Govt still committed to service delivery

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Pretoria- The improvement of service delivery remains government's top priority, says President Jacob Zuma.

"The fourth democratic administration has emphasized performance monitoring and evaluation and has introduced the outcomes-based approach to monitor service delivery," Zuma said during his reply to oral questions in the National Council of Provinces on Tuesday.

In an effort to improve service delivery, Zuma said his office and offices of premiers were jointly implementing programmes of monitoring front line service delivery with results regularly presented in Cabinet and other forums such as the Presidential Coordinating Council (PCC).

Responding to Oral replies around the work of the PCC and what is has done so far, Zuma said the council continues to rigorously look at the how government works and has given top officials "a clear direction of what we expect in terms of improving service delivery and citizen care."

The PCC, chaired by Zuma, and consisting of the Ministry for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation, Treasury, the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) and the nine provincial premiers, among others, is seen as a key platform where spheres of government can reflect and learn from their success and challenges.

"It coordinates and promotes the cooperation of the three spheres of government," said Zuma adding that it also discusses issues of concern such as local government protests with a view to finding solutions..

"The very existence of the Presidential Coordinating Council is to identify and address service delivery challenges by providing a forum where we can identify good practices. "

While the PCC respects individuals and communities' right to voice their concern, Zuma said they condemn the violence and destruction of property in affected municipalities.

Nearly every province has had its share of protests at grassroots level and reasons for the discontent are common, from the slow pace of service delivery in housings, to allegations of corrupt municipal officials.

Zuma a told MPs that the PCC has requested the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster to report on how to solve the issue of violent protests.

Detailing some of the work being done so far by the PCC , Zuma mentioned the non-delivery and performance agreements by ministers and departments, issues around clean audits and how these are obtained and ways to improve service delivery.

Onc such was the report which was received from the Free State province reflecting on non-viable municipalities that impact on service delivery.

He said the Free State resolved that the Performance Monitoring and Evaluation Department must continue to monitor progress.

The council has also tasked the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs as well as the National Treasury to survey all provinces around non-viable municipalities and come up with proposals on what needs to be done with such municipalities.