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SELECT COMMITTEE ON LOCAL GOVERNMENT
27 October 2004
PROJECT CONSOLIDATE PRESENTATION
Documents handed out
Project Consolidate presentation
Department of Local Government and Administration Strategic Plan 2004/07 (offsite link)
Department of Local Government and Administration Annual Report 2003/04 (offsite link)
Department of Provincial and Local Government Annual Report 2003/04 presentation
The Department of Local Government and Administration briefed the Committee on Project Consolidate. This Project had tried to address problem areas identified by the Committee in the Consolidated Report. The Department had looked into means of integrating traditional leadership into Ward Committees, which in turn would have clearly defined roles and provide 'early warning mechanisms' about collapsing municipalities. The Committee identified the need to help municipalities with capacity building as a key area towards service delivery. The Committee had raised concerns about the role of the Auditor-General in empowering municipalities to better handle their finances.
Ms L Msengana-Ndlela, Director-General (D-G), reported to the Committee that Project Consolidate was about forging partnerships that would result in practical improvement in the quality of public service delivery at local level. The policy framework had provided a sound basis for implementation. The Department had recognised the need to support municipalities as they built capacity. Furthermore, they had decided to establish a Support Unit to identify and 'unblock bottlenecks' that inhibiting the roll-out of services. Other aspects of Project Consolidate included engaging and interacting directly with municipalities and local communities in partnership with private sector organisations. The D-G said there had been a positive response from civil society and development organisations about working in this way with the Department.
There had been a number of issues raised by the Committee as problematic. These were capacity-building systems, improvement of the billing system, the ant-corruption campaign, and performance monitoring, evaluation and communication. The focus was to be on intergovernmental Relations, financial viability and a long-term economic growth path. The aforementioned issues had been raised by in the Consolidated Report. The Department would address those issues practically
The priority areas would be would be integrated human settlement development, and special interventions in rural and urban development nodes. The Director-General said Project Consolidate had also identified revenue generation and the financial viability of different categories of municipality. The Director-General reported that the Project would take two years. Solutions that had been developed and applied in different conditions over two years, would inform further process of institutional development.
Mr Worth (DA) enquired what had happened to collapsed municipalities. They needed early warning systems, so that early intervention strategies could be implemented.
Mr Africa replied that Community Development Workers would help in formulating such early warning systems
Mr Nutty (ANC) commented that in Qaukeni in the Eastern Cape, the Auditor General had been called to audit the books. Instead, the police had arrested the Mayor
Mr E Africa, Deputy Director General: Governance, Policy, and Research, replied that the Auditor-General had been there to help municipalities with their finances, but there were councillors which were corrupt. Others did known the legislation that governed their roles.
The Chairperson said in enquired that in certain municipalities, there had been political tensions that had delayed the delivery process. What had the Department done to solve these problems?
The Director-General replied that the Minister had told Mayors that what was important, was participation irrespective of political party affiliation. The Department had seen a need for the separation of political and administrative powers.
Mr Moseki asked the Department what were they doing to empower community development workers, traditional leaders and ward committees.
The Director-General reported that the Department had identified municipalities with no ward committees. Even those municipalities that had such ward committees, did not necessarily understand their role. The President had appointed a Commission to look into the role of traditional leadership in local government, which would start working from 4 November 2004. The Department would look at means of integrating traditional leadership with ward committees, and other role players within local government structures.
Mr Mzizi (IFP) suggested that the Department should look at manner in which ward committees were elected.
The Chairperson suggested that from 2 February 2005, two days would be set aside for discussions between the Department and the Committee.
The meeting was adjourned.
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