Task teams head out to address municipal failures

2009-08-05 00:00

IN a bid to address some of the key challenges facing municipalities across the province, 11 task teams will be deployed to cover all 10 district municipalities as well as the metro from next week.

This was the statement given by Local Government and Traditional Affairs Minister Nomusa Dube at a briefing session held at the Marine Parade hotel yesterday.

The assessment programme is scheduled to take place over a two-week period from August 11 to 21.

Once the task teams have gathered information, the results will be consolidated into a report and sent to the national department before the end of the month. The findings will then be formulated into a national local government turnaround strategy, which should be finalised by the end of December this year.

The strategy will seek out urgent, medium and long-standing actions and support measures from provincial and national government, in conjunction with outside partners, in a move to help municipalities to fast-track service delivery.

Dube said it is imperative for municipal authorities to support this exercise and make themselves available to the visiting task teams.

“This exercise will hugely assist us in establishing more efficient, effective and responsive municipalities. The underpinning approach of the department is to support municipalities and offer sustainable solutions for growth and development.”

She said that Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Sicelo Shiceka hopes that the exercise will achieve the following objectives:

• Reduce the number of complaints against municipalities;

• Give ward committees the necessary powers and resources to develop and implement ward development plans;

• Reduce the instances and repor­ted cases of fraud and corruption in municipalities;

• Ensure a reformed regime of remuneration and the provision for tools and trade for councillors and ward committee members;

• Ensure increased and effective monitoring of service providers by public representatives, officials and communities, and

• Reduce the number of service delivery protests across the country.

Dube said municipalities stand to benefit from embracing this exercise and it was worrisome that there were growing marches against municipalities; municipal infighting; service delivery protests; unsatisfactory financial standings and complaints from traditional leaders.

“Our success as a province and a country is inextricably linked to the success of our system of local governance. We face challenges that we can only respond to and [overcome] through working co-operatively with each other,” she said.

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