Carrim announces new local govt plan

2009-11-05 00:00

TO cries of “not another turnaround strategy”, and “more of the same,” Deputy Co-operative Governance Minister Yunus Carrim says this time it is different because it is not a top-down approach.

Addressing a Development Bank of South Africa meeting yesterday, Carrim said this time the plan has been crafted in such a way that everyone involved in local government from national down to municipal level is accountable. This was reinforced, he said, in a declaration agreed to at the recent local government indaba in Boksburg. The declaration said there willl be collective responsibility in implementing the national turnaround strategy

According to Carrim, his department aims to get cabinet approval for the national strategy framework by the end of the year. They intend from January to March next year to take this strategy framework to every municipality in the country.

“We would like to see every municipality develop, within the parameters of the national framework local government turnaround strategy, through a fully consultative process, its own specific municipal turnaround plan by March 2010, and actively implement it through involving the widest range of stakeholders and local communities,” Carrim added.

He acknowledged that the March deadline is onerous — “but we all need to help to meet it. Let’s certainly try!” he said.

Carrim believes provincial governments should play an active role in assisting municipalities to develop these municipal turnaround plans and ensure that they are within the framework of the national turnaround strategy.

He said there are aspects of the turnaround strategy that will be implemented in the period leading to the 2011 elections and other aspects that will be implemented after the elections.

While this is going on, work on reviewing the powers and functions of the three spheres of government, and in particular the current model of local government, will continue.

He added that a national co-ordinating committee, comprising stakeholders and experts, to monitor progress in the implementation of the strategy will be appointed.

Similarly, provinces and municipalities should also set up municipal turnaround strategy co-ordinating committees.

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