17 June 2014
Special assistance will be provided to a number of struggling municipalities, and at least 100 water and sanitation projects fast-tracked, as the government moves to resolve problems with service delivery across the country, President Jacob Zuma announced on Tuesday.
Delivering his State of the Nation address to Parliament in Cape Town, Zuma said the government had listened to ordinary South Africans’ complaints and proposals regarding local service delivery over the past five years.
“I would like to share with you now our plan of action to revitalise local government,” Zuma said, adding that the government had evaluated all municipalities’ capacity for financial management, rolling out projects and responding to service delivery protests.
He said that at least 100 local infrastructure projects, mainly in water and sanitation, would be started and completed over the next 12 months, while special assistance would be provided to a number of municipalities as follows:
- In Amathole District Municipality in the Eastern Cape, the Development Bank of Southern Africa has approved funding for infrastructure development.
- In Umzinyathi District Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal, funding will be provided to develop infrastructure projects covering mainly the electrification of households. The local municipalities to be serviced include Msinga, Umvoti and Nqutu.
- In Alfred Nzo District Municipality in the Eastern Cape, funding will be provided for infrastructure development projects covering water provision, sanitation and electrification. Local municipalities involved include Mbizana and Ntabankulu, catering for a population of about one-million people.
- In Lukhanji Local Municipality in the Eastern Cape, the government will reorganise the local administration and implement support plans for the provision of water and electricity.
- In OR Tambo District Municipality in the Eastern Cape, the government will stabilise and restructure the local administration and fast-track the implementation of the Presidential Intervention Plans.
- In Mbashe Local Municipality in the Eastern Cape, the government will implement waste management plans and address ground water contamination issues.
- In Ngaka Modiri Molema District Municipality in North West province, the government will provide support and work with the Development Bank of Southern Africa to resolve financing for water and sanitation infrastructure.
- The City of Joburg in Gauteng province will receive assistance with resolving problems with its billing system.
- In Moqhaka Local Municipality in the Free State, the government will assist with the eradication of the bucket system and open toilet challenges.
Task team to eradicate bucket sanitation system
Zuma announced that an inter-ministerial task team on service delivery, led by Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Pravin Gordhan, has been established to eradicate the bucket sanitation system throughout South Africa.
The ministers of Planning, Performance Monitoring and Evaluation in the Presidency, Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation, Transport, Home Affairs, Public Enterprises, Energy, Rural Development and Land Reform, Health, and Basic Education will also be part of the task team.
Responding to rapid urbanisation
Zuma said his new administration would also focus on the country’s response to urbanisation.
“South Africa is becoming an urban country. By 2011, almost 63% of our population were residing in towns and cities, and this trend is expected to continue over the coming decade. Our government’s Integrated Urban Development Framework will be finalised by 30 July 2014.”
He said the plan would set out a policy framework on how South Africa’s cities and towns could be reorganised to become inclusive, resource-efficient and “good places to live in” over the next 20 to 30 years.