W Cape provincial govt aims for world-class status

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Pretoria - The Western Cape aims to be the best run regional government in the world, Premier Helen Zille said as she tabled the province's R697 million provincial budget vote on Wednesday.

"We don't just want to be the best run government in the country. Our aim for the Western Cape is to be the best run regional government in the world," she said.

The province allocated R32 million this year, from R38 million last year, to provincial strategic management. The reduction is a result of the completion of the 2010 World Cup tournament, of which R12 million was used to upgrade the Philippi stadium as well as marketing the province, among other things. 

The province has established the Executive Provincial Dashboard (EPD) that gives information on any project and projects running behind schedule or over budget. The EPD currently holds 512 active projects. The Western Cape is working on an IT programme that will enable all the province's municipalities to access it for their own monitoring and evaluation processes. 

Human resources in the province will account for R117 million of the pie -- an increase of R28 million resulting from shifts from other departments.

"Professionalising the management of human resources is key to achieving the objectives of the provincial strategic plan. The best run governments in the world understand the value of appointing the right people in the right places," said the premier.

The province also expressed its commitment to improve staff training with 5 000 staff members expected to receive training through province's Provincial Training Institute (PTI).

The province's Centre for E-Innovation will receive the lion's share of the budget at R395 million. 

The centre is responsible for providing information and communication technology services across the provincial government. Some of these services include maintaining operations for the 19 Cape Access Centres in rural areas, which gives people access to a computer and free internet. 

Meanwhile, the process of upgrading the province's IT operating system began with 3 000 users already having been migrated to the new technology platform.

The budget increase for corporate assurance, which comprises internal auditing, corporate communication and enterprise risk management was R89 million from R77 million last year. 

"We are also paying special attention to sound financial management through the development of an advanced internal auditing system."

Administration of the province will receive R64 million.

"We have come a long way... there is still much work to be done. If we can get the machinery of government working, if we can appoint the right people in the right places and if we can be at the cutting edge of technology that serves people, we can make a huge impact in citizen's lives over time," said Zille.