Minister to propose changes in municipal operations

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Johannesburg - Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Sicelo Shiceka is expected to submit a proposal to amend the operations at municipalities when Cabinet meets this week.

The amendments would see the adoption of a new approach to service delivery to involve public participation.

"We want to create a situation where the views of people are taken seriously. Municipalities must make sure that they involve public participation on their day-to-day operations. We want municipalities to take charge of their own space," said the minister on Saturday.

He added that there were going to be changes in terms of the municipality's structures and composition. The new approach would also see counsellors given more powers to make decisions.

"We want to make amendments to municipality's operations as soon as possible," he said.

Shiceka said that by increasing the levels of public participation, the incident of protests by community members over service delivery would be reduced. In recent months, communities in various parts of the country have embarked on violent protests demanding better service delivery among other things.

The minister was addressing the media after a visit to Brazil where he led a government delegation to obtain inputs and identify international good practices that could be used to bolster the envisaged Local Government Turn Around Strategy.

The strategy is aimed at explaining in detail how government plans to change the state of local government in a manner that will ensure that local government functions efficiently and effectively in delivering services.

This strategy is also designed to provide solutions on how the lack of service delivery in municipalities could be turned around for the benefit of the people.

The delegation comprised of Mpumalanga MEC for Local Government Norman Mokoena, South African Local Governmetn Assocation (SALGA) Deputy Chairperson Nokuzola Capa and Francis Baard District Municipality Mayor Achmap Florence.