Local Government Management Improvement Model; District Development Model; Presidential Hotline in lockdown; with Deputy Minister

Public Service and Administration, Performance Monitoring and Evaluation

04 November 2020
Chairperson: Mr T James (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

Video: Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration (National Assembly) 04 Nov 2020

District Development Model profiles

In a virtual meeting, the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) informed the Committee of the Local Government Management Improvement Model (LGMIM) and the State of Management Practices in 35 Municipalities enrolled in 2019/20. DPME said that if the requirements are met, indications are that the LGMIM can serve as a powerful management information tool for municipal leadership to reflect on how the municipality approaches its tasks in key management areas shaping management and administrative practices to deliver quality services.

A comprehensive report was given on the logged cases on the Presidential Hotline during the Covid-19 lockdown from 27 March to 30 September 2020. DPME has developed a Mobile App in-house and sourced USSD Code from Vodacom to increase citizens' ability to engage government through the Hotline. The Mobile App and USSD Code will enable citizens to lodge a service delivery complaint in the language of their choice on the phone.

The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) gave a briefing on the implementation of the District Development Model (DDM). The President launched the pilot projects of the District Development Model at eThekwini Metro in KZN, OR Tambo District Municipality in the Eastern Cape and Waterberg District Municipality in Limpopo Province between September and November 2019. The District Development Model aims to accelerate, align and integrate service delivery under a single development plan per district or metro that is developed jointly by national, provincial and local government as well as business, labour and community in each district. This approach ensures that planning and spending across the three spheres of government is integrated and aligned and that each of the 44 district / 8 metro plans is developed with the interests and input of communities taken into account.

Members’ questions included how DPME will ensure that local government complies with its service delivery charter. How will corruption in local government be dealt with? What DDM entailed and a request was made for the DDM pilot project reports. Are there measures in place to circumvent the lack of service delivery? Will DDM focus on completing the projects already started or will they start entirely new projects in the district? Does DDM have the potential to reduce duplication, wastage and corruption across the three spheres of government? Does DPME need more capacity to monitor provinces? Is there a strategy within LGMIM to minimise service delivery protests?

Members asked about the duration of the pilot phase of the Presidential Hotline's Khawuleza App. How does DPME ensure that the public know there is a value-add so they can identify gaps and make suggestions? Members noted the low resolution rate of Presidential Hotline logged calls in Gauteng.

A Member asked what the legal basis was for making ministers elected at national government level to be a champion deployed at local government level. There is a political problem in these municipalities because corrupt people are being re-elected each time so it is a political problem that requires a political solution.
 

Meeting report

Opening remarks
Deputy Minister opening remarks

Deputy Minister in the Presidency, Ms Thembi Siweya, said that after the President launched the pilot projects of the District Development Model in Eastern Cape, KZN and Limpopo, the Ministers and Deputy Ministers were assigned to various districts to oversee and launch DDM. Minister Mthembu in his capacity as the DDM district champion for Harry Gwala District launched the DDM there last week and she will launch Sekhukhune District this week.

She noted that previously the toll-free Presidential Hotline only accepted phone calls and email. DPME has successfully digitalised the Presidential Hotline. A mobile app can be downloaded on your phone called ‘Khawuleza’. It can also be accessed on non-smart phones using USSD Access to lodge your complaint.

Director-General opening remarks
DPME Director-General, Mr Robert Nkuna, said that DPME will present on the LGMIM first and the Hotline thereafter. On LGMIM, the government has realised the need to work on the capacity of the state as a precondition for service delivery and effective governance. DPME is working with the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) and others on building on the capacity of the state.

Local Government Management Improvement Model (LGMIM) briefing
DPME Head of Local Government Performance, Hassen Mohamed, stated that 35 municipalities enrolled in this first round. A developmental state cannot materialise by decree, nor can it be legislated or waved into existence by declarations. It has to be consciously built and sustained. The focus is on management practices and workplace capabilities at a municipality and how it approaches its tasks, analysing how the organisation works and assesses this against management performance standards.

The LGMIM concept arose five years ago after DPME had successfully implemented a similar system at national and provincial level – called the Management, Performance Assessment Tool (MPAT). The concept, key performance areas and associated standards were canvassed with COGTA, National Treasury, SALGA and key national departments and subsequently provincial COGTAs. This will be a valuable intervention to identify municipal institutional vulnerabilities and performance gaps.

Key Responsibilities
• DPME

Support Provincial CoGTAs in their co-ordination and support role
Overall co-ordination of the LGMIM
Raise awareness and understanding of the LGMIM
Issue national guidelines for the application of the LGMIM
Support and guide municipalities with the completion of the assessments
Provincial CoGTAs
Incorporate LGMIM assessments as part of its support initiatives
Raise awareness and understanding of LGMIM in the province
Manage the municipal enrolments within the province
Support and guide municipalities with the completion of the assessment
National Departments
Provide secondary data/evidence to DPME as required
Collaborate with DPME in refining and updating their respective standards
Moderate standards that fall within their competency or mandate
Utilise results to inform intervention and support strategies to address weaknesses.
Municipalities
Ensure full commitment and participation in the LGMIM initiative
Timely completion of assessment in accordance with DPME guidelines
Utilise LGMIM results to develop an improvement plan for implementation and monitoring.

LGMIM Key Performance Areas
• KPA 1: Integrated Development Planning and Implementation
- Integrated Development Planning
- Service Delivery Implementation, Monitoring and Reporting
• KPA 2: Service Delivery
Planning, packaging, budgeting, monitoring of: Free basic services; waste handling; refuse removal; extension of electricity; distribution, maintenance of municipal electricity infrastructure; municipal road system
• KPA 3: Human Resource Development
- Application of Prescribed Recruitment Practices
- Implementation of Performance Management Practices for Municipal Manager & Section 56 Managers
• KPA 4: Financial Management
Effective Budget Planning and Management; Management of Unauthorised, Irregular and Fruitless and Wasteful Expenditure; Revenue Management; SCM;
• KPA 5: Community Engagement/Participation
- Functionality of ward committees
- Service Standards and Complaints Management
• KPA 6: Governance
Accountability Mechanisms: MPAC; response to External Audit Findings; Internal Audit; Audit Committee; Policies and Systems to ensure Professional Ethics; Prevention and Combatting of Fraud and Corruption; Risk Management; Administrative and Financial Delegations.

Performance was measured in the 35 municipalities in 2019/20 according to four levels of management practices from requiring serious attention to commendation. The results were provided (see document).

LGMIM Journey
This involves the launch (which includes the appointment of Champions and Coordinators in provinces and municipalities); self-assessment (DPME provides hands on support); moderation and feedback (aims to give constructive, non-judgemental; guiding and informative feedback; review (opportunity to review scores where moderated score is lower than the initial assessment score); finalisation (assessment finalized); Improvement and Monitoring (province assist municipalities to develop and implement improvement plans utilising root cause analysis and most recent results as a baseline with progress recorded on website quarterly. DPME assists with about 5 or 6 municipalities directly.

2020/21 Assessments
- Enrollment was affected by COVID-19 lockdown
- Request for participation in the 2020/21 LGMIM assessments was solicited from 15 municipalities - commitment to participate was received from 23 municipalities
- All committed municipalities were orientated and trained on LGMIM by 30 September 2020 (virtually)
- These municipalities are expected to finalise assessments by November 2020
- Moderation of municipal assessments by DPME and support department finalised by January 2021
- Review of scorecards by municipalities and finalization of reviewed scorecards by DPME.

Conclusion
- LGMIM must be seen as a component of the DDM giving valuable insights into municipalities in each district and which can serve as a basis for targeted capacity building and support.
- Dedicated managers and leaders value organisational assessments and diagnostics as a source of valuable insights into the health of their organisations.
- Municipalities must be willing to utilise the LGMIM results as critical management information and develop improvement action plans for performance gaps.
- Provincial COGTAs will have to step up their involvement and support of municipalities.
- Provincial COGTAs to adopt the tool as an integral part of their mandate to monitor, support and intervene in municipalities to enable municipalities to carry out their duties.
- LGMIM can serve as a powerful management information tool for the municipal leadership.

Presidential Hotline during Covid-19 lockdown
The Head of Presidential Frontline Service Delivery Monitoring and Support, Dr Neeta Behari, noted the scope of this report ranges from 27 March to 30 September 2020. The Presidential Hotline is an apex complaints management tool of government, with direct accessibility of citizens to government.

The Hotline is designed to act as a public liaison service in the Presidency to handle and respond to public inquiries (positive and negative) about government service delivery at all level as well as government’s public image and effectiveness in general. Hotline complaints are received through a toll free call centre, emails, letters and walk-ins. Complaints are captured on an electronic monitoring system and the resolution rates of government departments are tracked and monitored

How Does the Presidential Hotline Work?
The Presidential Hotline Call Centre service is outsourced to and hosted by State Information Technology Agency (SITA). Citizens can use the 17737 toll-free number to access the Presidential Hotline. The Presidential Hotline service cuts across all three spheres of government. There is a wide network of Public Liaison Officers across government tasked to investigate and resolve the calls. The standard for acknowledging receipt of a query is three business days and 25 days for resolution. DPME engages with Offices of the Premier as points of entry and holds them accountable for the case resolution rate for provinces. Customer Satisfaction Surveys are conducted regularly (quarterly) to gauge citizens’ impressions about the Presidential Hotline service.

There are 30 call centre agents based at SITA who work on two shifts, 15 per shift from 06h00-14h00 and 14h00- 22h00. There are 18 staff members based at the Union Buildings who perform the back-office case management, knowledge and research management functions and walk-in centre services. There is a team dedicated to monitor and track case resolution in national departments and provinces and interacts with the Public Liaison Officers and get feedback on how they are resolving queries.

Background To Covid-19 National Lockdown
Since the President announced the National Lockdown on 27 March 2020, the Presidential Hotline has remained opened as it was deemed an essential service. The usual case management practice of the Hotline was not feasible, due to the closure of government departments thus issues had to be resolved using the positional authority of the Hotline, at the highest levels of the public administration. The Hotline was central in resolving enquiries at first point of contact and complex COVID-19 specific queries were routed to the COVID-19 Helpline. There was a positive correlation between the President’s periodic announcements and patterns of queries received. Periodic reports were generated.

First Covid 19 Report (27 March-8 May 2020)
This report gave an overview of the number of complaints and trends in the types of complaints as well as a comprehensive account of the queries and complaints. After the 16 April 2020 announcement of the R500 billion stimulus package, relief of social distress grant and UIF-TERS payments, the number of queries to the Hotline increased sharply.

1st And 2nd Quarter Report Key Trends
The report shows a shift in the nature of calls received during lockdown in Quarter 1 and 2. In the first quarter the focus was on COVID-19 issues as citizens prioritized enquiries on lock down regulations, food parcels, access to grants and travel permits. In the second quarter, with revised lockdown levels the shift went back to basic services enquiries. The majority of calls on basic services with 1517 (76%) calls about water, electricity, housing, sanitation, roads and transportation. This is followed by enquiries on the Unemployment Social Relief Grant with 212 (11%) calls on how to access the grant and the criteria. Many citizens were not working and wanted assistance with the Unemployment Social Relief Grant. In Quarter 1 the resolution rate was 99%.

Mid-Term Presidential Hotline Report (1 April -30 Sept 2020)
Overall, there is 77% resolution for all provinces. This is a good resolution rate. For the six month period, from a total of 4477 calls, 3444 were resolved and 1034 are still open. Gauteng is the only province that has low resolution rate at 57%. All other provinces performed well, above the benchmark of 70%. Due to lockdown, most calls were resolved instantly as most calls were about food parcels, R350 Social Relief Grant, Unemployment Insurance Fund, Travelling permits, Relief for Small to Medium Businesses.

Challenges Encountered
- Unavailability of Public Liaison Officers to handle ordinary service delivery queries due to the lockdown.
- Gauteng recorded the lowest resolution rate (29%). The reason could be their Hotline staff were deployed to assist with the COVID-19 community outreach programmes. The demographic difference between provinces could be another factor.
- Increase in the number of prank calls received during the COVID-19 period.
- Insufficient capacity of other hotlines (COVID-19 Helpline, UIF-TERS and SASSA) resulted in callers calling back the Presidential Hotline.

Khawuleza App And USSD Access
DPME has developed a Mobile App and sourced a USSD Code from Vodacom to increase the channels for citizens to engage the government through the Presidential Hotline. The Mobile App and USSD Code will enable citizens to lodge a service delivery complaint in a language of their choice on their phones. The citizen will be able to track queries through a reference number and can lodge their complaints anonymously. A pilot of the Khawuleza App was launched in Limpopo on 29 September 2020. DPME will make an assessment of the state of readiness in other provinces for other provincial launches during 2020/21.

Redesigning the Hotline through use of technology
During 2019/20, the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) and CSIR assessed how the Hotline can be redesigned to increase efficiency and cost effectiveness. The report was finalised on 31 March 2020 and the recommendations are being considered. A prototype of a Data Analytics Platform was developed and this includes a Social Media Ingestion Engine.

Strengthening Presidential Hotline
- Review of current Service Level Agreement (SLA) with SITA to accommodate the latest developments
- SITA undertook to engage with its supplier, Blue Turtle, on how to minimize the cost of integration exercise.
- SITA undertook to explore the possibility of providing real-time data from the Hotline.
- SITA undertook to discuss having data housed at DPME.
- The pricing/ costing model will be visited with the SLA review.

Discussion
Ms M Kibi (ANC) asked if there are champions assigned to municipalities from the provinces that are doing well. If not, what are the criteria for appointing these champions? Does the turnover of municipal managers, chief financial officers and other senior managers have an impact on the lack of improvement in most municipalities? If so, what can be done about this? What is the view of public representatives on the DDM initiative across the three spheres of government? Is the DDM acceptable to them? What kind of infrastructure projects are in place to improve the quality of life for citizens?

Ms M Clarke (DA) asked how DPME will ensure that local government complies with their service delivery charter. How will DPME go about rectifying the challenge of professionals like engineers not wanting to apply for jobs in local government because the environment is so toxic and politicised? How will corruption within local government be dealt with? What would the DDM entail and will the Committee receive the reports of the pilot projects? How is DPME dealing with the fact that the DDM proposes establishing permanent command control councils with executive powers, which is not in the Constitution?

Ms R Komane (EFF) asked COGTA about the KPA 5 on Community Engagement/Participation. What would they use to measure the competency of the ward committees in line with service delivery? How do they measure this against the ward-based priorities?

Mr C Sibisi (NFP) asked how the MTSF objectives in Slide 6 of the DDM presentation will be achieved. Is there a clear strategic plan that details how each of these objectives will be met? Are there infrastructural funding talks that have been instituted to ensure that this model is realised? Are there measures in place to circumvent the lack of service delivery?

Ms M Ntuli (ANC) said that most individuals lodge a complaint on the Presidential Hotline on behalf of the community. She asked if the Hotline has created a platform so it can address the community when it responds. Will the DDM focus on completing projects that have already been started on, or will they start entirely new ones in the district?

Mr S Malatsi (DA) said it was concerning to see the resolution rate of logged Hotline calls in Gauteng. It would have been useful to have the resolution rates pre-COVID19. What is the duration of the pilot phase of the Khawuleza app?

Ms C Motsepe (EFF) noted the LGMIM results and asked what interventions are in place for the poor budget planning in 27 of the municipalities and the poor financial management in 30 of the municipalities. Do these municipalities have internal audits and do they have municipal managers to monitor good governance? Were performance bonuses paid in these municipalities? How sure is DPME that the Hotline will benefit the citizens without any fear or discrimination and that there will be no backlogs in responses?

Ms R Lesoma (ANC) asked what role the Committee can play with policy implementation and good governance. Can the Committee receive practical evidence-based examples of the Hotline? What programme does DPME have to ensure that the public know that there is a Hotline value-add so they can assist in identifying the gaps and make suggestions where possible? For LGMIM, is there a strategy in place to minimise public service delivery protests which tend to damage government property? She suggested the DG obtain the recent COGTA Portfolio Committee oversight report and the recommendations contained in it.

Responses
Mr Nkuna replied that at a national level, champions have been delegated by the President and at a provincial level they have been delegated by the Premiers in their provinces. The delegation has the political authority to ensure people are doing the work that they are supposed to do.

When there is a high turnover of CFOs, municipal managers and chief technology officers in municipalities, then there is a big challenge. DPME has been grappling with the political / administration interface and how to deal with this. DPME can only monitor and make recommendations and wait for the stakeholders to take action. The President is sending Ministers and Deputy Ministers into the different districts and Premiers are delegating MECs as well. The District Mayors are informing people as well as to what DDM is going to do. If there is one meeting where all political principals from the three spheres are present then it is easier to resolve misunderstanding around the purpose of the DDM.

On infrastructure projects that are being implemented, this varies from one area to another. CoGTA has done a diagnosis of each municipality so there is a profile showing the characteristics of a particular municipality. When plans are made for a district, then there are specific requirements of the district. When national government departments develop their Annual Performance Plans, they will also see what CoGTA has done. When they start with projects, those projects will be guided by what is happening in that particular area. DPME will ensure that ongoing projects are completed for the sake of the community.

Replying to Ms Clarke, Mr Nkuna said that DPME is looking at the state of consequence management with regards to lack of performance and of a disciplinary nature. There is a focus on consequences for non-compliance and dealing with corruption in government.

Working with DPSA, DPME will return to present what it is doing to deal with the political / administration interface at a national and local level. There will be reports on the DDM pilot projects, and the impact assessment will be piloted in the next few weeks. The reports have been on the outputs of the impact of COVID-19 government interventions but not about if it has made a difference in people’s lives, so they will report on this next.

The implementation of cooperative governance is not outside the bounds of the Constitution. They will follow the Constitution.

Replying to Mr Malatsi, he said that technology systems are constantly ongoing and the system is already working and they will continue to evaluate it regularly.

On the municipalities identified as having poor budget planning and poor financial management, DPME will take it up with CoGTA. There are internal audit functions and external audits in all municipalities because it required by the MFMA. It is a concern that despite the internal audit function, poor audit outcomes still occur. Mr Nkuna apologised that there were no recommendations for the Committee in some of the presentations. Marketing the Presidential Hotline is very important but it does have constrained resources but DPME will ensure that it makes efficient use of all platforms to market it.

On the service delivery protests, DPME has not formally monitored the protests. When DPME hears that there are challenges in certain areas, DPME sends people to go and investigate independently and then sends reports to the principals. A landmark is that DPME is in the process of publishing the performance agreements signed by the Ministers on the Government website www.gov.za which will go a long way in holding them accountable for provincial and local government matters.

Mr I Cebekhulu (IFP) asked if the challenge of the three spheres of government operating in silos has been dealt with. Can DPME name the municipalities where the DDM has been implemented? People do not see when there is a launch in rural areas.

Mr Nkuna replied that in the rural areas the launch was attended by local traditional leaders and the Chairperson of the Provincial House of Traditional Leadership in KwaZulu-Natal. In the pilot areas, a lot of work has been done in "harmonising" the areas. Other areas are still in the process of being launched. Each national department over the MTEF period will have to show what projects will be implemented in the different districts. This will eliminate silos – there is a district plan that will be monitored and evaluated by DPME and a report will be given.

DPME Head of Local Government Performance, Mr Mohamed, replied that the value of LGMIM is to see to what extent managers are fulfilling their role. Generally, municipalities have internal audit committees but they do not fulfil their function according to requirements and that affects how audit improvement plans get implemented properly and if internal controls are strengthened. This accounts for many problems that municipalities face with audit outcomes such as supply chain management and irregular expenditure. DPME should include recommendations because it has a specific role to use mechanisms, tools and instruments to improve government performance. Section 154 of the Constitution directs that national and provincial government must support and strengthen the capacity of municipalities to manage their own affairs and perform their functions. So if the intergovernmental system is not operational, municipal support, monitoring and interventions will not happen.

Ms Behari replied that it is important to note that they were following crisis management principles during the lockdown period and call centres had to adapt to the COVID-19 environment. Call centre agents were empowered to provide the correct COVID-19 regulations that were constantly changing. Part of the Hotline's roles and responsibilities is to provide support to provinces, so the Gauteng resolution rate will be looked into. The Hotline is only one tool of the Frontline Service Delivery Monitoring (FSDM) programme. The Hotline is monitoring all the provinces on their COVID-19 response from a public sector monitoring view. The Hotline does report to communities, but it will strengthen community feedback. There is a citizen satisfaction survey that is administered to citizens. The pilot of the Khawuleza app in Limpopo will be reviewed after three months. They will be tracking the change management of staff and this will be monitored in the review as well.

District Development Model implementation
The Acting Director General of CoGTA, Mr Themba Fosi, said the DDM was approved by Cabinet in August 2019 as an operational model for improving Cooperative Governance aimed at building a capable, ethical developmental state. The DDM is championed by the President and the responsibility to manage the institutionalisation of the model is undertaken by the COGTA Minister.

What Is District Development Model?
The DDM embodies an approach by which the three spheres of government and state entities work in unison with other development partners in an impact-oriented way and where there is higher performance and accountability for coherent service delivery and development outcomes. It influences spatialisation and reprioritisation of government planning, budgeting, implementation and reporting for jointly agreed outcomes and commitments in the 52 districts and metros. This is anchored by ‘One Plan’, ‘One Budget’, ‘One District’.

What Does DDM Enable?
• It resolves ‘silo’ planning, budgeting and implementation that hinder cohesive service delivery and socio-economic and spatial transformation.
• A more tangible common vision which is collectively generated in according to the challenges, potential and competitive advantage of each of the 52 district and metropolitan spaces – known as Intergovernmental Relations (IGR) impact zones.
• Shift from alignment of planning to joint planning, with multi-year long term and predictable objectives, targets and resource commitments to achieve agreed outcomes extending beyond electoral cycle.
• A clearer and more measurable society wide spatial and integrated development accountability framework.
• Roots development within communities and brings government closer to the people.  

Principles of DDM and Covid-19 Response
• The principles of the DDM enabled government to implement a differentiated approach to COVID-19 and based on the lessons learnt will be further strengthened.
• A district approach was an advantage to strategically coordinate response to service delivery, development, and disaster management in the context of each district's specific circumstances. It allowed for spatial mapping of Covid-19 outbreaks, health interventions, and health system readiness (ward profiles).
• The current intergovernmental structures established to coordinate the COVID-19 response will be repurposed and strengthened to support DDM.
• COVID-19 monitoring, which includes gender based violence, is one of the tasks given to the Ministers and Deputy Ministers who have been deployed across the 52 IGR impact zones as district champions. This role has been included into their performance agreements.

Role of DPMG and Progress
DPME supports a place-based implementation framework that aligns our national development goals within spaces, while also recognising that there are aspects of National and Regional Importance that will require an implementation approach that straddles multiple districts. The Inter-Governmental Relations Framework Act includes provisions that can be explored and used.
 
DPME plays a central role in policy coordination, planning, monitoring and evaluation of the National Development Plan (NDP) and of its implementation through the MTSF. The DDM necessitates the localization of the Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) to the districts in alignment to their specific development needs and challenges.

A Steering Committee has been set up with DPME, COGTA and National Treasury for alignment of the Government Planning and Budgeting Cycle and for steering national sector policy priorities, plans and budgets at district level through the spatialisation of department Strategic and Annual Performance Plans. Progress has been made on the geo-spatial mapping of projects at district level. Impact indicators for the localisation of the MTSF have been developed.

Monitoring of the implementation of the three pilot sites (Waterberg, OR Tambo and eThekwini) was limited due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. One of the COVID-19 monitoring projects of DPME is Local Government and DDM. Emerging findings are that communities suffering spatial disadvantage have been exposed to vulnerabilities of the pandemic, particularly access to water, shelter, and economic activity.

DPME has been a participant of COGTA processes in the three districts and has been engaging with the Offices of the Premier in those three provinces. DPME Frontline Monitoring unit has two directors responsible for the monitoring of provinces, with a deputy director responsible for each province.
An automated project management system within DPME is being explored. It would set the basis of the DPME monitoring system from district to MTSF reporting twice a year to Cabinet. A National Research Observatory is being set up. Work has started on the development of District Evaluation Plans to measure impact. DPME has been supporting the Executive towards launching the DDM in the Harry Gwala and Sekhukhune districts. The DDM was inaugurated on 14 October 2020 in the Harry Gwala district (see document for case study). This has allowed for building capability in the monitoring of DDM and as well as allowing for innovation.  

Terms of Reference for DDM Political Champions
The deployed District Champions will act as national and provincial focal points for each districts/metro to:
- Provide political oversight to improve collaboration across three government spheres to implement DDM.
- Promote transparency and accountability on the implementation of the DDM.
- Unlock blockages that impede and delay the development of communities in the district.
- Support all government coordination efforts within the district.
- Oversee the implementation, alignment and coherence of government policy in the district.
- Provide oversight on the roll out of COVD-19 Relief funds.
- Raise, address and respond to urgent COVID-19 matters in the district with the relevant structure.
- Oversee the development and implementation of District Plans, i.e. One Plan.
- Ensure sector and government-wide participation in development and implementation of One Plans.
- Ensure that all the coordination structures in the district work in harmony.

Recommendations
- DPME and COGTA continue to work together to establish clear mechanisms for collaboration as the key departments responsible for coordination and monitoring to establish clear institutional arrangements.
- Continue to strengthen the centre of government (DPME, COGTA, DPSA) and clarify roles, responsibilities, and accountability to facilitate clear understanding and ownership of DDM processes.
- DPME needs to play an active role in the Technical Task Team in all the stages of planning (development of One Plans and roll-out) for improved overall coordination of all spheres.  
- DPME as oversight monitoring department will use its framework to monitor One Plan implementation.

Conclusion
- The DDM aims to transform the economy and improve the quality of life of citizens.
- The principles of the DDM have given the country an advantage in addressing COVID-19.
- DPME will continue to drive planning reforms working together with other government departments.
- Localisation of the Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) will be a priority.
- There will be a shift of focus to monitoring, evaluation and reporting to district level. Outcomes of government programmes on citizens will be central.

Discussion
Ms Lesoma asked about the 2030 National Development Plan (NDP). It sounded as if CoGTA was trying to start from the beginning with the DDM. She pointed out that the weak system that allows negative opportunistic behaviours and tendencies in the public sector needs to be addressed. If there are not proper standing governance structures and systems, the private sector would not have buy-in, noting that the fiscus of government is shrinking. DPSA needs to look at the last programme that can give hope economically and socially. Will the Committee get an annexure addressing how they will move forward with the plan within clear time frames?

Mr L Schreiber (DA) asked what was the legal basis for making ministers such as COGTA Minister Senzo who is elected at the national level of government be a champion deployed at local government level. There is no basis in a constitutional democracy for deploying someone to go and interfere in the affairs a democratically elected local government. Some municipalities are working fine without central interference. The government is misdiagnosing the problem. There is a political problem in these municipalities because corrupt people are being re-elected each time. It is a political problem that requires a political solution.

Ms Motsepe asked if the DDM has the potential to reduce duplication, wastage and corruption across the three spheres of government. Does DPME need more capacity to monitor provinces?

COGTA Response
Mr Fosi replied that the municipal Integrated Development Plan (IDP) and the provincial and National Annual Performance Plan (APP) of each department is meant to translate the NDP into implementable targets. But in practice, these plans are not integrated and they come in at a municipal level not in a coherent way. For example in the OR Tambo District Municipality, national and provincial governments were asked to give their budgets and programmes. Five departments with a combined budget of over R100m are providing training that targets youth. But the focus was more on the certification of the youth and not providing sustainable skills development and opportunities beyond training. The DDM provides an opportunity to address the problem coherently and not in silos. Another example is schools were built in areas where there were no learners.

The idea behind the NDP is to have a long term plan that is 25 years that can then be broken down into five-year electoral terms. To achieve this long-term plan, we need to ensure it is protected in legislation so each five-year term does not change that but builds on achieving it. Then how the NDP is being implemented in the various districts can be measured. The success of DDM is dependent on functional, professional and sustainable municipalities that have good governance processes.

On shared municipal support, the point is to have a targeted approach on how the capacity building programmes are integrated across the three spheres based on the assessment of a specific district. For example, capacity building must be coordinated and integrated.

The strengthening of coordination across all three spheres is an intergovernmental responsibility. It is not a centralisation of power at the national level. The champions will not be taking over functions of municipalities. The champions are meant to ensure they assist in unlocking intergovernmental misalignment. The champions work with municipalities and provinces and they can bring critical sectors from national that can unlock challenges to assist those municipalities. Champions ensure shared national and provincial support in implementing municipal IDPs. It is an intergovernmental obligation.

Local government is the only space where all three spheres implement. National government has a responsibility to indicate what contribution they are making in a particular space. The province must do the same. The One Plan expresses all of government’s commitments including the private sector, state-owned enterprises and all stakeholders. It is the One Plan that is going to be measured because it is based on the clear budget commitments and programmes that each department each year is committing to that district. The One Plan also introduces accountability because if each department has committed, it can monitor the One Plan and see which sphere is not playing its role in the achievements of those commitments.

Government is not misdiagnosing the problem. The state of development of each of the municipalities is known, including dysfunctional municipalities and how support is provided to them to ensure they are able to deal with problems. The DDM provides an opportunity to deal with political problems, but the problems will be resolved at a political level. Through this approach, they can build systems and professionalise local government and ensure that the competency requirements are met by all municipalities.

Local government is the only space where all three spheres implement. National government has a responsibility to indicate what contribution they are making in a particular space. The province must do the same. The One Plan expresses all of government’s commitments including the private sector, state-owned enterprises and all stakeholders. It is the One Plan that is going to be measured because it is based on the clear budget commitments and programmes that each department each year is committing to that district. The One Plan also introduces accountability because if each department has committed, it can monitor the One Plan and see which sphere is not playing its role in the achievements of those commitments.

Government is not misdiagnosing the problem. The state of development of each of the municipalities is known, including dysfunctional municipalities and how support is provided to them to ensure they are able to deal with problems. The DDM provides an opportunity to deal with political problems; the problems will be resolved at a political level. Through this approach, they can build systems and professionalise local government and ensure that the competency requirements are met by all municipalities.

The meeting was adjourned.


 

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