Ramaphosa defends intergovernmental model, DA says he's evasive on 'new command and control system'

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
President Cyril Ramaphosa.
President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Netwerk24
  • President Cyril Ramaphosa has defended government's district development model (DDM), saying it aims to improve services.
  • The DA, however, believes the model is a way of national government grabbing power and centralising control.
  • The official opposition has accused Ramaphosa of being evasive.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has defended government's district development model (DDM), but the official opposition says his evasive answers raises the suspicion of a power grab plan.

In July, the DA announced a government official leaked a "top secret" draft document from the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, which proposed centralised control of municipalities through a structure similar to the National Coronavirus Command Council.

But in reply to a written parliamentary question from DA MP Cilliers Brink, Ramaphosa said the DDM was a practical intergovernmental relations mechanism for all three spheres of government to work jointly and to plan and act in unison.

"The DDM calls for collaborative planning at district and metropolitan level on the basis of a detailed, technically-driven consultative process within government and with communities and stakeholders. It is intended that this should result in a single integrated plan for each of the 44 districts and eight metropolitan municipalities in the country. These plans will be implemented in line with existing prescribed development, departmental, strategic and annual performance plans for which each sphere and state entity is responsible," Ramaphosa said.

He said a decision to introduce district champions was discussed and agreed to by the President's Coordinating Council in May.

OPINION | Why the District Development Model is needed

District champions included ministers, deputy ministers and senior government officials. The DDM was currently piloted at the OR Tambo, eThekwini and Waterberg municipalities.

"(They) are meant to work with local, regional and provincial leadership to coordinate our response to Covid-19, avoiding duplication and wastage of resources. This is an enhanced form of integrated service delivery, meant to serve the people better. To address the scourge of gender-based violence, Cabinet added this area to the mandate of the district champions. It is incumbent on all of us to work together to respond to the challenges people face in a holistic and comprehensive manner," Ramaphosa said, adding that the model drew from the 1998 white paper on local government.

Brink said Ramaphosa avoided commenting on the reference to the top-secret document.

ALSO READ | DA slams 'top secret' draft plan to put a command council in charge of municipalities

"He fails to say whether he has seen the document, whether it comes from a government source, or whether he agrees with its substantive proposals. The president could have used the opportunity to say in clear and simple terms that the document doesn't represent the plans or the policy of his government. His evasiveness suggests the opposite," Brink said.

"If the top-secret document isn't an elaborate hoax - if discussions inside the Ramaphosa administration are, in fact, animated by plans of a new command and control system of government - then South African people deserve advance notice."

Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Pyjamas or no pyjamas? Is sleeping in your day clothes:
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Disgusting!
61% - 4583 votes
Something I've seriously considered
11% - 792 votes
Normal in my household
28% - 2079 votes
Vote
ZAR/USD
16.81
(-0.34)
ZAR/GBP
21.40
(+0.47)
ZAR/EUR
19.69
(+0.23)
ZAR/AUD
12.05
(+0.65)
ZAR/JPY
0.16
(+0.04)
Gold
1904.01
(-0.66)
Silver
24.44
(-2.21)
Platinum
868.00
(-1.75)
Brent Crude
42.14
(-3.94)
Palladium
2224.00
(-2.71)
All Share
53265.33
(-0.10)
Top 40
49126.16
(-0.05)
Financial 15
9570.37
(+0.53)
Industrial 25
71886.85
(+1.23)
Resource 10
52935.40
(-1.85)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo