New service delivery approach for Gauteng

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Johannesburg - The Gauteng provincial government is consulting with all its municipalities to develop what it called "minimum service standards" which will apply throughout the province.

Speaking after her recent meeting with mayors and municipal managers, the province's Premier Nomvula Mokonyane said the aim of the new approach, scheduled to begin in September, was to speed up service delivery in the country's economic capital.

Gauteng has seen the eruption of major service delivery protests in the recent past which have fueled tensions between local authorities and communities.

But Mokonyane said the service standards would be made public to allow the public to use them to assess the performance of government with regards to the provision of basic services.

"While these issues of basic services correctly remain a function of local government, the provincial government will not stand at a distance and only point fingers when services are not rendered," Mokonyane said.

Authorities would, under the new strategy, work with municipalities to assist them in ensuring that people including those leaving in remote parts of the province had access to basic services, she added.

She said the meeting had helped municipalities to develop clear plans to ensure that they were in a position to guarantee uninterrupted provision of basic services.

"They all made commitments to collect refuse at least once a week, maintain water and electricity distribution infrastructure to ensure uninterrupted supply of services to consumers"

The meeting had also devised a plan to quell any possible recurrence of xenophobic incidents in the province.

"We will be putting together a team to look at the way people are integrated in the province and how they are living amongst each other. We remain committed in our statements that South Africans are not xenophobic and we have proven that on a number occasions during the World Cup," said Mokonyane.