Municipalities develop turnaround strategies

Monday, September 6, 2010

Pretoria - About 95 percent of the 283 municipalities in the country have in the past six months developed municipal turnaround strategies and are now in the process of ensuring alignment with the integrated development plans.

This is according to Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister, Sicelo Shiceka, who said that local government was turning the corner in service delivery.

More than ever before, cooperation between the various spheres of government in order to deliver quality services is being strengthened, he said, addressing the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) Human Resource Policy Conference in Polokwane on Monday.

He said corruption and maladministration was being uprooted and culprits were being apprehended, while financial management in line with Operation Clean Audits was beginning to bear fruit in some municipalities.

"Hard work and commitment is beginning to bear fruit. We need to keep our feet on the pedal and not relent," he said.

Shiceka added that they had also begun to undertake a comprehensive legislative review process within local government including the amendment of the Municipal Systems Act and the Municipal Structures Act with a view of creating an enabling legislative and policy environment for local government to deliver in a professional manner.

Later this month, the minister will be signing Delivery Agreements with the MEC's for Local Government who in turn sign agreements with the mayors in their respective provinces. Shiceka signed his delivery agreement with President Jacob Zuma in May.

The minister said delivering quality services to the people required a local government cadre of a special type.

"Local government needs a cadre of a special type who is prepared to account to the people at all times. We need a cadre who is committed to rooting out corruption and ensure good governance. Cadres who will ensure people have access to basic services such as water electricity, sanitation and those decent jobs.

"A cadre who will work tirelessly to ensure that there are decent jobs, decent human settlements, ensure the creation of decent jobs, growth of the economy and the building of sustainable livelihoods both in urban and rural areas," he said.

Last year, the department developed the Local Government Turn-Around Strategy, which has since been adopted by Cabinet in December 2009 as the blueprint through which local government and government as a whole can be made more effective and efficient in delivering services.