Programmes Established to Support Municipalities
Media Statement by Minister Anton Bredell
The Department of Local Government is committed to ensuring that new councillors are adequately equipped to perform their duties to the best of their abilities. To this end, the Department has established two programmes that will provide municipalities with the expertise and skills that they need to adequately perform their tasks.
Firstly, the Department has created a "Pool of Expertise" in the field of local government. This "pool" consists of a database of service providers that can provide specialist assistance to municipalities. This capacity was created by the Department to provide immediate support to municipalities and is meant to complement internal capabilities within municipalities.
In order to access support through this programme, municipalities need to draft a detailed Terms of Reference for the support they require, and this is registered with the Department. The Department then appoints service providers from its "Pool of Expertise" to implement the project.
Secondly, the Department has entered into a strategic partnership with a German donor, GIZ, to strengthen its support to municipalities. Based on the Municipal Support Plans developed by the Department and municipalities, support needs were identified in the areas of governance, administration, disaster management, finance, planning, municipal recovery support and advisory services. These support needs will be addressed by "Municipal Professionals", who are people with more than ten years' experience in municipalities.
The municipal professionals will be contracted on a fixed-term contract or on an ad hoc retainer basis to implement specific projects or to provide ad hoc advisory and support services in municipalities.
It is Province's role to support municipalities, and with programmes such as these, municipalities can access expert knowledge. They are then better equipped to perform their duties and to maintain a high level of service delivery for their communities.