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PROVINCIAL AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
29 MARCH 2006
ANNUAL STRATEGIC PLANNING WORKSHOP
These minutes were provided by the Committee Clerk
Documents handed out:
Presentation by Statistics South Africa – Mr P Lehohla
The Committee received a presentation from Statistics South Africa on the National Address System and Register. The main purpose was to provide an overview of the Geo-Referenced Dwelling Frame project and to discuss possible joint strategy for the maintenance of the Geo-Referenced Dwelling Frame.
Mr Lehohla’s presentation focussed on background of the project, the work done in 2005 and the plans for 2006. He also touched on the structure, role of the frame and the benefits for Statistics South Africa and relevant stakeholders. He concluded his input with the joint maintenance strategy for the frame.
- What is the status of the project as the voter’s roll has to be address-based. Is this actually on direction of Cabinet to solve this problem? The number by itself means nothing; you are going to have to link it to a road. In the same way the road means nothing unless you know the number. Now is this just a number of a village or is it a number linked to the road? You draw a distinction between formal areas, and the traditional and the informal areas - is it going to be one address system, which is common to both, or is it going to be two parallel address systems.
- Numbering in rural areas/traditional communities – what was the consultation with organised structures of traditional leadership?
- Is the project aimed at the whole of South Africa, including the rural villages?
Place and street names are part and parcel of this project. The challenge is not providing the numbers but providing geographic specificity to what is being numbered is a challenge. There has been extensive consultation with traditional authorities in respect of this project. The areas identified were pilots but the idea was to role-this out to all areas. There was a need to coordinate the efforts with GCIS. The reaction from communities in respect of the numbering was positive.
Presentations by the Department of Provincial and Local Government (DPLG)
Ms Msengana-Ndlela gave a brief recap of the DPLG budget, particularly with regard to transfers to local government. She also alluded to the budget estimates of the 3 spheres and all grants. In conclusion she touched on some of the strategic priorities for local government for 2006 – 2011.
Inputs from the other directorates within the DPLG included the following:
IDP Engagement Programme
Alignment with Provincial Growth and Development Strategies and National Spatial Development Perspective
Programme for 2006/07
Infrastructure Investment and Basic Service Delivery:
Municipal Infrastructure Institutional Framework
Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) and Roles of Departments
MIG and Designated Groups in Programme for 2006/07
Community Participation and Empowerment – Programme for 2006/07
Public Participation and Empowerment
Achievements against business plan for 2006
Priorities for 2006/07
Capacity Building and Emerging Lessons:
Some case studies
The possibility of site visits by Members of Parliament
Programme for 2006/07
Parliamentary Legislative Programme:
Bills scheduled for 2006
Bills contemplated, but not scheduled
Questions on Planning:
- Some of the constraints, with reference to municipal regulatory role that in land development, facilitation and by-laws impact on small business operations. Some by-laws negatively affect community initiatives as well.
- The way in which the perspectives and plans that goes with IDPs are going to be as detailed as actually informing a municipality that you don’t need a developmental infrastructure like this particular project here at this geographic area, but you need it at a particular different area.
- How did one localise the national plan, particularly where distant municipalities and metros have got specific responsibilities, that we need to look at and review legislation in this regard to strengthen it, because it affects all of us.
- Councillors must now have oversight on education and health, which is primarily a provincial and national competency.
- The issue of different data sets - the one is using properties, and the other one is using households to reflect the number of people needed to be served.
- What was the involvement of the traditional councils and local houses because we did envisage the role of these traditional structures?
- The National Spatial Development Framework - is it a single document, is it a creation of documents, where does it reside?
- Should the National Spatial Development perspective be aligned with the provincial growth and development strategies or not?
- To what extent do you see municipalities as simply the implementers of national policy? How far does alignment go?
We are not necessarily saying that there is a complete failure of alignment at all levels - it is saying that, there is uneven practice. And what we want is a much more rational approach. We want to be able to achieve development impact in communities, and to do that you need to have your institutional mechanisms properly in place. We are not in control of all the forces shaping the landscape. We cannot guarantee everything in every municipality. A lot of the time we have to convince other stakeholders even within government of our ideas. So the institutional mechanisms become quite important in dealing with the question that was raised about coordination, where is it coordinated? What we are talking about here is in a sense how the State as a whole deals with issues of development. It is not about how DPLG deals with issues of government. Different interests contest development at the end of the day across different sectors, even within government. That the issue around the IDPs at municipal level is exactly to begin to assert the level of leadership that is able to work through those interests and still arrive at concrete ways of moving forward. It is critical that IDPs have to be based on the very thorough understanding of community needs. But at the end of the day they are municipal wide instruments and they have to begin to provide strategic direction.
Questions on Infrastructure and Basic Service Delivery:
- Crosscutting condition of MIG programme – is this something new or are we still referring to previous MIG.
- On lack of capacity in provinces and districts in respect of community participation – was there a particular reason why this occurred only in district and provinces rather than local municipalities?
- Policy framework for public participation – how much of a framework does the Systems Act already provide and how much more of a framework would the policy framework provide.
- MIG – Capital expenditure vs. Maintenance - to what extend are these challenges being addressed in balancing the two.
- MIG – In what way does DPLG link with GCIS. Members use pamphlets provided by GCIS when running workshops in terms of community involvement. There is a challenge in respect of the consistency attendance of ward committee members.
- Salga faces, on a daily basis, the outcry from municipalities in respect of double registration of MIG projects – this delays the speed of implementation of projects on the ground.
- Poverty cut for households’ income of less than R 800.00 – Will this figure not be adjusted for those pensioners earning just over R 800.00. Project management unit – staff lack capacity, are they not being trained/capacitated to perform their duties.
- Environmental impact assessment – how are delays being dealt with. What was DPLG experience with the cluster approach in government?
Will submit the names of the 52 municipalities that were discussed. Crosscutting conditions requested by sector departments – these are standard conditions. Operations and Maintenance comes from the operational budget – MIG is designed to put money within the capital budget of municipalities. DPLG will work together with GCIS as requested. A simplified MIG Manual will be made available to the Committee. National Treasury set the norm at R 800.00 but DPLG has moved on to a total of R 1 100.00. There is a view that Environmental Impact Assessment be reviewed in conjunction with the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism to shorten the process. DPLG started a programme dealing with training of municipalities on infrastructure asset management.
Questions on Capacity Building and Emerging Lessons:
- Is there an agreement between the Department and SALGA on who does what in respect of capacity building?
- How are appropriate levels of remuneration determined for Section 57 employees? Does this include senior management staff and municipal managers in particular?
- What was the role of LGSETA in capacity building?
- How far has DPLG come in discussion with the Department of Public Services in respect of long-term objectives on National Capacity Building framework?
DPLG remain of the view that SALGA will focus on the political leadership, but they have a role in orientation in the induction of councillors. But there needed to be an improvement in collaboration with SALGA. Work between DPLG and DPSA remains ongoing. Job descriptions of senior managers do inform the employment contract which in turn informs the employment agreement. Salaries of ordinary employees are negotiated by bargaining council whereas municipal mangers salaries are determined elsewhere. Salary disparities needed to be addressed and reduced to an acceptable level. LGSETA do form part of the structures in development of professionalisation of the sector. DPLG will be piloting projects focussing on soft skills and further develop this to functional areas. Surveys are intended to be municipal specific but independent.
The Committee adjourned at 17:00 until further notice.
Mr L A Brown
Committee Secretary: Portfolio Committee on Provincial and Local Government
Mr S L Tsenoli
Chairperson: Portfolio Committee on Provincial and Local Government
African National Congress
Ms M Gumede
Mr M S Lekgoro
Mr I D Mogase
Mr S Mshudulu
Mr M Nonkonyana
Mr M G Phadagi
Mr B Solo
Mr S Tsenoli
Mr W Doman
Mr M Swathe
Inkatha Freedom Party
Mr P Smith
Ms P Bhengu
Ms L Mashiane
Ms K Magau
Mr I S Mfundisi
Mr R Bhoola
Department of Provincial and Local Government (dplg)
Ms L Msengana-Ndlela
Mr E Africa
Mr P Flusk
Ms T Mketi
Ms S Makotoko
Ms L Molapo
Mr D Powell
Mr C Clerihew
Mr T Fosi
Mr L Twaku
Mr H Mashile
Ms L Graham
Dr P Bouwer
South African Local Government Association (Salga)
Mr L Joel
Cllr C Johnson
Cllr S Molokoane
Cllr W Jenkins
Statistics South Africa
Mr P Lehohla