R700m for better service delivery

26 October 2006

The government has budgeted more than R700-million over the next three years for improving service delivery in South Africa, particularly at the local level.

“The 2007 budget proposes to allocate more than R700-million over the next three years to Siyenza Manje,” Finance Minister Trevor Manuel said while tabling the 2006 Medium Term Budget Policy Statement in Parliament in Cape Town on Wednesday.

Siyenza Manje is a government initiative, primarily driven by the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), which provides hands-on technical expertise to municipalities in a range of disciplines, including financial management and planning.

This helps develop skills which are essential for the effective delivery of services.

In the year to March 2006, South Africa’s municipalities received R120-million from the DBSA’s capacity building grant, up from R74-million in 2004/05 and R41-million in 2003/04.

Manuel told Parliament that while there were many components of the civil service that worked well, there were also clear inadequacies. Municipalities had to deal with severe capacity challenges, negatively affecting the delivery of basic services and the achievement of water and sanitation targets.

He said the government had become concerned that, in many cases, increased resources resulting accelerated public spending over the past five years had not been translated into increased outputs.

“And so the public has not always seen the benefit of the significant rise in public spending.”

Source: BuaNews