability.
Sadly, we have seen little evidence of this programme achieving ANY of its intended outcomes. And now that Minister Gordhan has left, to be replaced by a man described by his own colleagues as “lightweight”, the Back to Basics programme, much like Operation Clean Audit, the Local Government Turnaround Strategy and Project Consolidate, is languishing in the doldrums. This is hardly surprising, given the new Minister’s pedigree as the failed mayor of Merafong and his utterly delusional one day holiday to Dubai.
We have a veritable rogues gallery of incompetent and corruption charged ANC municipal councillors and officials who now sit among us as members of parliament. Here I include:
· Hon. Des van Rooyen, ex mayor of Merafong
· Hon. Amos Masondo, ex mayor of Johannesburg
· Hon. Nomaindia Mfeketo, ex mayor of Cape Town
· Hon. Zukiswa Faku and Hon. Zukiswa Ncitha, both ex mayors of Buffalo City
· Hon. Phil Mapulane, former municipal manager of Madibeng
· Hon. Mervyn Dirks, ex deputy mayor of Msunduzi
· Hon. Zoleka Capa, ex mayor of OR Tambo District
I use the term “honourable” for formality’s sake only, as these members certainly don’t deserve it. With this level of incompetence promoted to the ANC’s benches in Parliament, one has to wonder who and what is left in the municipalities? And then one is left in no doubt as to the cause of the ANC’s failure to govern effectively. But don’t take my word for it….Good Governance Africa rates 9 of the top 10 municipalities as being DA led. And all of the bottom 20 as being governed by the ANC.
Or perhaps we should look at the financial management of municipalities? The municipalities of the Western Cape, according to the Ratings Afrika Municipal Financial Stability Index, scored higher than any other province, and the City of Cape Town scored highest of all the metros, with a score of 75 out of 100. Compare this with the ANC governed cities of Johannesburg and Tshwane, which scored 37 and 24 out 100 respectively, despite being the wealthiest metros in South Africa.
Or how about the fact that every municipality in the Western Cape received an unqualified audit report (and no less than 17 received the highest accolade of a “clean” audit). This is because where the DA governs, we govern better, and are obsessive about clean, efficient & effective financial management!
Given the levels of corruption and state capture in ANC local governments, a practice they appear to have learned from the ANC leaders who sit in this room and from the president himself, it is no surprise that 92 municipalities are technically insolvent according to recent reports. Of particular concern is the fact that local government in the current financial year controls expenditure in excess of R373 billion rand. That’s R373 BILLION available for those cadres and comrades to loot freely. And where gross excesses are pointed out – like Mogalakwena and Madibeng, to name but two – the national and provincial governments are reluctant to intervene for fear that it will embarrass the ANC.
It is a sad indictment on this portfolio committee that its oversight of the very coalface of service delivery is meek and timid. This committee should be aggressively interrogating municipalities, provincial governments and traditional leadership structures to ensure that competent personnel are appointed, misconduct is investigated and remedial or disciplinary action is taken, that finances are properly managed and that service delivery is prioritised. This is not happening, and instead, despite repeated requests from the DA, we spend our time dealing largely with irrelevancies.
The Democratic Alliance manifesto for the 2016 Local Government Elections sets out examples of good governance from the municipalities we currently govern. Like the fact that the DA-run municipality of Midvaal has the lowest unemployment rate in Gauteng, at 12%, which is some 12% lower than the national average and 14% lower than the Gauteng provincial average! Or the innovative campaign to combat water losses in the Drakenstein municipality, which saw annual water losses drop from 34.8% to 12.1%, thereby saving both water and money.
And in every metric, the DA-governed Western Cape municipalities outperform the national average by a significant measure. This includes access to piped water, where in the Western Cape 98.9% of households have access, against a national average of 90% according to the 2014 General Household Survey conducted by StatsSA. And access to sanitation, which in the Western Cape, runs to 94.6% against the national average of 79.5%, according to the same data source. In fact, were it not for the DA’s performance in the Western Cape with regard to access to sanitation and refuse removal, where it surpasses the national average by 15.6 and 25.4 percentage points respectively, the national picture in these categories would look a great deal worse!
Our manifesto sets out 6 broad themes for how the DA will deliver a better quality of life to the citizens of South Africa’s municipalities, namely:
· Creating jobs and opportunities;
· Making local government more responsive;
· Providing better service delivery;
· Stopping corruption;
· Providing meaningful redress; and
· Making communities safer.
These themes are backed by tangible programmes and implementation steps that will enable DA governed municipalities to continue our progress in uplifting all South Africans.
In towns and cities across South Africa, only the DA can bring the change that South Africa so desperately needs. Change that will stop corruption, create jobs and deliver better services. Because only a DA government, based on the principles of Freedom, Fairness and Opportunity for all, can move South Africa forward again.
8.3 million jobless South Africans are in desperate need of a government that will grow the economy and provide real service delivery. The ANC puts themselves first and the county second, these days are numbered. Real change is coming, a tidal wave of blue is flooding the country and come the 3rd of August, people across our nation will say NO to corruption, NO to Nkandla and NO to a disregard of the Constitution. On the 3rd of August, DA Mayors will prepare themselves for government across the country.
On the 3rd of August real change will wash across our country when the people raise their voice and vote DA!
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