Overhaul plan for local govt

2009-10-08 00:00

A MAJOR overhaul of the local government sector is on the cards, according to Deputy Minister of Co-operative Governance, Yunus Carrim.

Speaking at the annual conference of the Institute of Municipal Finance Officers in Johannesburg on Tuesday, Carrim said it is clear that the current model of local government is not working. He pointed to countrywide service delivery protests, complaints that sewerage, road and electricity infrastructure systems are falling apart and frequent allegations of crooked officials and councillors.

Besides, municipalities are not financially viable because they are wholly dependent on national and provincial funding to survive.

Carrim proposed that both short- and long-term changes should be considered, including:

• The re-drawing of municipal boundaries. “Some of us believe that the Municipal Demarcation Board needs to give serious attention to the re-drawing of the boundaries of municipalities that are not financially viable,” he said.

• A review of the two-tier system of district and local municipalities.

• More help from other tiers of government. “We are also thinking of requiring provinces to play a direct role in the management of the municipal infrastructure grant,” Carrim said, adding that part of the support that national and provincial governments can offer is simply to pay the debts they owe municipalities. “The minister is committed to actively intervening through the cabinet and other structures to ensure that government departments pay the debt … Of course, the arrears will not all be paid immediately, but we are determined to see improvements over time.”

• Changing legislation to get rid of cumbersome financial reporting that is placing a major cost and administrative burden on municipalities.

• Reviewing funding models for local government.

• Tightening internal controls and ensuring that municipal integrated development plans are productively linked with provincial and national development plans.

• Effective capacity-building of municipal councillors and officials. Carrim said the aim is to achieve greater professional administration by preventing political appointments in administrative posts and discouraging political parties from interfering at that level through “populist and short-term measures”.

Carrim said the proposed changes will not happen overnight. “There will be full and considered discussions with all the key stakeholders, and the public will be given space to have its say.

“Some of the changes agreed to may be introduced before the 2011 local government election, but most will probably follow the 2011 elections,” he added.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.