Speeches

Department of Local Government Budget Vote Speech 2014/15

20 March 2014

Speech delivered by Mr Anton Bredell, Minister Of Local Government, Environmental Affairs And Development Planning at the Provincial Legislature

Honourable Speaker,
Honourable Premier of the Western Cape,
Provincial Cabinet Colleagues,
Members of the Provincial Legislature,
Executive Mayors,
Municipal Managers,
Partners in Local Government,
Invited Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen.
 

Mr Speaker,

In everything we do, we should remember one key fact: we have a poverty rate of 35% in the Western Cape.

This means that one in every three households earns less than R3 500 per month. The aim of the National Development Plan is to eliminate poverty by 2030, and therefore our programmes, our budgets, and all our efforts should be directed at meeting this goal.

You may ask what the role of the Department of Local Government is in eliminating poverty. Everything that my Department does has a direct or indirect impact on poverty.

If a municipality is misusing resources, not prioritising the poor, or not delivering services, it is the poor who suffer most.

When fires break out, it is the people in shack settlements who are left the most destitute.  

When people have to travel far to access government services, it is the poor who are most likely not to have an ID, and without an ID you cannot get a job.

My Departement verrig in elkeen van hierdie opsigte ’n funksie.

Deur munisipaliteite te ondersteun om doelmatige en doeltreffende organisasies te bestuur, word dienslewering verbeter.

Deur bewustheid oor korrupsie te verhoog en infrastruktuurtenderprosesse te ondersteun, word hulpbronne nie vermors nie.

Deur die strategieë van Geïntegreerde Ontwikkelingsplanne te assesseer, kan die prioriteite van die armes geprioritiseer word.

Ons moet die toestande skep waarin armoede kan verdwyn.

Meneer die Speaker, ek is trots om te sê dat my Departement die afgelope vyf jaar ’n betekenisvolle bydrae in hierdie opsig gelewer het, en dat die programme in ons Jaarlikse Prestasieplan vir 2014/2015 hierdie werk sal voortsit.

Ek het in die verlede aan die Huis verslag gelewer dat my Departement, saam met ander belanghebbendes, die afgelope vier jaar munisipaliteite ondersteun het om voortdurend 99%  van die Munisipale Infrastruktuurtoelaag te bestee.

Dit is my voorreg om 100%-besteding vir die munisipale verslagperiode eindigend Junie 2013 aan te kondig, met die volgende beste provinsie wat 94% behaal het.

Dit het ’n verbetering in dienslewering tot gevolg gehad.

Die 2013 Algemene Huishoudingspeiling het aangedui dat tussen 2010 en 2012, die provinsie ’n verbetering in toegang tot die minimumvlak van basiese dienste aangetoon het.

99% van Wes-Kaapse inwoners het toegang tot waterdienste.

93.4% het toegang tot elektrisiteit.

91% het toegang tot sanitasie.

91% het toegang tot vullisverwydering.

Daarby het die nasionale Produktiwiteitsindeks van 2013 aangedui dat sewe van die top 10 presterende munisipaliteite in die land in die Wes-Kaap is.

Gemeenskappe se vlak van toegang tot basiese dienste is ’n belangrike aanduider van die prestasie van munisipaliteite, en speel ’n groot rol in die opheffing van mense uit armoede. Dit is alles te danke aan die werk van my Departement en vele ander vennote wat hard werk om te verseker dat die toegewese begunstigdes die basiese dienste ontvang.

However, I am concerned about the condition of electricity networks in municipalities. My Department has allocated an additional R1 million to support municipalities with a project which will focus on the preparation of comprehensive electrical Master Plans for medium-voltage networks in local municipalities.  

This will provide municipalities with extensive information about their systems, which will give them the basis for building more houses and applying for electrification funding.

We all know that the Province is susceptible to fires. My Department invested in proactive measures to ensure timely response. We enhanced our aerial fire fighting capacity even more, and we managed to extinguish more than 95% of all wildland fires within one hour of the fires being detected. In 2014/15, we have allocated R5.8 million to aerial fire-fighting.

Over the last three years my Department has done extensive research to identify the fire risk of the province and is now following a proactive, integrated approach which includes enforcement, education and engineering solutions.

We have established community emergency response teams in the Central Karoo, Eden, Overberg, West Coast and Cape Winelands Districts.  These are response teams recruited from the community and trained and equipped to respond rapidly to informal settlement fires.

In addition, fire awareness programmes are run on a continuous basis, with the most vulnerable communities being targeted.

The municipal fire and rescue services and disaster management centres in the Province face major capacity challenges due to a lack of sufficient formal training.  

In partnership with the Department of Community Safety, the Department will develop part of the Wolwekloof Resort in the Cape Winelands District into a provincial fire and disaster management training facility, and has allocated R1 million for this purpose.

Die Provinsie het die afgelope paar maande twee vloedvoorvalle wat tot provinsiale rampe verklaar is, beleef.

Die Wes-Kaapse Rampbestuursentrum het tydens die November 2013-vloede hulp verleen met die suksesvolle ontruiming van die Vergelegen Hospitaal en ’n ouetehuis. Dit was die eerste keer dat ’n hospitaal as gevolg van ’n natuurlike ramp ontruim moes word.

Die Januarie 2014-vloede het ook munisipaliteite beïnvloed, waaronder Laingsburg. Deur die doeltreffende bestuur van provinsiale en plaaslike belanghebbendes was ons in staat om die impak van die vloede te minimaliseer sodat geen lewens verloor is nie.

Die totale begroting vir rampbestuur is R25 miljoen in 2014/2015.

Geagte Speaker, oor die afgelope twee jaar het my Departement munisipaliteite ondersteun om hulle stelsels, strukture en diensleweringsmeganismes te verbeter. Die Departement het spesialiswerk in ’n aantal munisipaliteite gefasiliteer.

Byvoorbeeld, Knysna, George, Kannaland, Breedevallei, Theewaterskloof, Swellendam en Laingsburg-munisipaliteite is met organisatoriese herontwerp bygestaan, terwyl ander munisipaliteite ondersteun is om die TASK-stelsel te implementeer, produktiwiteitsassesserings in te stel en prestasiebestuurstelsels te verbeter.

The organisational re-design project involved a review of the existing structure of a municipality and the re-design of it to reflect local conditions, operational requirements, and service delivery demands.  Structures were also aligned with municipal IDPs and budgets.  This will lead to improved productivity and financial sustainability over the medium- to longer-term. 

As a result of the success of these initiatives, a number of municipalities came forward to request further targeted support from the Department.  Together with Provincial Treasury, we are identifying initiatives that will address the challenges in specific municipalities.  

An amount of R20 million has been set aside for this purpose for Provincial Treasury and the Department.  I believe that this differentiated approach is critical in strengthening the capacity of municipalities to fulfil their constitutional responsibilities.

Ons ondersteun ook munisipaliteite om goeie administrasies in stand te hou.

Die afgelope jaar het ons ’n Nakomingsmodel aan 11 munisipaliteite bekend gestel, wat voorsiening maak vir beide finansiële en nie-finansiële nakoming van wetgewing. Hierdie model is ontwerp om munisipaliteite op hoogte te hou van die jongste veranderinge ten opsigte van wetgewing.

Munisipaliteite wat die afgelope jaar van die Nakomingsmodel gebruik gemaak het, het dit verwelkom. Ek glo dat hierdie Nakomingsmodel munisipaliteite se taak sal vergemaklik, want dit verminder die koste van verslagdoening.

My Departement sal R400 000 benut om nog ses munisipaliteite te ondersteun om die Nakomingsmodel in die komende jaar in werking te stel.

We have also compiled Municipal Codes for 26 municipalities.

A Municipal Code is a collection of all the by-laws in a municipality going back to 1912.  The final four Codes will be provided in 2014/15, and will assist municipalities to consistently enforce their by-laws. 

Mr Speaker, sound administration is the backbone of effective service delivery, which is why we have focused so many of our efforts on it.  One indication of good governance and sound administration is the audit outcome of a municipality.  

For the 2012/13 financial year, there were 11 clean audits and 17 unqualified audits, which is a significant improvement on previous years.

Mr Speaker, it is the job of government to provide the tools and the enabling environment to address poverty and it is the job of citizens is to make use of these opportunities. This is the essence of Better Together.

Two key resources that people can use to move out of poverty are information and access to government services. Our Community Development Workers and our Thusong Programme provide both.

In the past year, 18 national and provincial departments participated in our Thusong Programme, and we have also seen the private sector and non-governmental organisations all working under one roof to bring services and information to people where they live.

In the past 12 months, we have reached 72 341 people through Thusong Outreaches and have provided services to a further 1.2 million people through our Thusong Centres.

We will continue with this successful programme by training Thusong Personnel and drawing up Thusong Plans together with each municipality.

A Thusong Plan is a geographic plan that shows where various Thusong Services will be delivered throughout the year.

Through these plans, we have been able to ensure that over 90% of Western Cape residents have access to Thusong services at least once a year within 25 kilometres of where they live.

This work will continue in the coming year, with an amount of R11 million being allocated to the Service Delivery Integration programme.

Linked to the Thusong Programme is the Community Development Worker programme, which in the past year conducted 457 information sessions in communities and facilitated over 26 107 case referrals on various issues such as applying for social grants and dealing with domestic violence.

This programme will continue to give people the services and information with which they can improve their lives.

Meneer die Speaker, die mense van die Wes-Kaap wil konkrete vooruitgang in hul gemeenskappe sien, en hulle speel ’n sentrale rol in die verwesenliking daarvan. Deur hulle te vra om hulle mees kritieke behoeftes te identifiseer en om oplossings daarvoor voor te stel, kan ons saam werk om ’n verskil in hulle lewens te maak.

Die afgelope boekjaar het my Departement die Bergrivier-, George-, Langeberg-, Hessekwa-, Stellenbosch-, Breedevallei- en Laingsburg-munisipaliteite ondersteun om gebiedsgebaseerde ontwikkelingsplanne op te stel.

Hierdie planne voorsien praktiese projekte vir implementering in ondervoorsiene gemeenskappe. My Departement sal voortgaan om hierdie beplanningsbenadering te institusionaliseer en dit sal Geïntegreerde Ontwikkelingsplanne meer verteenwoordigend van gemeenskapsbehoeftes maak.

Meneer die Speaker, die Premier het in haar Provinsiale Rede aangedui dat geen regering op haar eie ’n beter lewe kan waarborg nie en dat vooruitgang die produk van vennootskappe is.

Ons ontwikkelingsvennote is onder andere wykskomitees. Daarom het my Departement die afgelope jaar munisipaliteite ondersteun om funksionele en doeltreffende wykskomiteestelsels, asook doeltreffende kommunikasie met gemeenskappe, te verseker.

In die komende jaar sal ons wykskomitees in agt munisipaliteite oor gemeenskapsgebaseerde beplanning oplei en die agt munisipaliteite help om bedryfsplanne vir die wykskomitees te ontwikkel.

Ons voorsien ook meer opleiding aan munisipale beamptes oor kommunikasie en sal ook munisipaliteite ondersteun om hulle webwerwe te verbeter.

’n Totaal van R6.2 miljoen is toegewys aan munisipale kommunikasie-steun en R7.2 miljoen aan die Openbare Deelname-direktoraat vir volgende jaar.

Mr Speaker, I believe that one of the reasons that poverty is still so widespread is because of weak horizontal and vertical coordination amongst spheres of government. We need to work together to achieve a greater impact.

My Department leads the provincial strategic objective 10, which is “integrated service delivery for maximum impact”.

We have recognised the need to strengthen collaboration and strategic coordination across the board.  To this end, the Department introduced the Intergovernmental Planning and Budgeting Framework (IGPBF).

This framework is aimed at ensuring that municipalities and provincial and national departments participate in a coherent planning and budgetary process that will fast-track implementation of government projects.

As part of the Intergovernmental Planning and Budgeting Framework, the Department is using the IDP Indaba to ensure that municipal IDPs inform provincial and national planning and vice versa.

The recent IDP Indaba saw over 1 000 government officials within the province and across all districts meeting to discuss ways to improve service delivery in our communities. 

Due to great interest expressed in the IDP Indaba across the province, my Department is entering the next phase, which is to move toward joint planning, and my Department will be bringing departments together in a few municipalities this year to draw up joint long-term plans.

Given the central role that the IDP team is playing in coordinating the plans of the three spheres of government, we are allocating an additional R1.3 million to fill new posts in the IDP directorate, with the entire programme receiving R7.7 million.

We will also continue to monitor the performance of municipalities.

This coming year my Department will undertake an assessment of performance agreements of section 57 appointees (senior managers in municipalities) against Service Delivery and Budget Implementation Plans.  

By doing this we will be able to promote alignment between the IDP and the performance agreements of senior managers and thereby take accountability to the next level. We are allocating R5 million to the local government monitoring team for 2014/15.

Meneer die Speaker, ons kan nie ons mense dien indien ons bestuurstelsels nie betroubaar is nie, en ek kan nie munisipaliteite bystaan indien ek nie die vermoë het om spesifieke situasies te assesseer nie.

Ons is nou in die finale stadium van promulgering van die Wetsontwerp op die Wes-Kaapse Monitering en Ondersteuning van Munisipaliteite.

Alle openbare verhore en komiteeprosesse is voltooi en ek verwag dat die Wetsontwerp binnekort deur die Wetgewer bekragtig sal word.

Sodra dit gepromulgeer is, sal hierdie Wet dit makliker maak vir die Departement om hulle moniteringsrol te vervul in gevalle van nie-uitvoering van ’n statutêre verpligting, wanadministrasie, bedrog of korrupsie.

Conclusion

Honourable Speaker, when I look back on the last five years, I am proud to say that my Department has put many programmes in place that enable people to move out of poverty.

In disaster management, we have shifted our focus to risk reduction, as we understand that the poor suffer most when disasters occur.

We have also ensured quick and effective response to disasters by upgrading our provincial Centre and building the disaster management capability of municipalities.  

We have provided many support programmes to municipalities that have resulted in improved governance and administration, as evidenced by municipal audit outcomes.

We have expanded our services to the public through the Community Development Worker and Thusong Programmes, giving people the information and services that they need.

The Annual Performance Plan for 2014/15 solidifies and expands this work.

I know that the journey to eliminating poverty may be a long one, but I commit the resources of my Department to reaching this goal.

Media Enquiries: 
Rudolf van Jaarsveldt
Tel: 021 483 4051
Fax: 021 483 3211
Cell: 076 319 5027