Reform municipalities - Zuma

2009-10-20 14:45

kalahari.com

  • Zuma Exposed
    This book exposes Jacob Zuma, in such a way that he would not want you or anyone else to read it. Now R189.00
    buy now

Cape Town - President Jacob Zuma on Tuesday condemned the violence of recent service delivery protests, but also called for a major rethink on the role and functions of municipalities.

"It is clear that we need to do more, and that we need to do things differently," he told some 280 mayors and municipal managers from across the country in Cape Town.

He said it was possible some municipalities had been given functions they would never be able to fulfil, and that there was a need for "fundamental changes" in the way municipalities were governed.

The meeting, at a community hall in Khayelitsha, was also attended by 15 Cabinet ministers, their directors-general and the nine provincial premiers.

Talks to find solutions

Zuma said the meeting, most of which was closed to the media, was "not a local government inquisition but a discussion amongst colleagues and partners to find solutions".

He said recent service delivery protests had become violent, criminal and destructive.

"I wish to take this opportunity to state without any ambiguity: this government will not tolerate the destruction of property, the violence and the intimidation that often accompanies protests," he said.

"There is no cause in a democratic and free society, however legitimate, that justifies the wanton destruction of property and violence that we have witnessed."

South Africa had a proud history of protest against wrongdoing and injustice, which made it the democracy it is today.

"However burning down libraries, torching houses of people and looting spaza shops do not build a strong nation. It does not solve our legitimate problems."

Challenges

But while the negative elements of some of the protests were condemned, it also had to be acknowledged that there were challenges that needed urgent attention.

Zuma said many municipalities were bankrupt, and some were owed revenue even by other government spheres.

National and provincial government departments currently owed municipalities R53m for services, something the leaders in those departments needed to act on without delay.

In addition many municipalities faced a "deep crisis of governance" due to political power struggles.

"These battles for control over resources render the affected municipalities effectively dysfunctional," he said.

Some municipalities lacked basic the administrative systems necessary for collecting the revenue to fund service delivery. There was also weak financial management, which often resulted in irregular spending, corruption and adverse audit reports.

Rethink roles

Zuma said there had to be a rethink on the role that other spheres of government played in the local government sphere.

Experience showed the role of provincial and national spheres had not always been useful or productive.

"There are often too many administrative burdens they place on municipalities, too many requests for reports for this or that," he said to applause from his audience.

Sometimes the other two spheres of government made decisions that had serious implications for local government without consulting it.

"So if local government has to work better we have to drastically rethink the relationship between local government and the other spheres."

He asked whether municipalities with vastly different capacities could be expected to perform the same functions.

Fulfilling responsibilities

"Answering this question is important because it may well be the case that we have entrusted some responsibilities to certain municipalities which they can never be able to fulfil."

"It is equally possible that some municipalities, especially metros, can perform more functions than we have given them."

Zuma said it was clear fundamental reforms were needed in the way municipalities were governed. These should include separating executive functions from administrative ones.

"In some municipalities councillors tend to interfere in administrative management and operations of municipalities. They want to be mayor and municipal manager at the same time," he said, as Western Cape premier and former Cape Town mayor Helen Zille, seated behind him, smiled to herself.

After Zuma's address the media were asked to leave the meeting.

Delegates were scheduled in closed session to hear a "presentation on budget and economic crisis" by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, view a video on the presidential complaints hotline, then spend an hour-and-a-half talking about "service delivery improvement at a local level".

- SAPA

Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  service delivery
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Wednesday Cape Town - 07:19 AM
    Road name: M3 Inbound
    DELAYS between Constantia Main Road and the Woolsack Drive exit
  • Wednesday Kuils River - 07:16 AM
    Road name: R300 Northbound
    DELAYS between Stellenbosch Arterial Road and the Van Riebeeck Road exit
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Torch 9810

The BlackBerry Torch 9810 gives you the powerful combination of...

From R2820.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may find yourself fascinated by something which could draw you in to obsessively exploring this subject in depth....read more

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.