17 August 2019
The 2nd Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs meeting of the Minister and MECs (MINMEC) took place on 16 August 2019 in Pretoria. A number of critical issues within the CoGTA portfolio were discussed.
The MINMEC was chaired by Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma and was also attended by the CoGTA Deputy Ministers, Mr Obed Bapela and Mr Parks Tau, chairperson of the portfolio committee – Mr Dodovu, provincial MECs, heads of department in provinces, leadership of the National House of Traditional Leaders (NHTL), the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) and the leadership of the Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB).
The meeting took place against the recent discussions in government on the ways and approaches to improve service delivery at the local sphere. The discussions were aimed at ensuring that CoGTA contributes to this national imperative by ensuring that municipalities are functioning effectively and are able to contribute to development characterized by economic growth and job creation.
1) The meeting received a presentation on the National Disaster Management which is an important component within government. In meeting the objective of improving the disaster management function in the country in line with the requirements of the applicable legislation, the need has been established to investigate the optimum corporate form and institutional configuration for the National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC) in line Disaster Management Act 2002 and other legislations and policies.
2) The meeting also discussed the new District Coordination Model to improve the coherence and impact of government service delivery and development. The President in the 2019 Presidency Budget Speech (2019) identified the “pattern of operating in silos” as a challenge which led to “lack of coherence in planning and implementation and has made monitoring and oversight of government’s programme difficult”. The consequence has been non optimal delivery of services and diminished impact on the triple challenges of poverty, inequality and employment. The President further called for the rolling out of “a new integrated district based approach to addressing our service delivery challenges [and] localise[d] procurement and job creation, that promotes and supports local businesses, and that involves communities.”
Guided by section 154 of the constitution:
– “The national and provincial government, by legislative and other measures, must support and strengthen the capacity of municipalities to manage their own affairs, to exercise their powers and to perform their functions”.
The new model will see the use of all the 44 district municipalities and 8 metros as the centres to deliver services to communities. Through the model, government aims to strengthen monitoring and evaluation and impact at district level. Instead of new legislations, the IGR legislations can assist supported by the various policies. This model will be implemented within the existing constitutional framework to reinforce local government, reconfigure integrated planning responsibilities and institutional arrangements. The model will be piloted at OR Tambo district municipality and the launch will be held in early in September 2019 in Lusikisiki, Eastern Cape Province.
The various departments and the province will bring together all their plans to consolidate for comprehensive implementation of the district model going forward. “The district model approach is important as it bring the local sphere at the centre of government”, said Minister Dlamini Zuma. The meeting noted that the further discussions will continue at various levels, including at the Presidential Coordinating Council (PCC). The MINMEC has also agreed to continue discussions to ensure that the model is fine tuned.
3) The meeting was also briefed on Human Settlements looking at Spatial transformation and consolidation. The rationale for Human Settlements Spatial Transformation and Consolidation aims to ensure housing delivery advances spatial restructuring and consolidation within the priority spaces; facilitate inclusive residential property markets and assets creation. Currently, the country has just over 1900 housing settlements across the country which should contribute to human settlement transformation. The purpose is to target and prioritise areas for integrated housing and human settlements development to ensure the delivery of housing typologies within integrated mixed use developments. Consultation are currently ongoing with regards to Priority Housing and Housing Development Areas (PHDAs) identified through spatial analysis (local economy, housing need, opportunity and growth). The interventions are meant to respond to the current and future needs for housing in the country. The meeting appreciated the presentation which provided clarity on housing matters which affects local government and recommended more collaboration and integrated planning taking into consideration inputs across spheres and departments in finalising the PHDAs.
4) The meeting received a presentation on SA Connect which looks at meeting the broadband challenges. A key objective of SA Connect is that broadband must reach a critical mass of South Africans across the country. Broadband as an ecosystem of digital networks, services, applications, content and devices, will be firmly integrated into the economic and social fabric of the country.
The implementation will be achieved through a two phased approach implementation and the strategy includes connecting schools, clinics, post offices, police stations and other government facilities to 10Mbps:
- Phase 1: 6135 facilities (8 District Municipalities) and
- Phase 2: 35211 facilities, (44 District Municipalities)
The implementation of the first phase is already underway since March 2018 and the coordination and cooperation across government spheres. The meeting recognised the importance of connectivity which comprises the broadband infrastructure and the internet service. Stakeholders are regularly engaged, through provincial steering committees, to provide project status update and to ensure alignment between SA Connect and provincial broadband plans.
Minister indicated that connectivity is at the centre of economic development in any country, hence the importance of the discussion. The meeting agreed that connectivity as one of the major economic stimulus, should be prioritised.
In conclusion, MINMEC committed to work and faster in a coordinated manner to ensuring that the sector meets its national objectives of improving living conditions of the people and also of improving the climate for economic growth and development in municipalities. To, this effect, MINMEC agreed to prioritise action in municipalities that are having challenges.
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Pretoria: Issued by the Ministry of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs