Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) Minister Zweli Mkhize says police are making inroads in addressing the killing of councillors.
The Minister made the remarks at a media briefing, following a meeting he had with MECs in Pretoria, on Thursday.
The meeting, known as MINMEC, forms part of the Minister’s regular interaction with MECs on a wide range of issues affecting local government.
“The police informed MINMEC that they are pulling all the stops to ensure that perpetrators are brought to book.
“In fact police are now concentrating on finding out who is behind the killings and not just those who pull the trigger. This is an important step,” said Mkhize.
In total, 52 councillors have been killed and the bulk of those are in KwaZulu-Natal with 34 having been killed.
Seven have been killed in Gauteng, three in the Western Cape, four in the Eastern Cape and one in the Northern Cape.
The MINMEC meeting took place against the recent announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa of a stimulus package to boost the economy.
Municipal Recovery Program
Announcing the stimulus package, President Ramaphosa said 57 priority pilot municipalities were identified in order to unlock infrastructure spending in the short term.
Discussions at the meeting were aimed at ensuring that CoGTA contributes to the measures to revive the economy by fixing municipalities.
In addressing challenges in municipalities, government aims to ensure development in the local sphere, enable government to boost economic growth and job creation.
In line with the stimulus package announced by the President, MINMEC noted and supported the co-ordinated service delivery approach in the 57 identified pilot municipalities.
The service delivery approach aims to reach the greatest number of households still requiring basic services, accelerating support to municipalities and prioritising informal settlements.
These interventions are being effected through the Municipal Infrastructure Support Agent (MISA).
Over 80 built environment professionals have been dispatched to work with municipalities and increase their technical capabilities.
This intervention is set to deal with sewer spillages, unlock capital and address issues such as developing capital investment plans.
As a first phase, nine municipalities out of the 57 have been prioritised focusing on the following area per municipality.
- Eastern Cape: Buffalo City Metro (sewer, water service, poor condition of roads ); Makana Local Municipality (mining distress, water service);
- Free State: Matjabeng Local Municipality (mining distress, water service);
- Gauteng: City of Joburg Metro (sanitation, roads, spatial transformation and consolidation);
- KwaZulu-Natal: Msunduzi Local Municipality (electricity, roads);
- Limpopo: Thabazimbi Local Municipality (mining distress, informal settlements, bulk sewer, spatial transformation& consolidation);
- Mpumalanga: Govan Mbeki local municipality (sewer spillage, housing, roads, spatial consolidation);
- Northern Cape: Sol Plaaitjie (informal settlements, water service, electricity, roads);
- North West: Madibeng Local Municipality (sewer dam, informal settlements, mining distress, water services, roads, spatial transformation and consolidation); and
- Western Cape: George Local Municipality (informal settlements, sewer, electricity, spatial transformation and consolidation).
COGTA has also roped in business through Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) to work on a joint programme to address service delivery failures and their impact on business. – SAnews.gov.za