Intergovernmental Relations & Provincial Government: briefing

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Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs

22 July 1998
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CONSTITUTIONAL AFFAIRS PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
23 July 1998
INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS & PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT: BRIEFING

Document handed out:
Intergovernmental Relations & Provincial Government [prepared by Dept] (see Appendix)

Intergovernmental Relations
Mr Z Titus, Mr Sizani, Dr von Bratt, Mr D Powell all of whom are senior officials of the department, led the committee through this initial foray into the implementation of co-operative government.

The Directorate of Intergovernmental Relations outlined the two-prong process they will employ to implement Chapter Three of the Constitution: Co-operative Government. The process involves:
a) the use of a discussion document to promote and broaden debate on intergovernmental relations;
b) an audit of existing intergovernmental structures (at least 82 are in existence).

The discussion document (currently not available to the public) outlines the strategic considerations for implementing Chapter Three. Mr Powell emphasised that this was not a policy document but a "conceptual map" and it was to act as a stimulus for discussion.

It will be circulated according to the process outlined in Annexure B. (The five political party leaders in the portfolio committee have each been given a copy.)

Committee members - namely Verwoerd (ANC), Chohan-Khota (ANC), Smith (IFP), Watson (NP) - commenting on this process were critical of the lack of on-going interaction between the department and the portfolio committee as well as with MECs and the NCOP that should start very early on in the process. Mr Titus told the committee not to feel uneasy as not all the steps had been included in Annexure B. He assured them that a proper interface with the NCOP and MECs had been included. However he accepted that the committee was signalling for a more active role.

Mr Powell outlined the contents of the discussion document (see Annexure A). He noted that the first section outlines a basket of options and evaluates them objectively. Other sections look at the history of cooperative government, the definitions of all concepts involved as well as a conceptual approach to understanding Chapter Three.

The process of the audit is outlined in Annexure C. In reply to a query by Mr P Smith regarding what indicators were going to be used in the audit, it was stated that the set of criteria or matrix had not been prescribed but would be developed in consultation with experts.

The meeting looked at the question of the timing of legislation. The tension between quickly implementing legislation (to fulfill the requirements of the Constitution as well as to provide mechanisms for emerging intergovernmental dispute settlement) versus going slowly in order to learn from experience was acknowledged by both the committee and department. Mr Titus cautioned strongly against rushing into legislation because of the complex nature of the subject. He cited the example of the recent "Butterworth problem" where the benefit of hindsight and experience was now extremely useful. Legislation that would confound naturally developing good structures would be unwelcome. It was important to allow organic evolution of developing practices and to take on board best practices, allowing legislation to perfect that process.

Ms Chohan-Khota (ANC) pointed out that legislation was urgently needed for intergovernmental dispute resolution and this at least should be prioritised. Mr C Eglin (DP) cited the expensive Western Cape government dispute as an example of the need for some degree of urgency in putting dispute settlement mechanisms into place. Mr P Smith (IFP) asked if the audit would include an audit of intergovernmental disputes. Mr Powell said that a case study of intergovernmental disputes was being pursued.

Provincial Government
Ms Mali outlined the key programmes involved in building relations between national and provincial spheres as well as assessing the areas of support that the national government can provide (see Annexure E).

These programmes include:
- The minister's visit to each of the provinces .

- The compilation of status quo reports on each province to be tabled in Cabinet. The framework of this report is outlined in Annexure D.

- An audit of capacity-building initiatives for provinces. Currently there exist many uncoordinated initiatives to assist provinces. The impact of these various initiatives needs to be evaluated and nationally coordinated.

- The establishment of a mechanism for monitoring provinces. In future it is envisaged that each province will furnish national government with a report on its performance in different areas. These reports will be given to credible NGOs to peruse and comment on.

- A workshop was held with the provinces to highlight the problems being encountered by provinces. This will lead to a conference which will be a review of provincial government from a practitioner's point of view.

- A study of boundary dispute resolution practices.

Appendix: Intergovernmental Relations & Provincial Government [prepared by Dept]

INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS & PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT:

MEETING WITH PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE: 23 JULY 1998

TABLE OF CONTENTS

DIRECTORATE INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS

Key programs

DIRECTORATE PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT

Key programs

ANNEXURE A: A guide to the contents of discussion document

ANNEXURE B: Policy process on co-operative government and intergovernmental relations: action plans

ANNEXURE C: Strategic approach to conducting an audit of existing intergovernmental structures - the audit plan in step 7 of the action steps

ANNEXURE D: Report to cabinet on provincial government system: Mpumalanga province (Draft framework)

ANNEXURE E: Quarterly report (April - June 1998)

DIRECTORATE INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS

1.Policy process on co-operative government and intergovernmental relations

1.1 Tasks completed:

· Production of a draft discussion document on co-operative government (copies will be made available; see also Annexure A).

· Establishment of a core group of officials and certain other persons to serve as a sounding board on ideas generated in the Department.

· Discussions with the Co-ordination and Implementation Unit on joint initiatives regarding policy development.

· Organising a distribution list for extensive consultations.

· Securing funds for publication.

· A functional audit of intergovernmental structures supported by the Department of Constitutional Development.

1.2 The way forward: Briefing based on action plan (see Annexure B).

2. Professional and secretarial support to intergovernmental structures

2.1 Intergovernmental Forum.

2.2 Establishment of the Forum of South African Directors-General (FOSAD) and its relation to other structures at that level, especially the Technical Intergovernmental Committee (TIC).

2.3 Workshop and manual for intergovernmental co-ordinators and secretariats.

DIRECTORATE PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT

1. The Minister for Provincial Affairs and Constitutional Development together with top officials of his Department are involved in a process of provincial government visits.

1.1 The purpose of these visits can be outlined as, amongst others, the following:

· To identify, together with provinces, indicators on whether the provinces are functioning well or in crisis and determine nature and extent of problem areas;

· To compile a Status Quo Report, with the assistance from provincial governments, that will be tabled before the National Cabinet to inform Cabinet of the state of affairs in provinces (See Annexure E for Draft Framework)

This political assessment of provinces will determine possible mechanisms for national government support to provinces, where this is deemed necessary.

The following are key areas that the report is looking into:

· Socio-economic development;

· Key policy and administrative problems;

· Problems related to educational matters such as human resources, monitoring the selection and procurement of e.g. learning support material etc.

· Matters related to welfare such as the pay-out of pensions systems, information technology, provincial backlog in reviewing/capturing/paying applications for assistance, etc.

· Matters pertaining to infrastructure such as infrastructure backlogs, road networks (especially in rural provinces), major public works programs etc.

· Economic developmental matters such as the facilitation of trade, commerce and industry;

· Financial management.

1.2 The Minister and officials of his Department have already visited the following provinces:

Mpumalanga

Northern Cape

Northern Province

Gauteng (This province will be visited again) and

KwaZulu-Natal

1.3. Schedule of provincial visits:

Western Cape (scheduled for 7 August 1998)

Eastern Cape (scheduled for 11 August 1998)

North West (scheduled for 21 August 1998)

Gauteng (scheduled for 4 September 1998)

Free State (scheduled for 15 September 1998)

2. Conference on Provincial Government

The Directorate Provincial Government will convene a provincial

government conference. The theme of the conference is "WHITHER

PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT?" and the proposed date is Tuesday, 20

October 1998 in Pretoria.

The objectives of the proposed conference include, inter alia, the following:

· To highlight, as national and provincial governments, the major challenges and problems confronting provincial governments in a democratic South Africa.

· To discuss possible future course of action that will ensure an effective and efficient system of provincial government in South Africa.

· It is envisaged that the conference will be attended by approximately 55 to 65 delegates.

Both national government and international speakers will deliver presentations at the proposed conference.

3. Audit of capacity-building in provinces (See quarterly report - Annexure E)

4. Resolution of boundary dispute (See quarterly report - Annexure E)

Annexure A

GUIDE TO THE CONTENTS OF DISCUSSION DOCUMENT

STRATEGIC ISSUES FOR POLICY PROCESS

I Implementing section 41(2) of the Constitution, requiring the creation of intergovernmental structures and dispute settlement mechanisms

Supporting and strengthening current intergovernmental system

Matching the current system to the Constitutional dispensation.

WHY THIS DISCUSSION DOCUMENT?

The discussion document is a conceptual map of intergovernmental relations that links the current reality to the Constitution in a logical and practical approach that is consistent with the Constitution. It will provide a framework for an audit of the current system.

PURPOSES OF THE DISCUSSION DOCUMENT

I To Promote, broaden and focus debate on what should into policy and legislation in terms of' section 41(2).

2. To set the tone of debate

3 To provide a framework for an audit of existing intergovernmental structures To assist in determining what should go into policy and legislation

CONTENT OF THE DISCUSSION DOCUMENT

SECTION 1

I Introduction

Problem statement

SECTION 2 GENERAL STRATEGIC ISSUES

1 Historical context of co-operative government

2 What is co-operative government

3 The options for policy and legislation

4 Auditing existing Structures

5 Strategic questions

SECTION 3 CONCEPTUAL APPROACH

This Section explains what co-operative government and intergovernmental relations mean for practical purposes: co-operative government = the values of chapter three, intergovernmental relations = the institutional enablement of these values in structures grounded on the values of chapter three.

SECTION 4 CORE INTERGOVERNMENTAL PROCESSES

This section distinguishes the core intergovernmental processes in the Constitution that collectively make up intergovernmental relations

Annexure B

POLICY PROCESS ON CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNMENT AND INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS: ACTION PLANS

STEP 1

Action: Distribution of discussion document to all chief directorates in the Department for their perusal and requesting them to furnish comments/inputs.

Time-frame: Distribution of document: First week of July 1998. Receipt of comments: 30 July 1998.

Responsibility: D M Powell, L K Malebo.

 

STEP 2

Action: Distribution of discussion document to members of the core group of officials for their perusal and comments.

Time-frame: Upon approval of the Minister, which is expected around 15 July 1998.

Responsibility: L K Malebo in consultation with D M Powell and D de Klerk.

STEP 3

Action: Discussions/workshop with core group of officials on the discussion document.

Time-frame: Approximately three weeks after approval by the Minister for distribution. Expected date: Early during August 1998.

Responsibility: D M Powell in consultation with D de Klerk, G C von Bratt, R K Sizani, and the Director-General.

STEP 4

Action: Revision of discussion document in the light of inputs and suggestions received from within the Department and from the core group.

Time-frame: Third week of August 1998.

Responsibility: D M Powell, assisted by L K Malebo.

STEP 5

Action Extensive distribution of discussion document to stakeholders, academics, interested parties, etc. with a view to stimulating public debate and discussions on policy.

Publication of the document will be preceded by approval of a publication plan by the Branch Task Team. This plan is in the process of being finalised by D de Klerk in collaboration with the Directorate Communication and Information Services.

Time-frame: Directly after Step 3, i.e. third week of August 1998.

Responsibility: L K Malebo in consultation with D M Powell, M L Steyn, D de Klerk, R K Sizani and DG.

STEP 6

Action; A series of discussions, workshops and seminars with stakeholders such as national departments, provincial departments, local government, academics, the NCOP, etc.

Time-frame: September/October 1998.

Responsibility: A consultation programme to be designed and arrangements to be made by L K Malebo in consultation with D M Powell, and assisted by D de Klerk and M L Steyn. R K Sizani, DG and where necessary the Minister should be consulted on target groups or persons

STEP 7

Action: A functional audit of existing intergovernmental structures which will inform the policy development process. The audit plan should be within the conceptual framework which is set out in the discussion document (see Annexure C).

Time-frame: Audit plan: As soon as possible. Audit: July-October 1998.

Responsibility: To be executed in collaboration with the UWC Unit and through assistance from NDI (still to be decided on) and probably the Chairs on Intergovernmental Relations at the Universities of Fort Hare and Natal. Negotiations in this regard to take place soon when relevant persons are available. This process will be managed and driven by M L Steyn, assisted by D de Klerk and D M Powell so as to ensure government ownership. The Minister's response in respect of the audit report on intergovernmental structures supported by the Department is awaited.

STEP 8

Action: International Conference on Co-operative Government and Intergovernmental Relations. The consultation process at that stage will culminate in this conference for which the Swiss Government, through the Venice Commission, made R230 000 available. Following the consultation process, comments, suggestions and resolutions should be incorporated in the discussion document or a framework document to be compiled. to be discussed during the November Conference.

Time-frame: During November 1998 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Responsibility: Proposals regarding the conference and a recommendation to set up a

conference planning team comprising of officials from both Branches as well as the Chief

Directorate Corporate Services has been prepared for consideration and approval by the

Minister.

Annexure C

STRATEGIC APPROACH TO CONDUCTING AN AUDIT OF EXISITNG

INTERGOVERMENTAL STRUCTURES - THE AUDIT PLAN IN STEP 7 OF THE

ACTION STEPS

I. INTRODUCTION

An audit of existing intergovernmental structures within the conceptual framework set out in the discussion document is a condition precedent for tie implementation of legislation in section 41(2) of the Constitution if the reality of intergovernmental relations in the country is to inform legislation. In turn the audit will be informed by the strategic considerations illuminated by the feed back received from publication of the discussion document.

This document fleshes out step 7 of the Directorate's policy process program, which does not adequately link the responsibilities relating' to the audit and those relating to policy development.

A process for the audit, including a rational allocation of work responsibilities is set out in this document. The audit process will run in tandem with the consultation process on the discussion document that is being prepared by Ms Malebo. The two documents will together constitute the work plan on the policy process for the Directorate for 1998 and the better part of 1999. A third plan, dealing with the green paper and white paper processes, to be produced towards the end or 1998 will complete the work plan cycle for the Directorate in respect of this policy process.

2 STRATEGIC QUESTIONS

The approach in this document is grounded in three key strategic questions:

What are the research criteria for such an audit?

What is the process for undertaking the audit?

Who should do the audit?

3. OUTPUTS

The output of the audit will be a report evaluating the role, function and performance of the existing web of intergovernmental structures in all three spheres of government based on sound research methods.

The target date for completing the audit is the end of April 1999

Responsibility for producing the report resides with Directorate Intergovernmental Relations, within which NI Steyn and D Powell am jointly responsibility for the production of the report and the specific responsibilities allocated to them in this document.

4. THE PHASES OF THE PROCESS

There are distinct phases in the process of producing the audit report, beginning in July 1998 and ending in April 1999. They are:

4.1 Planning the audit (July -end September 1998)

4.2 Executing the audit (end September 1998 - February 1998)

4.3 Collating the data (March 1999)

4.4 Writing the report (April 1999)

4.1 Planning the audit

Planning the audit involves determining the terrain for research, research methods, criteria for research, role-players, and research processes and building consensus amongst role-players on the need for and content of an audit. The audit should be planned in consultation with academic role-players according to the process suggested below These activities will emerge from the action steps set out below.

Output or this phase: an analytical framework for conducting the research. Planning the audit can be broken down into the following processes:

4.1.1 Continuing the preliminary. audit of intergovernmental structures within our jurisdiction

Responsibility: M Steyn

Target date: early August 1998

4.1.2 Announcing the comprehensive audit to the core group

At the next meeting of the core group in early August, the DG should announce our plans to undertake the audit

4.1.3 Requesting proposals from academic sectors

Academic sectors can assist in three ways: designing research methods, providing capacity to do research, and identifying case studies. The Department has relationships or is involved in processes with numerous universities. These should be approached to make proposals for on an analytical framework for the audit. Responsibility should be divided between staff of the Directorate in accordance with their involvement in existing processes:

Responsibility:

UWC and Fort Hare inputs- D Powell

UP and Durban Westville inputs - M Steyn

Co-ordination - D De Klerk

Target date: early August 1998

4.1.4 Seminar to discuss framework

The inputs of the universities and from the Department should be presented at a workshop of academic role-players, flowing from which a draft research method or matrix should be produced the Directorate.

Responsibility:

Convening the seminar - M Steyn

Compiling audit matrix - D Powell, M Steyn

4.1.6 Consulting national government, provinces and local government about the research matrix and the objects of research

All spheres of government should be officially requested to participate in the audit, by way of a letter from the Minister. A matrix should be sent to all spheres for their input The spheres of government should make inputs on the matrix.

Responsibility:

Liaison with national government - D Powell and M Steyn

Liaison with the NCOP - M Steyn

By way of: Inviting comments, Meetings

Liaison with provincial government - M Steyn

By way of: Workshop with provincial co-ordinators; Inviting comments

Local government - D Powell

By way of: Inputs from branch local government; Inviting comments from SALGA

Target date: Mid-September 1998

4.1.7 Preparing research matrix

All inputs on a draft matrix should be collated into a final matrix for submission to the Director General, Minister, the core group and CIU.

Collation - M Steyn and D Powell

Target date: end September

4.1.8 A detailed plan for conducting research should be prepared for submission to DG, minister and core group

The content of this plan will evolve from our focussed discussion on the audit. The research should farmed out to a University or agency, possibly under tender. NDI could be approached to fund the research. The Directorate will manage the process.

Responsibility: D De Klerk

Target date: end September 1998

4.1.9 Submitting research matrix and research process to DG and Minister

The finalised research matrix should be submitted to the DG and Minister for approval

4.2 Executing the audit

The exact manner of execution will emerge from discussions on the matrix, and the in-puts from academics. The audit might be done on a functional basis or geographically. Possible scenarios are:

(a) a questionnaire to organs of state in all three spheres and other role-players under letter from the Minister

(b) interviews with organs of state and key role-players

(c) hearings

(d) seminars in the provinces

(e) other

A combination of these scenarios is also an option. The best method will arise out of consultations.

4.3 Collating the data

The data collected will have to be evaluated and collated. A task team involving academics and departmental officials could be formed to undertake the task.

Responsibility - D Powell and RI Steyn

4.4 Writing the report

The audit report will have to be written in a way that will inform the policy development process.

The report should be submitted to the new cabinet, the NCOP and to the portfolio committee.

Responsibility - D Powell and M Steyn

DW POWELL

Date: 9 July 1998

Annexure D

REPORT TO CABINET ON PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT SYSTEM DRAFT FRAMEWORK

1. INTRODUCTION

PURPOSE OF THE REPORT CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK

2. KEY POLICY ASSUMPTIONS

Constitutional Provisions RDP Framework

GEAR Provisions

Provincial Growth and Development Strategies

3. PROVINCIAL PROFILE

The following could be used as main factors:

- Population of the province

- Status of provincial government (political)

- Stability of the province

- Viability

- Quality of life factors

- Creation of new jobs

- Economic growth etc.

4. ASSESSMENT OF PROVINCE

4.1 POLITICAL ASSESSMENT OF THE PROVINCE

4.2 KEY INDICATORS:

The following variables could be used:

- Basic needs:

- Municipal Infrastructure:

- Roads

- Housing programme

- Health care

- Land redistribution

- Electrification etc.

- Social welfare services

- Education

- Financial management and administrative systems

- Public service culture in relation to Batho Pele

- Capital expenditure versus recurrent expenditure etc.

Other economic factors:

- Labour market

- Unemployment

- Industrial and occupational structure

- Training programs

- Expenditure and wages

- Local government finance

5.1 IDENTIFIED MAIN PROBLEMS

6. FUTURE CHALLENGES

6.1 EXPECTATION FROM NATIONAL GOVERNMENT

6.2 POLICY PROPOSALS

6.3 INSTITUTIONAL AND HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT (CAPACITY-BUILDING)

6.4 INTERFACE AND CO-ORDINATION

6.5 MONITORING MECHANISMS

Reporting system

Agreement on areas where national government may directly assist provinces (criteria)

7. WAY FORWARD

Proposed Process

MONITORING

Monitoring process is to be used for the projection and estimation of effects of government policy. The main purpose is to identify any important discrepancies between expected and actual effects of government policy, government action and/or programmes/projects.

- Objectives of monitoring process:

- Approach to monitoring

The monitoring process will be designed to ensure an early (i.e. from policy-formulation stage) and continuous flow of information between the two spheres of government.

- Responsibility for monitoring

- Expected outcome of the monitoring process:

7.1. FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS: POLICY ISSUES AND PROPOSALS

INSTITUTIONAL AND HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT

Annexure E

QUARTERLY REPORT: PERIOD APRIL - JUNE 1998

DIRECTORATE: PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT ACTIVITIES

1. MINISTERIAL VISITS TO THE PROVINCES

The Directorate has been involved in preparatory work for the Minister's provincial visits scheduled for the period May - August 1998.

The Directorate engaged in a consultation process for each visit and documentation has been prepared for each visit. A follow-up process has been scheduled primarily for provinces with problems. Flowing from the visits also a process of communication with other national government departments on issues discussed with individual provinces has also been put in place.

2. STATUS REPORT ON PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT

The Directorate is, in consultation with the provinces, in the process of compiling a status report that focuses on indicators that have been developed. The reports are being compiled individually on each province. It is expected that these will be completed by the end of August for submission to Cabinet. However a status report on Mpumalanga will be ready by mid-July and possibly will be submitted to Cabinet by end of July.

3. WORKSHOP ON PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT

A workshop on Provincial Government was held on 15 May 1998. Eight of the provinces attended. Six Provincial Directors-General attended with their legal representatives. The other two provinces sent representatives from either the Legal Services or on behalf of the office of the Director-General. Only Gauteng Province did not attend.

The following targeted national government departments also attended:

- Finance

- State Expenditure

- Public Service and Administration

The Financial and Fiscal Commission also attended.

The following main areas were discussed:

- key problems and challenges facing provincial governments

- devolution of powers to provinces

- coordination between national and provincial government

A full report on the workshop proceedings has been compiled. The workshop was

used a planning forum for a much detailed political conference/summit on provincial

government. Preparations are being made for this conference to be held in October

1998. The Directorate is currently engaging provincial governments and national

departments on the conference format and objectives.

Non-Governmental organisations like the Centre for Policy Studies [CPS] (which focuses on policy matters) and the Institute for Democratic Alternative in South Africa [IDASA) (which focuses on democracy and governance) have been approached to assist with the actual running of the conference.

4. AUDIT OF INSTITUTIONAL CAPACITY OF PROVINCES

As per Minister's request at the meeting of 21 March 1998, the Directorate has commenced with the audit of institutional capacity of provincial governments. Letters have been sent out to provinces for information on the matter.

Due to capacity problems and the shortage of personnel, the Centre for Policy Studies has been approached to perform the actual audit. Their involvement will be the evaluation of the impact of different capacity-building initiatives on the various institutions of provincial government.

5. BOUNDARY DISPUTES

It is current government policy that there will be no shift in provincial boundaries.

However, mechanisms are being explored on the formulation of a holistic approach to the resolution of boundary disputes. The Department is currently exploring the utilisation of both cross-border municipalities and agency arrangements as part of the resolution of boundary disputes.

The South African Foundation for Public Management (SAFPUM) has compiled a compendium of material on inter-state co-operation using the United States as a model. Also discussions are on the way with the Centre for Government and Policy Studies (University of Natal) which has conducted a lot of research on the issue using developing countries including Africa as case studies. The Directorate is, together with the centre, exploring whether any lessons for South Africa could be drawn from these international experiences. Also the Directorate is currently investigating the Nigerian experience in relation to provincial boundaries and looking at possible lessons for the South African situation.

 

 

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