Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Pravin Gordhan says local government needs to go “back to basics” in order to improve on the delivery of services to citizens.
Minister Gordhan said this will top the agenda when government convenes a summit on local government on Thursday.
Minister Gordhan was leading a media briefing for the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on Information and Publicity, and sitting in for the chairperson – Minister in the Presidency responsible for Planning, Performance, Monitoring, Evaluation and Administration, Jeff Radebe.
President Jacob Zuma will lead the Presidential Local Government Summit at the Gallagher Estate Conference Centre in Midrand, with addressing service delivery challenges being the envisaged outcome.
This is the second briefing that the information and publicity IMC is holding in two weeks.
“I conducted a rapid assessment of the state of local government.
“The assessment covered political stability, governance, service delivery, financial management, institutional management and community satisfaction.
“In response, the Department of Cooperative Governance initiated a process of setting benchmarks for municipalities to perform their basic responsibilities, every day, without fail,” he said.
“This led to the development of the ‘Back to Basics’ Strategy. This approach is about responding vigorously to immediate needs, understanding and responding to structural challenges, building resilient local government institutions and collectively shaping intergovernmental planning and delivery.”
Minister Gordhan said the new strategy was in line with President Zuma’s vision that local government must be in the forefront of improving people’s lives and creating conditions for inclusive economic growth and job creation.
“Back to Basics will ensure that in every municipality, traffic lights work, potholes are filled, water is delivered, refuse is collected, electricity is supplied, and refuse and waste management takes place,” he said.
Deputy President appointed as SADC facilitator in Lesotho
Meanwhile, Minister Gordhan also told journalists that following the Double Troika Summit of the Heads of State and Government that was held in Pretoria on Monday, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa was appointed as the Southern African Development Community (SADC) facilitator in the Lesotho Kingdom.
He said this happened after the summit considered the security and political situation in the region.
“The Summit mandated the Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa … supported by the Secretariat and a team of experts from Troika Member States, to act as SADC facilitator to the Kingdom of Lesotho. The Deputy President, Secretariat and experts have clear Terms of Reference (ToRs) to facilitate the restoration of political and security stability in the Kingdom of Lesotho, in the short and long term,” he said.
Govt welcomes SA-UK SKA fund
The Minister said government had welcomed the South Africa-United Kingdom Newton Fund to financially support science and innovation cooperation between the two countries.
He said the fund would release R500 million over the next four years in support of various local projects and institutions such as the Medical Research Council, the National Research Foundation and the Square Kilometre Array.
“It will assist in the training of the next generation of scientists and involve industry to ensure investments contribute to economic growth and employment creation,” he said.
Source : SAnews.gov.za