‘Appoint competent people’

2011-05-23 12:56

Local governments need to appoint competent staff and fix shortcomings in financial management to create a suitable environment for economic growth, the SA Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) said.

“The new office bearers and councillors face a challenging five years and considerable pressure will be placed on them to improve service delivery at local level,” Sacci president Chose Choeu said today.

He congratulated political parties and South African citizens on the “fair, free and peaceful” elections, but said local government needed to urgently address certain issues “to provide an environment that is conducive to economic growth that will facilitate business development and hence job creation and the reduction of poverty”.

This included appointing competent, appropriately qualified and experienced staff to fill vacancies in local government. They should be accountable and adhere to service level agreements.

Choeu said local government also needed to address “shortcomings in financial management and administration and appropriately deal with fraud and corruption thereby ensuring clean audits”.

He called on government to contain the costs of doing business by “keeping utility tariffs and rates and taxes at reasonable levels, smoothing the licensing process and cutting red tape”.

Local governments should also address road maintenance and water and electricity supply and quality.

He said government should work with interested parties, such as chambers of commerce, to develop and implement local economic development strategies.

“Business is prepared to assist local government and looks forward to the successful implementation of the local government turnaround strategy that will ensure a better life for all,” Choeu said.

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