News24

Govt to tackle municipalities

2009-08-20 19:10

Cape Town - A turn-around strategy for failing municipalities will be launched next year, Co-operative Government and Traditional Affairs Minister Sicelo Shiceka said on Thursday.

The strategy might require amendments to the Constitution, to improve national oversight of municipalities, he told MPs in the National Assembly, speaking during debate on the state of municipal governance.

Government had "unleashed" a comprehensive assessment of municipalities.

National indaba

Provinces had to collect reports outlining the state of each municipality under their control, and forward these to his department in September.

"We will be able to take the reports and take them to... a national indaba... We want to hold this at the end of October."

The indaba - which would draw on both government and non-governmental organisations, as well as universities, for inputs - would draft the turnaround strategy.

"This turnaround strategy must be approved by Cabinet by the end of this year, so that by next year we are able to implement it.

"We want to build a local government that is efficient, effective, responsive and accountable."

Shiceka said government also wanted to engage opposition parties on solving the problem of failing municipalities.

He said a requirement of such engagement was opposition parties "must accept that the outcome [of the strategy] might require us to amend the laws.

SAPA