06 July 2007
The Limpopo government is to spend over R3.6-billion on upgrading and providing new infrastructure, while also assisting municipalities to implement the new Property Rates Act and to handle their finances better.
Provincial local government and housing spokesperson Clayson Monyela said this week that the department would also spend over R1-billion for rural electrification.
In addition R600-million has been allocated for municipal support, township establishments and site demarcations, which forms part of the province’s plan to improve capacity within municipalities to deal with issues of financial viability and infrastructure development.
“We have to co-ordinate over R4-billion over and above other budgets by parastatals and sector departments to enhance infrastructure and service delivery,” Monyela said.
He said most of the province’s towns were experiencing capacity constraints, due to ageing infrastructure that could not cope with current growth in demand.
Given the massive rural sanitation backlog in the province, he said the department was investigating alternative innovative technologies as a replacement to the pit latrines.
“We are also going to use the expanded public works programme approach to ensure that we involve many of the beneficiaries in the actual projects implementation so that we can maximise delivery,” he said.
Several dams being commissioned or completed, he explained, would go a long way in ensuring bulk availability of water in the province’s fast-growing towns like Polokwane, Makhado, Tzaneen, Lephalale and Tubatse.
He added that there was a bulk supply upgrade planned for linking Polokwane and Flag Boshielo Dam which will ease supply pressures to the capital city.
The department is also assisting municipalities to ensure institutional structures are conducive to implementing their integrated development plans and accelerating service delivery.
Monyela said the department was committed in ensuring all key positions in the province municipalities were filled. These positions, he said included those of municipal, technical and planning managers.
“To this end we continue to second experts to municipalities with capacity constraints through Project Consolidate,” he said.
Through the Project Consolidate, government deploys experts including experienced municipal managers from efficient municipalities, senior local government officials, private sector managers and officials from local government institutes, to 136 municipalities around the country that have been identified as “weak”, assisting them to improve operations and make better use of available resources.
“We also continue to assist municipalities with revenue enhancement strategies so that more revenue can be collected to increase available resources for service delivery,” Monyela said.
He added the department would also assist municipalities to implement the Property Rates Act through development of valuation rolls, by-laws and rates policies.