Policy and budget speech by MEC for Co-Operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Honourable Norman Mohlalefi Mokoena, delivered in the Mpumalanga Legislature
20 August 2009
Honourable Speaker and Deputy Speaker
Honourable Premier: Mr. D D Mabuza
Honourable Members of the Executive Council
Honourable Members of the Provincial Legislature
Honourable Executive Mayors and Councilors present
Honorable Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson of the Provincial House of Traditional Leaders
Our esteemed Amakhosi
Officials from the three spheres of Government
Ladies and Gentlemen
And all those who could not make it here today but are listening on Ligwalagwala and Ikwekwezi FM:
Ngisukuma Nokubonga Kakhulu ku-Somlomo Wendlu yeSishaya
Isiqubulo senkulumo yethu yalonyaka sithi “Masibambisaneni
ekwakheni isizwe esinakekelayo” Together let’s build a caring society.
It is my considered view that our political, social and
economic challenges did not begin yesterday but date back to 1498 when Vasco da
Gama set foot on our shores. Today post 1994, the effects and harm of that
regrettable visit continues to haunt our national mental state as we grapple
with the process of building a united, non racial, non sexist democratic
We derive our inspiration from knowing that we are walking on the path and have to climb the hills and mountains of this Province that were once climbed by inkosi uNyabela , that courageous great worrier who valiantly fought for five years to the bitter end in defense of the treasures of this Province.
We stand here today on the shoulders of this great giant
who had to be sentenced to life imprisonment (though later released in 1899),
his kraal was destroyed, and all the land confiscated and alienated to Boer
farmers. The Ndzundza people were condemned as labourers for the farmlands.
Those who still doubt this historical reality must know that
Others are asking, as to how do we manage to deal with the
post colonial challenges? My answer is always that we have learnt the art of
exercising revolutionary patience and spoken word which we inherited from inkosi
uMusi, that great unifier and a great diplomat, who led his people to settle
among the Tswana and Pedi.
In our course of duty we will emulate the vision shown by
Moshoeshoe who called for a united front between tribes to counteract the
colonialist who were playing off one tribe against each other. In our daily work
we shall work with the courage and determination that was shown by those great
African worriers uNgqika, uNdlambe, Hintsa, uMakana, uShaka, uDingaan Cetshwayo,
Bhambatha kaMancinza and Adam Kok.
As the geographical location of our province suggests that
we are located between KZN,
In our minds we want to drive the work of this department
with a vision derived and inspired by all our forbearers who wanted to see a
united South African Nation.
In this context, our work in this department will be driven by one simple objective and that is to ensure that we permanently eradicate all the vestiges of Colonial and Apartheid Bantustans in this province. Our programmes will attempt to practically communicate the following five core messages:
2. Developments in this province can no longer continue to be based on apartheid spatial configuration. Development cannot happen for our people without them participating meaningfully in all decision making processes and making their own choices and priorities.
Although we are at the service of all South
Africans, our ears and resources will be more open towards the poor and we are
unapologetic about this stance.
We will work with Traditional Leaders not
only because we are a department that deals with them directly but because they
are an important component of our governance system. Our experience is that they
harbor a noble vision for the development of the poorest of the poor in their
hearts and that is the passion envisaged. Together lets build a caring society.
5. We want to build on the successes and foundation laid by my predecessors and it is our collective responsibility to work on identified weaknesses.
In this context we want to thank the previous MECs responsible for Local Government in the Province for their sterling work. In this regard, Honorable Speaker, I would like to seek the indulgence of this house, as I take a bow to the following comrades, the late Cde. January “Che” Masilela, who pioneered the mammoth task of establishing the Department of Local government- May his soul rest in peace, Cde Craig Padayachee, Cde.Fish Mahlalela, Cde Tsietsi Tolo, Cde Mohammed Bhabha, Cde Jabu Mahlangu, and most recently Cde. Candith Mashego. Once more, we want to say to you comrades this was a job well done.
Honorable Speaker, Ladies and Gentleman as I take on the
baton, allow me to introduce the new Department of Co-operative Governance and
Traditional Affairs. Our vision has been aligned to the
National Ministers expression of a choir conductor with a mandate to promote
synergy vertically and horizontally across all three spheres of government. In
simple terms we are a centre of government business.
As we table the policy and budget speech of the Department
of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, the first ever, we do so
cognizant that it affords us an opportunity to do things differently. We have
also learnt many lessons, building on this we can bring about a bigger
improvement to the lives of our people. We are also aware that if we do not
seize this opportunity, we will be judged harshly by history.
As a department we recently held our first strategic planning session. From this strategic planning session we set our selves key strategic goals, which will drive the department for the next five years. These goals are:
1. To facilitate, support and promote integrated spatial development
2. To ensure that government activities are supportive of communities and encourage community participation and development
3. To facilitate a co-operative governance system that will enable rapid, dynamic and sustainable integrated development
4. To ensure capacity building within structures of government to meet developmental challenges
5. To strengthen the structures of traditional institutions so that they can fulfill theirs stated mandate
6. To facilitate monitoring and evaluation of government’s programmes.
We want to improve our working relations with the Traditional Leaders.
Mr. Speaker this department therefore views the role of
Traditional Leadership as very key to our system of governance. We will
continuously work with them to address all problems of governance. We thank the
Traditional Leaders for the continued support and dedication to making sure that
we succeed as government.
The placement of the House of Traditional Leadership under the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs is a clear indication that we want to make sure that we give them the due recognition and allow them to take their rightful place in dealing with matters of governance.
I want to assure our esteemed Amakhosi that never again
will you be treated like step children in your own land by this Department.
We commit ourselves to support the structures of Amakhosi and we want to ensure that by the end of our term in government we have been able to build capacity in these structures and turn them into service delivery vehicles.
In line with governments renewed focus and mandate on rural development, there will be special attention paid to matters of insecure land tenure and communal land rights in traditional areas, which are considered crucial in facilitating rural development.
It is in the rural areas that despite the progress that has been made in our municipalities, there has been slow development.
These areas are still faced with huge pockets of poverty, unemployment, large infrastructure backlogs and poor service delivery. We will be developing special programmes targeting rural development, in line with the comprehensive national rural development strategy.
We will also be embarking on a programme of raising the profile of our Traditional Leaders, so as to highlight the significance of our system of Traditional Leaders to our communities. Most of the offices of our Traditional Leaders are in a dilapidated state. As part of restoring the dignity of our Traditional Leaders we will be renovating the offices of ten (10) Traditional Leaders this financial year.
Honourable Speaker, Traditional Leaders will be
participating in municipalities in terms of Section 81 of the Structures Act.
This is because the House of Traditional Leaders has complied with the
legislative imperative by submitting names of Traditional Leaders to
participate. This will ensure that Traditional Leaders participate and represent
their traditional communities in municipalities and thereby strengthening our
resolve to improve service delivery.
The Department will be dealing with challenges associated with the functionality of the reconstituted 53 Traditional Councils. Members of such Councils will soon be gazetted in the government gazette. The Department will be rolling a capacity building programme for the councilors.
One of the key issues that have often made it difficult for our
Traditional Leaders to function has been the issue of lack of tools and
resources to do their work.
The department has set up a task team that includes the Provincial House of Traditional Leaders, and State Law advisors to look into this matter.
We will continue to engage with the Chairperson of the Provincial House of Traditional Leaders on how best we can strengthen their functions in relations to issues of governance. We will also be finalising the incorporation of the Provincial House of traditional Leaders in our Department as programme Five, this will include the transfer of the budget from the Office of the Premier to our Department amongst other things. We will journey together with Traditional Leadership in building a caring society.
In our view, the name change ushers a new era in doing government business. We will deal with a number of gaps that have hampered our system of co-operative governance, especially in the areas of planning and performance monitoring. We all know that one of the major challenges that have hindered us over the years has been our inability to work together as three spheres of government. We will as the department, find creative ways that will to a larger extent address these challenges that have been with us for the past fifteen years.
Our goal as a department will be to strengthen
cooperation, within the three spheres of government and all stakeholders outside
formal structures of government that have interest in development. Such
cooperation will focus on giving support in integrated planning, capacity
building, performance monitoring and reporting on government activities. This
goal is seeking to strengthen our continued quest in addressing the apartheid
spatial planning that has made it difficult for our people to live together in a
true and united
Local government is a sphere that is close to our people,
it is where all our plans as government departments must be put into practice.
We will therefore be strengthening our Intergovernmental Relations structures to
ensure that all government programmes are implemented in a more coordinated
As we visited many parts of the province, campaigning we came face to face with the harsh realities that many of our people are faced with on a daily basis. I must stress that what was very evident is that, government has done a lot for our people, but this was not done in a coordinated manner.
In many instances you have found up to four government
departments doing some work in one area but with very minimal or no impact on
the community. A more coordinated approach would have brought about a bigger
impact to the lives of the people.
It is for this reason that part of the work
moving forward will be to define in detail the envisaged impact areas for all
our programmes. We want to discourage general programmes that aim everywhere.
STATUS OF MUNICIPALITIES
Honorable Speaker, I can safely say that my initiation as the new MEC for the Department has not been an easy one. We have all seen the violent service delivery protests that have engulfed some parts our province during the past few months. We regret and condemn the recent incidents of violence, vandalism, destruction of property and the disregard of the rule of law that we have seen in some of our municipalities.
We also regret the unfortunate loss of lives that
accompanied these incidents. Whilst we respect individual’s right to protest,
such action should be within the ambit of the law. These unfortunate incidents
have marred the otherwise good progress that was being made by our
municipalities. It has however also made us to be more vigilant and make sure
that at all times we stay close to our municipalities and our people. One of the
things that came out during our meetings and that have cut across many of our
municipalities has been the issue of inadequate communication with the
communities and dysfunctional systems of governance.
We are also concerned about the simmering problems in other municipalities where some communities in these municipalities seem to be unhappy about certain service delivery challenges. We have visited these areas and engaged the communities there. We are aware of the problems and are progressively addressing them.
In seeking to find the key challenges that has led to such violent protests, we have agreed, with the National Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Mr. Sicelo Shiceka, and our Premier DD Mabuza to establish Ministerial task teams that were comprised of both National and provincial officials. These tasks teams have visited all 21 municipalities in the province.
This morning I have met with the leader of the Tasks Teams. He has presented a preliminary report. Some of these preliminary findings have indicated the following:
- Lack of responsiveness to issues raised by communities
- Tensions between the political and administrative sections of the municipalities
- Ward committees that are not fully functional, resulting in poor communication with communities
- Councilors not calling public meetings
- Financial mismanagement and allegations of fraud and corruption
- Poor planning, maintenance and management of infrastructure resulting in poor service delivery
- IDP and budgeting processes not aligned to community priorities
- The high vacancy rate in municipalities
- Non existence of Local Economic Development
strategies and implementation plans
The processes has further assisted us, especially our
department. We are now in a better position to provide support by developing
clear intervention strategies for individual municipalities in our province.
Some of the interventions we will be looking at will include: political
interventions to resolve political challenges, deployment of customized
intervention teams to the identified municipalities to provide management
support, facilitate the filling of critical vacant post, support municipalities
in developing master plans for bulk infrastructure in particular water,
sanitation, electricity and roads and promoting of shared services within and
between District municipalities.
Mr. Speaker, we have placed the Pixley Ka Seme and Mkhondo
municipalities under administration in terms of section 139(1) (b) of the
Constitution of the
Whilst it is still early days for Mkhondo municipality we are pleased that the Administrator has developed a recovery plan and brought a support team to help him restore the municipality to its glory days. We are also encouraged by the positive strides made by the Pixley Ka Seme municipality. The Administrator should hand over his final report by the end of August this year.
Mr. Speaker, the recent unrests in some of our
municipalities have left a number of councilors homes razed to the ground.
This has highlighted the key issue of the welfare of our councilors,
which is not covered in any legislative framework. As a department we are
looking into this matter in consultation with national government.
An assessment of what we have done over the past 15 years shows that government has done fairly well. Whilst we acknowledge that we could have done things much better we must not be too harsh in judging our successes. The numbers of interventions we have introduced over the years have scored some successes. In actual fact what we have achieved over the past 15 years is indeed unparalleled anywhere in the world. As we report to this august house today more than 70% of the households who did not have access to water 15 years ago, now have access, 48% have access to decent sanitation and 71% have access to electricity. Indeed we have changed the lives of our people for the better, but much more needs to be done.
Today, as I stand in this respectable house, I do so with much humility, acknowledging what is to come, which to me represents a beginning of a new era filled with opportunities.
We are beginning this new era filled with hope,
commitment, excitement and surely it will be characterized by discipline and
We have taken a decision to strengthen communication
between our department and municipalities. On a regular basis we will be
visiting them to ensure that as we keep municipalities accountable, we also
provide the necessary support.
We will also come up with a process to improve public participation and also ensure that we are able to monitor it.
Public participation is not just a political hype or a
nice to have; it is embedded in the ideological genesis of the ruling party,
that the people shall govern. This vision finds its expression in the
constitution of the
We should not continue treating public participation as a
compliance issue. When people raise their concerns in these meetings, we must
genuinely address them. As part of our approach to deepen local
democracy, will be calling a public participation summit to make
sure that we address these matters and together we come up with innovative ways
of keeping communities informed about development in their municipalities.
We want to have meaningful engagements with civil society
such churches, Organised Business, CBOs, youth formations, labour unions,
SMME’s, people with disabilities etc. We want to develop plans and execution
strategies based on the will of the people.
Without taking anything away from many good hardworking committed councilors some councilors have of course disappointed by not adequately interacting with communities as they promised when they took the oath of office in 2006.Part of the oath you took said “………..I will fight against corruption in any guise or form. I will listen to the views of the community and hold public meetings with all community members to report back on my work, at least four times a year………”
Community Development Workers (CDWs)
We will revisit the CDW programme with the aim of
strengthening it and using it optimally. There is a lot of talent and skills
that are abundant with the CDW’s, which we need to use maximally. We will
strengthen and improve the working relations between municipalities and the
CDW’s. We must ensure that whatever problems that have existed are dealt with
because these foot soldiers must be utilized for what they have been employed
for. As we improve the working relations, l urge all municipalities to ensure
that they also create a conducive working environment for the CDW’s. Please make
sure that you give them the necessary support.
When delivering the State of the Nation Address, on 03 June 2009, President Jacob Zuma said “this is an era of renewal and we will move towards a more interactive government.” Mr. President we cannot agree with you more that this is a new era and one which we will seize with both hands to ensure that we bring a better life we promised to our people during the elections. Together lets build a caring society.
Honorable Speaker, the mandates of the new Department of
Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs are derived from the South
African Constitution of 1996; Chapter 3 that deals with Co-operative Government,
Chapter 7, that deals with Local Government and chapter 12 that deals with
Traditional Leaders. In order to succeed in dealing with these mandates, we have
now embarked on a process of analyses on the implications of what these mandates
mean for the department in terms of functions, personnel and other related
resources that might be needed in meeting such imperatives. The analyses will
lead to the:
- Restructuring of the current organizational structure, business process and systems.
- Building a highly skilled human resource.
- Adapting our strategic objectives and implementation
plan to meet our new mandate.
We hope that we will be ready to implement our vision in the next financial year.
We therefore request the support of this esteemed house,
and we commit ourselves to keeping Honourable Members and the public informed of
We have taken a decision to build and strengthen the
internal capacity of the Department. We will be introducing a unit
that will focus solely on Performance Monitoring and Support of municipalities.
This unit will be headed by a Senior Manager and will on amongst other
issues ensure the development and implementation of a performance and management
system in municipalities, review their performance and oversight reports such as
section 46 annual reports. It is encouraging to note that 17 of the 21
municipalities have signed their performance agreements for senior managers.
On the other hand we are also partnering with other
development agencies like the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), GTZ,
As part of charting our road map for the next five years we have also come up with a set of guidelines which we will continuously use to monitor the performance of municipalities. We have dubbed these “Non Negotiables”. This means that at all times we will be looking out for these and ensuring that as municipalities you all adhere to them. These are:
Compliance with legislation, policies and
programmes as framework for the creation of job opportunities.
2. There is expeditious rolling out of plans-NO ROLL OVERS.
3. Ensure increased, continuous and regular engagement with the public through the Public Participation Foras
4. Working together with other social partners to enhance service delivery
5. Provision of services in a sustainable manner.
As part of ensuring integrated Human Settlement, the
Premier has announced the transfer and migration of the water services function
to the Department of Human Settlement. This decision
addresses the problem of building human settlement without running water, proper
sanitation and energy.
The Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional
Affairs as part of its mandate will ensure and promote integrated planning by
coordinating planning of water resource infrastructure like bulk water and
facilitate proper funding.
This implies that reticulation function will be performed
by the Department of Human Settlement and bulk services by our Department.
We have provided municipalities with hands on technical
expertise and support and in the process unblocked challenges with a number of
projects. Municipalities have also been assisted with the preparation of
business plans and designs to fast track funding applications and
A total of R2, 995 billion over the MTEF period will be provided through the Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG), of which R2, 91 billion has been committed to projects identified by municipalities in the province.
Water and sanitation projects constitute 44% and 23% of
the committed funds respectively, totaling to 67% and the remainder of 33% is
allocated to roads, storm water, street lighting, solid waste disposal etc.
In the 2008/09 financial year a total of R689 million was
allocated and R548 million has been spent to date, which is 91%. In this
financial year 2009/10, a total of R839 million has been allocated to our
municipalities towards assisting in eradicating the basic service delivery
However our municipalities are still experiencing
challenges towards the implementation of projects under the programme. As a
result R89.8 million has been stopped by National Treasury due to significant
under- expenditure of committed funds by municipalities. Slow procurement
processes have been identified as a major challenge. What is of great concern is
that these procurement challenges are self inflicted due to personal interests.
We must deal with these short comings in order to ensure service delivery to our
Government will continue to mobilize technical expertise
to enhance the technical capacity of our municipalities through the Siyenza
Manje Programme and other assistance from various Government Departments. In
this regard l want pay special tribute to our social partners especially the
Development Bank of
The delivery of basic services such as electricity, water, sanitation, refuse and waste removal is essential in improving the quality of life and sustainable development for communities. Notwithstanding current backlogs and challenges, remarkable progress has been made in the delivery of basic services.
Currently, 583,505 households have access to electricity. A total of 219,375of these households have access to Free Basic Electricity. Despite advancements we have made, the need to address the backlog of 242,059 households who do not have access to electricity still remains.
The province will assist the
Municipality Financial Viability and Management
We are pleased to report the there is a slight improvement in the outcome of the audit reports of municipalities for the 2007/08 financial year. Ten of our municipalities received unqualified audit reports. Not one of the municipalities received adverse opinions. There is an improvement from 5 disclaimers to only 3 during this period.
The Department has embarked on OPERATION CLEAN AUDIT 2014.
The Department plans to have all municipalities receiving clean audit
opinions by 2014. This will be done in conjunction with the
National Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs.
We are concerned with unpaid debts that our municipalities are faced with. Currently our municipalities are being owed R1.6 billion. The bulk of this money emanates from services provided to consumers in the form of water, electricity and the property rates.
One of the biggest culprits is government departments. I want to assure municipalities that as the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, we have made it our priority that all government departments, provincially and nationally must pay up.
The Task Team that was established to look into this matter is currently assisting municipalities to recoup these monies. We also send a special plea to all departments to make sure that they pay their debts for services.
For a municipality to be considered viable, it has to have
quality financial management practices and the ability to manage and maintain
its financial resources in a way that fulfils its mandate, now and in future.
Municipalities must be able to meet commitments to creditors and be able
to spend their capital budgets.
One of the mechanisms used across municipalities to fight poverty is the indigent policy. Many municipalities have not fully implemented the indigent policies. The Department will provide support for the review of the indigent registers.
Implementation of the Municipality Property Rates Act
We have been made aware in some municipalities that
communities are not happy with the processes that have been followed in the
implementation of the Municipal Property Rates Act (MPRA). The department will
go back and facilitate meetings that will seek to find lasting solutions in
these matters affecting our citizens. We must as citizens of this country commit
ourselves to dialogue instead of violent protest and unnecessary litigations.
As the MPRA is implemented the Department will continue to provide hands on support through workshops, rates policies and developing a checklist for the implementation of the Act.
During the 2008/09 financial year we have managed to train 58 Municipal Officials and Councilors on Supply Chain Management and trained councilors on the introduction of Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA). We acknowledge that we can and will do more. The Department will be rolling out a number of interventions that will seek to strengthen our municipalities. Some of the capacity building programmes we will embark on will include the following:
- Conduct Skills Audit to all Municipal officials
- Conduct training of Municipal Managers on change management, financial management
- Facilitate the training of municipal creditors and debtors on financial management
- Facilitate learners hip on IDP
- Training of Councilors on Municipal Leadership Development
- Training of Traditional Leaders on Policy Development and LED
- Training of Traditional councils, staff/officials on
Public Finance Management Act (PFMA)
Local Economic Development
The Province faces a daunting task of stemming growing unemployment trends, stimulating existing key economic sectors to create jobs and increasing economic output to benefit local rural and under-served communities.
As a department, we will conduct an assessment audit of
all existing municipal Local Economic Development strategies. This will enable
us to determine strategic intervention areas including but not limited to youth
training and skills development, tourism training and development, inner city
rejuvenation and 2010 FIFA World Cup opportunities. The department will
coordinate support towards these key focus areas.
Mr. Speaker, as we are all aware disasters will strike
when you least expect them, therefore it is imperative that we make sure that we
are always prepared. To combat the threat of disasters the Department invested
As the Province will be hosting the 2010 world cup, the
Department has been working hard with other stake holders in planning for the
event. Standard operating procedures and contingency plans are continually being
tested to meet the minimum requirements.
We will be continuing to support the construction of the disaster management center, despite the challenges encountered. Our target will still be to ensure that the center is complete before the end of the financial year so that we ensure that as part of the guarantees for 2010, the province is in a better position to host world Cup in a safe and secure environment. In the interim a Satellite Disaster Centre has been established in Mbombela, that has the capacity to deal with disaster incidents in the province.
Mr. Speaker, as Government we are facing tremendous challenges of rebuilding the trust and confidence of communities. The task at hand will be to transform the current negative and destructive energy into positive and constructive energy.
A pioneering spirit will be put to the test as government
must now roll up its sleeves and get back to the task of working with the people
and not for the people.
I would like to take this opportunity to pay special
tribute to my family, especially my wife and kids, who have been a pillar of
strength for me. I would also like to express my gratitude to the Acting Head of
Department, Mr. Sam Ngubane, the Senior Management and the staff of the
department for their warm reception they have given to me on my arrival and the
commitment they have shown in their work.
Mr. Speaker, allow me to table the budget for the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, and I accordingly request the House to approve the amount of R414,775 million for the financial year 2009/10 to be allocated as follows:
ALLOCATED AMOUNT 2009/10 R’000
Traditional Institutional Management
The spirit of a caring society should be the center nerve
of any service delivery model. Our founding fathers of
I Thank you
Issued by:Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs