Minister of Cooperative Governance And Traditional Affairs Budget Speech, responses by ATM, DA
17 May 2022
Vote 3 & 15, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs 2022 Budget Vote Speech by Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma
Chairperson of the National House of Traditional and Khoi-san leaders
Honourable Minister and Deputy Minister, here present
Deputy Ministers of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Mr Obed Bapela and Ms Thembisile Nkadimeng
Honourable Chairperson and Members of the Portfolio Committee
Chairperson of the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities
Chairperson of the Municipal Demarcation Board and its members
President of the South African Local Government Association
Deputy Chairperson of the IEC
Members of the Provincial Executive Committees
Directors General of DCOG and DTA
CEO of MISA
Ladies and Gentlemen
Thank you for this opportunity to present Budget Votes 3 and 15, in honour of the millions of women and men who sacrificed so that we may realise a better life for all.
On the 10th of May, we marked 28 years since the first democratically elected President made his inaugural address. On that occasion, President Mandela reminded us that “Out of the experience of an extraordinary human disaster that lasted too long … a society of which all humanity will be proud, [was born]”.
Over the past financial year, Madiba’s words rang so true as we were simultaneously confronted by many disasters which included, tropical storm ‘Eloise’, droughts, the COVID-19 Pandemic and most recent floods.
The recent floods robbed South Africa of 448 people. It has also destroyed over 6 500 houses and partially destroyed over 10 000 houses. As we speak in KZN alone more than 7 000 people are housed in 91 shelters. We wish to extend our condolences to those who have lost their loved ones. We also offer our sympathy to those whose loved ones are missing we will not rest until each, and everyone is rescued or accounted for. The floods also caused untold damages to schools, hospitals, clinics, roads, bridges, and places of business which we are still quantifying. We intend to rehabilitate and reconstruct all the damaged infrastructure so that we risk proof it as we ‘build back better’
We have also been warmed by the empathy and solidarity displayed by millions of South Africans who have, individually and collectively contributed to the 129 000 affected residents. We have also received support from the non-governmental and private sectors as well as the diplomatic corps from the continent and beyond. We would have loved to mention all of them by name, but due to time constraints, we are unable to do so. Kodwa sithi nangamso nize nenze njalo nakwabanye.
These disasters and calamities have worsened the situation in relation to the challenges of hunger, poverty, unemployment, and inequality. They also contributed to further depressing our economy. According to STATS SA, over 55% of South Africans live below the upper poverty line and 25% are experiencing food poverty. Unemployment continues to rise recording a 35,5%, which is the highest over the past 15 years. Youth unemployment at over 70% continues unabated. Inequality also continues to increase, with the OECD telling us that the poorest 20% of our households earn only 1,7% of total income .
Despite the extent of these challenges and the effect of disasters, we have had to implement our programmes which seek to build resilient, safe, non-sexist, sustainable, prosperous, cohesive, connected and climate-smart communities. This is the context of reprioritisation measures which have been implemented throughout government. Nonetheless, thanks to the sacrifices made by millions and the resilience of many, out of the experience of extraordinary human disaster, we must rebuild, reconstruct, and build back better.
Thus, we must heed to the advice of scientists who tell us that, in future, the Eastern parts of our country are bound to experience wetter conditions. This means that those parts will be more prone to floods. On the other hand, the Western parts will be drier meaning that they will be more prone to droughts. We must therefore plan appropriately.
Honourable chairperson, in addressing the effects of disasters, in this past financial year we allocated R157.1 million from the Municipal Disaster Relief Grant to address the aftermath of tropical storm “Eloise”, in the affected municipalities. The storms were accompanied by summer season rains which led to the displacement of 3 200 poor people in Mpumalanga, KZN, North-West and Limpopo.
We also allocated R221 million to deal with the crippling effects of the protracted droughts, in the Western and Eastern Capes. These resources complemented the efforts of the provinces and municipalities to secure livestock feed and improve the water supply.
Honourable chairperson, infrastructure and its maintenance play a major part in building the resilience of communities. We must turn them into climate-smart communities, that care for the environment and that does not build in dangerous ways or places. This requires supporting municipalities whilst facilitating the ramping up of the capabilities and capacities of municipalities.
As part of the Municipal Support and Intervention Package during the past Financial Year, 50 Civil Engineers, 15 Electrical Engineers, 15 Town Planners, 9 Assistant Provincial Managers and 9 Provincial Managers from MISA were deployed to various provinces across the country. These professionals are supporting various infrastructure projects and are supported by the 519 municipal officials who were trained by MISA, in this past financial year, in infrastructure management. Additionally, a total of 382 young people were supported through technical skills apprenticeships, leanerships, graduate programmes and bursaries. This is complemented by assisting some 100 young graduates in practical experience, so that they may complete their professional registration processes.
This is our contribution toward functional municipalities that promote the growth of our local economies. In further stimulating local economies MISA has also trained 2 800 municipal officials in Labour Intensive Construction methods through the R50million allocated by the Presidential Employment Stimulus Programme.
Going forward, the Department of Cooperative Governance (DCOG), through MISA, will accelerate support to municipalities that struggle in implementation. Such support will include the R50,6 billion allocated through the Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) over the MTSF. The grant will support municipalities in delivering basic services, roads, and social infrastructure for poor households in 218 municipalities. 10% of this allocation is directed at fulfilling the gap as it relates to repairs and maintenance and an additional 5% will address Infrastructure Asset Management Planning.
We remain concerned that 39 of our municipalities continue to spend below the 70% benchmark in the third quarter. It is also alarming that 30 of these municipalities are water service authorities, meaning that in those communities the quality and reliability of water and services continue to be of concern. In implementing the DDM we will work with MISA and the Department of Water and Sanitation to support these 39 Municipalities.
We have also prioritised the availing of capacities through the District Development Hubs to the municipalities that are Water Service Authorities. For us, water is a survival issue, which is second only to oxygen. Of course, sanitation is dignity we cannot allow our people’s aspirations to be dimmed by the challenge of water.
Honourable Chairperson, we have recorded progress in the implementation of the DDM and the One Plans. We are finding that the plans must go through a quality assurance process. We have also found that the current intergovernmental framework architecture may not be entirely adequate to facilitate for the One Plans and One Budgets. We have revised the IGRFA Regulations to enable better joint planning. The proposed revisions are currently in front of the State Law Advisor, after months of intensive and extensive consultations.
As part of the DDM, we are also jointly hosting the Post SONA Presidential Izimbizo, with the next leg being at the end of the week in Mpumalanga. We will also accelerate the implementation of the Eastern Seaboard Development, through the interdepartmental and multi sphered project teams. Key projects include the outstanding land audits, the integrated masterplan and the ongoing N2 project. We have also recently received assurance that SANRAL will take over the repairs of the very dangerous and unmaintained R61 between Port St Johns and Port Edward.
We have also received interest from local and international investors. We have also finalised all the consultative processes related to declaring parts of the Eastern Seaboard as a region. Since its straddles 2 provinces and four districts, the Minister for Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, in line with the National Spatial Development Framework, has agreed to urgently Gazette the declaration of relevant areas as a region. This will be supported by a Special Purpose Vehicle which will drive developments in that area.
Honourable Chairperson, our existing cities, towns, and developmental landscape also require focused attention. Thus, as part of the Integrated Urban Development Fund Intermediate City Municipalities Support Programme, we will accelerate the rollout in 8 Intermediate City Municipalities. This will complement the work we are undertaking under the Smart Cities Framework which, Deputy Minister Thembi Nkadimeng will elaborate on.
Suffice to say, these frameworks and plans must be supplemented by practical projects, which can bring about quality jobs and livelihoods in the short term. One such programme is the Innovative Waste Management Programme which has employed 7 444 participants since its inception in December 2021. The participants are currently engaging in solid waste management activities such as street cleaning, litter picking, and management of illegal dumping. In this financial year, we intend to create 8 238 additional jobs. This will be complemented by the revised Community Works Programme.
Honourable Chairperson, we will continue to monitor and implement actions which are directed at addressing the issues raised by the Auditor General in her report. This we shall do through the forum we have established which includes the National Treasury, the South African Local Government Association (SALGA), the Auditor General and the Provincial Departments responsible for Local Government and Finances. Bringing the necessary skills, capabilities and capacities to a local level are an important lever by which we can address the issues raised by the AG.
We are also paying special attention to the Mangaung Metro as well as the Enoch Mgijima and Lekwa Local Municipalities. Section 139 (7) of the Constitution was invoked in Mangaung Metro in March 2022. This was after Section 139 (5) invoked by the province in the metro in December 2020 did not bear fruit. Consequently, a team of interdepartmental experts has been dispatched to Mangaung. These come from the Departments of COGTA, Human Settlements, Transport, Treasury, and Water & Sanitation as well as MISA. The team and workstreams are expected to turn around the dire financial status of the metro, address and duly escalate the political challenges, whilst addressing the governance and administration challenges which include consequence management.
Enoch Mgijima and Lekwa have been identified as financially distressed and are challenged by governance and political issues. Following Court Orders against the Provincial COGTAs we have placed the municipalities under Section 139 (7), working with the National Treasury.
Honourable Members, since our last budget presentation to this House, we welcomed the President assenting to the Local Government Municipal Structures Amendment Act, which came into operation on 1 November 2021. Amongst others, it brings into being an enforceable revised Code of Conduct for Councillors. This amendment provides for the MEC to remove a councillor from office for a breach of the code of conduct.
The amendments were also introduced in section 79A of the Structures Act, which prohibits Municipal office-bearers, such as mayors, and members of EXCO or MAYCO, from being members of the Municipal Public Accounts Committee (MPAC). We believe that this will ensure transparency, effective oversight, and accountability over council matters.
We will also submit to Parliament, the Independent Municipal Demarcation Authority Bill. The amendments to the Municipal Demarcation Act, are largely based on proposals received from the Municipal Demarcation Board based on lessons learnt over time. These lessons also form part of the 21 Year Review of Local Government, which we shall conclude this year. By utilising the 21 Year Review prism we shall be in a better position to introduce further reforms.
During this month the National Assembly passed the Municipal Systems Bill and referred it to the President for assent. This Bill also standardises the processes related to the appointment of municipal managers and managers directly accountable to municipal managers. It also provides for competency criteria for such appointments, whilst prohibiting the holders of such offices from political positions. We firmly believe that this legislative intervention, together with the provisions introduced through amendments to the Structures Act, will address many of the governance challenges that are facing municipalities.
On the 1st of November 2021, we successfully held our fifth free and fair local government election. We also noted the declining levels of voter participation where 23million of the 26 million registered voters voted. Following the elections, we have also seen 70 municipal councils with no outright majority, which could potentially result in instability in these ‘hung councils’.
Honourable Chairperson, last year we reported that we would remodel the Community Works Programme, which in fact had been the main source of our negative audit outcomes. We are pleased to say that from the piloting of the remodelled CWP we have already seen some improvements in the operational efficiency of the programme. The savings realised through remodelling allowed us to increase the daily stipend paid to participants from R97.50 to the current R110 per day. We have also increased the target number of participants from 250,000 to 255,000, within the existing budget allocations.
This financial year we have allocated R4,3 billion to the CWP. We intend to integrate the CWP into the core work of the Department as we build community-level resilience and ensure that we support community initiatives in the context of the DDM approach. We are confident that our new approach and the training of participants will ensure sustainable development through meaningful work and economic activity.
Honourable Members, the DCOG is reviewing its organisational design this will enable the department to entrench the District Development Model approach across all 3 spheres of government whilst building the resilience of our communities. Through these budget votes, we are strengthening the capability and capacity of municipalities, institutions of traditional leadership, community organisations and all organs of state to implement and mainstream inclusive disaster risk reduction management strategies.
We are also drawing lessons from the all of society approach we adopted in combatting COVID-19. Even though we have not entirely won the battle, we take this opportunity to once again salute, you the people of South Africa, who have heeded our calls and applied difficult safety measures. We must continue to apply the non-medical and preventative measures, which include masking, sanitising, and maintaining social distance, as well as full vaccination. Such sacrifices have contributed to building resilience and minimising the costs and effects of COVID-19.
Unfortunately, the measures we have had to adopt are not always entirely understood and accepted by all. Consequently, we have had 109 cases before the courts since March 2020. So far 92 of those cases have been finalised and only 4r of the orders were in favour of the applicant. It means by and large the courts and South Africans understood why we had to take such measures.
Honourable Chairperson, I wish to conclude by acknowledging the progress recorded by the National House of Traditional and Khoi-san Leaders. For the first time in the history of the House it is under the capable leadership of a woman. In iNkosikazi Mhlauli, we are confident that the landscape of rural South Africa will change, and the hopes and dreams of the rural masses will be realised with the Invest Rural Master Plan as the lodestar.
The Master Plan was developed by the traditional leaders after consultations with communities. It guides potential investors and all of society with regards to the areas of community investment, infrastructure, and the economy.
With regards to community development, it prioritises health, education, financial inclusion, and food security. It also prioritises investment in rural infrastructure including ICT, renewable energy as well as water and sanitation. With regards to economic growth areas, it prioritises agriculture, tourism, manufacturing, and enterprise development amongst others. It is, indeed, a plan by the people, for the people. Thus, we intend to request government to integrate it into the economic development plans of the country.
Amongst other progress areas is the implementation of the Customary initiation Act of 2021. It regulates the registration of initiation schools so that it ensures that the initiation surgeons are trained and competent, thus protecting the initiates. We have also recorded progress in the appointment of the Khoisan Commission under the capable leadership of Professor Nico Botha to facilitate for the formal recognition of the Khoi-San Communities and Leadership. This will also add to the number of legally constituted tribal councils which according to legislation should be completed by 31 March 2023. The formula for determining the number of members of traditional councils was therefore gazetted on 4 February 2022, giving way for the legal constitution of traditional councils. Deputy Minister Bapela will elaborate on this and other promising plans in the traditional affairs space.
For now, I wish to thank the Deputy Ministers, the Chair of the National House of Traditional and Khoisan Leaders, the President of SALGA, the Directors General, Heads of the Entities and Agencies of COGTA, and the staff in the ministry and department who continue to work tirelessly and under difficult conditions to ensure that we deliver on our mandate.
I also wish to request the support of this House for Budget Votes 3 and 15, which allocates R358 billion and R545 million, over the MTSF. We believe that these Votes will go a long way in the building of resilience in our communities so that they eradicate hunger, poverty, unemployment, and inequality. Together we can do more.
I thank you.
Deputy Minister Thembisile Nkadimeng: Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Dept Budget Vote 2022/23
17 May 2022
Speech by Deputy Minister Thembisile Nkadimeng during the Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Budget Vote Debate
Honourable House Chairperson
Minister of COGTA Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma
Deputy Minister Obed Bapela
Honourable Chairperson Fikile Xasa & Members of the Portfolio Committee
Chairperson of the National House of Traditional Leaders Mama Mhlauli
Ladies and Gentlemen
It is my honour and privilege to join the Minister in presenting the budget of the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs. I want to thank my predecessors Honourable MEC Parks Tau for the work done in trying to improve the capacity of the department and the foundation work done to address the performance of local government. Local Government is everybody’s business.
I know that my predecessor has participated in COGTA Budget Vote Debate in line with our mandate and guided by the department’s strategic plan. In the State of the Nation Address, His Excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa said that one of our foremost priorities is to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since my arrival in the department, I have had the opportunity to be acquainted with the department’s core mandate, key concerns and challenges which we are working hard to address and to provide strategic support across the three spheres, guided by the District Development Model (DDM).
This is an effort to see an effective and efficient local government as envisaged by the National Development Plan (NDP). It is within this context that we are engaging both internal and external stakeholders in discussions about how we can collaborate for the benefit of our people.
To this effect, this Vote is rightfully premised on these principles, cognizant of the need for three distinct yet interdependent and interrelated spheres to function as a cohesive whole.
To deal with these complexities of spheres the need for an all of government and society approach can be realized through the DDM, which implores all components of government to function as a cohesive whole, to effectively deliver a capable and developmental local government.
It is within this context that, S154 of the constitution is important to ensure that we strengthen our municipalities in pursuit of the objects of local government contained in S152.
Our budget vote should strategically enable conducive conditions to collectively harness all public resources behind common goals and within a framework of mutual support. DDM One Plans, we are laying a firm foundation for the seamless coordination of a cohesive and multi-sectoral driven development.
A key requirement for the success of the DDM is One Plan an operational model is the stability of municipalities. The State of Local Government Report, amongst other matters, confirmed the correlation between failures in governance and political oversight as the primary causes underpinning the increase in the number of dysfunctional municipalities.
We are working with all stakeholders to assist put municipalities to work better, in North-West, for example, it was agreed during the recent Presidential Imbizo, that municipalities such as Maquassi Hills, Ditsobotla and Mamusa would be assisted to open criminal charges against all those implicated in fraudulent activities.
Following the presentation of the State of Local Government to Cabinet, a Framework on Municipal Support and Intervention Plans (MSIPs) was developed to guide the development of support plans to address short to medium term performance challenges, and progress has been registered in this regard.
In keeping with the principles of cooperative governance, Hon. Minister mentioned intervention and support that have been given to Enoch Mgijima Municipality and Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality under section 139 (7), in addition to the 64 municipalities as identified in the State of Local Government Report a joint approach of implementation has been adopted between CoGTA, the National Treasury as well as the provincial COGTAs and Provincial Treasuries. Additionally, Economic Recovery Plans (ERPs) were developed in 46 districts and metros and these have been integrated into the One Plans.
These support and recovery plans give expression to both sections 154 and 139 which enjoins national and provincial government to support and strengthen the capacity of municipalities in pursuit of the tenets of section 152.
During the recent Presidential DDM imbizo in the Free State, the Ngwathe Bulk Water Supply was identified as a catalytic project. It will refurbish the Koppies water treatment works to accommodate Edenville and Koppies and the existing Pump Station to Koppies.
A pump station to pump water to Edenville will also be constructed. This project is halfway there with 28 km of the 46 km of pipeline completed. 5 776 households will benefit from this project. A total of 21 local sub-contractors and SMMEs will be appointed.
We continue with work with the institutionalization of Labour-Intensive Construction (LIC) methods by municipalities in the implementation of municipal infrastructure projects to create as many job opportunities as possible.
To boost the average 70% spending of MIG by Municipalities, 23 pilot municipalities will be assisted to job opportunities on infrastructure projects and will be funded by different sources that include the Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) and the Water Services Infrastructure Grant (WSIG).
In streamlining our legislative basis, we are in the process of finalizing the Intergovernmental Monitoring, Support and Interventions Bill (IMSI). Currently, there is no national legislation regulating interventions in the provinces in terms of section 100 of the Constitution. In the case of municipalities, Chapter 13 of the Local Government: Municipal Finance Management Act, 2003, regulates section 139 interventions in municipalities, but only where the cause of the intervention is of a financial nature. There is no legislation to regulate interventions in municipalities arising from other causes.
This Bill is therefore intended to fill this void and to regulate interventions in terms of both sections 100 and 139 of the Constitution. However, in order not to encroach on the area already covered by the Municipal Finance Management Act, the Bill will apply to discretionary financial interventions and section 139(4) and (5) interventions only to the extent that the Bill’s provisions are not inconsistent with the Municipal Finance Management Act, 2003.
As indicated by Minister Dlamini Zuma, key to the sustainability and financial viability of municipalities are Municipal Public Accounts Committees (MPACs) role of exercising oversight over municipal Councils.
The vital principle of public oversight and accountability is to ensure that those entrusted with executive powers and public resources are required to give an account of how they exercise their power and responsibilities. MPACs are thus important because they assist the municipal council in holding the executive and municipal administration to accountable, and ensuring the effective and efficient utilization of municipal resources.
We are continuing to work with SALGA to train the PAC Committees so as to ensure that they fulfil their roles effectively.
We, through the Municipal Infrastructure Support Agency, continue to support identified municipalities with the alignment of Social and Labour Plans (SLPs) to IDPs in order to improve the implementation and financing of municipal infrastructure programs through the implementation of the Social and Labour Plans (SLPs) approved projects which are aligned to municipal Integrated Development Plans (IDPs).
A total of 14 municipalities identified under the distressed mining program were supported. Elias Motsoaledi, Lephalale, Mogale City, Merafong Randwest City, Rustenburg, Moses Kotane, Madibeng, Matlosana, Emalahleni, Steve Tshwete, Matjhabeng, Ga-Segonyana and Gamagara.
Ours is participatory governance that is committed to working with citizens and civil society organisations within the community to find sustainable ways to meet their social, economic and material needs and improve the quality of their lives.
This can only be attained if we maximize social development and economic growth, through integrated and coordinated citizen-centric development.
To this end, the IUDF which was adopted by the department has seen the development of intermediary cities to develop their smart cities strategies, like Umhlathuzi Municipality, on the same vein the department launched the Small-Town Regeneration Strategy (STR) aimed at the regeneration, restoration, and fulfilling the economic potential of underperforming small towns.
The strategy re-engineers municipal work through the use of public-private-community partnerships to deliver innovative services and capacitate municipalities through community participation. It has undergone various stakeholder engagements and all comments have been formally integrated and the STR was distributed in November 2021.
Through this strategy, we have identified three (3) pilot small towns namely: Modimolle in the Modimolle Municipality in Limpopo, Piketberg in the Bergrivier Municipality in the Western Cape and Senekal in the Setsoto Municipality in the Free State, respectively.
I must commend the communities of Piketberg and Senekal in particular for demonstrating active citizenry in practice, these communities are leading the public-private-community partnerships to deliver innovative services to their towns.
As I conclude I wish to thank the Minister of COGTA, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Deputy Minister Bapela for their leadership, as well as officials in the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs for their dedication and support as we work to achieve our mandate.
I thank you.