Modern, Growing, Successful Province

Budget Speech 2010

SPEECH BY MK MMOIEMANG, MEMBER OF THE EXECUTIVE COUNCIL FOR CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE, HUMAN SETTLEMENTS AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS ON THE OCCASION OF THE TABLING OF BUDGET VOTE NINE FOR 2010/11 IN THE NORTHERN CAPE PROVINCIAL LEGISLATURE, KIMBERLEY

18 March 2010

Honourable Speaker and Deputy Speaker;

Honourable Members of the Provincial Legislature;

Honourable Premier and Members of the Executive Council;

Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee;

Chairperson of the Provincial House of Traditional Leaders and Traditional Leaders;

Chairperson and Leadership of SALGA Northern Cape;

Executive Mayors, Mayors, Speakers, Chief Whips and Councillors;

Veterans of our Liberation Struggle;

Our Key Partners and Stakeholder Bodies;

Acting Head of Department and Senior Management Team;

Municipal Managers;

Distinguished Guests;

Members of the Media;

Ladies and Gentlemen.

INTRODUCTION

May I set the tone for this session with the words of the greatest revolutionary of the time, Frederick Engels, 1872:

“…Until the unjust and evil system we have today is ended, planned, healthful living in cooperative, functional, truly human communities, is impossible…”

Honourable Speaker, I stand before the House to table Budget Vote Number Nine of the Department of Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs (COGHSTA), in my capacity as the Executive Authority of the Department.

This Budget Vote is presented just eight months before 05 December 2010, which marks the Tenth Anniversary of the democratic, non-racial and developmental local government system in South Africa, and a year before the third democratic municipal elections. More importantly is that it affords us time to asses whether the concept of developmental local government has found its real intended objective.

Already during the 1950s, inspired by the Atlantic Charter and the 1948 United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Ngaka Silas Modiri Molema expressing the prevailing spirit of optimism wrote:

“Generally speaking, there has been a complete revolution from the abject condition of existence…Poverty has given way to varied possessions and amenities that spell comparative comfort; ignorance has been replaced by increasing information, and knowledge of life and its purpose; filth and squalor by order and cleanliness; depravity by decorum and decency; indolence by regular industry… The plough field, the workshop, the desk and laboratory, and other serviceable activities have absorbed the energies previously expended in the disservice of raids and wars. Women are emancipated… and have come into their own as helpmeets and equals, and compete with men on equals terms on a fair filed with no favour… A new way of life with new deeds, new thoughts, new vision, new orientation, new physical, mental and spiritual possibilities and capacities has been revealed…”

It is common cause that the optimism of the early and the late 1940s reached no fruition, and thanks to the ascendancy to power of the National Party in 1948. Thus in many ways the release of Nelson Mandela from prison represented the end of the South African Diaspora. Since then, South Africans, collectively and individually have moved closer to one another getting ready to build South Africa into a secure and prosperous home for all.

These developments reaffirmed Modiri Molema’s words that “people, individuals, groups of persons, and nations – make history; and history also makes people- individuals and nations”. Mandela made history; we made history by following Mandela. Our Nation made history by seizing the moment, but history also made us a nation by providing the opportunity and the moment to act in a manner that is historically correct. History made Mandela.

Honourable Speaker, we pledge that as carriers of the baton for human survival, we will treasure and protect this legacy of a people united to build a better Northern Cape. We stand here with this view in mind: unity, determination, shared vision and common purpose. This shared view is purported to create a sense of unity and to hold people, organisations and institutions together towards a positive common end.

As the governing party, the African National Congress (ANC) has declared 2010 “The Year of Working Together to Speed up Effective Service Delivery to the People”. This declaration is a clarion call to all of us to do things differently, and do them with a new sense of urgency.

The priority areas in the ANC manifesto have found resonance with our people’s hopes and aspirations. The majority of the people of South Africa are steadfast in their belief that the ANC is the only political party with a sound, progressive vision of our country.

In the words of Anna Hoxie:

“The past is like a river flowing out of sight. The future is an ocean filled with opportunity and delight”.

We must at all times appreciate that opportunities need people who seek them, see them and thereafter seize them. Delight is the bye-product of sweat and hard work. The Freedom Charter was crafted to be such an ocean of opportunity and delight fifty-four years ago.

The tens of thousands of people from all walks of life who put forward their demands as part of the campaign leading up to the adoption of the Freedom Charter on the 26th June 1955 could not have fully comprehended the magnitude of their actions. Yet it was they who, fifty-four years ago, rose above the daily oppression and suffering of apartheid and declared “Freedom in our Life-time”.

While the apartheid system sought to deny black people their birth-right and banish them to the Bantustans and homelands, they asserted that:

“South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white, and that no government can justly claim authority unless it is based on the will of the people”.

The Freedom Charter is important today as it was important to our hero’s and heroin’s of our struggle days, some of whom are still with us today and some who unfortunately, have passed on. To that generation, we owe a great deal of debt of gratitude. Their visions, their hopes and aspirations inspired the struggles of generations to come in the knowledge that apartheid would be defeated and that a non-racial democratic South Africa would prevail.

For those who have passed on, they are no longer here to see the realisation of their vision. They can rest in the peaceful knowledge that we will not betray their vision, their teachings or their legacy. We will walk and even run on their footsteps. To those who are still with us today, the people of the Northern Cape salute you; applaud your tenacity and your staying power.

Even today the Freedom Charter remains a visionary document of all the people of South Africa. Its vision is embodied in our Constitution, in the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) and the various programmes that our government is implementing today. The Freedom Charter provides the vision which continues to inspire us as we continue our journey in the second decade of freedom and democracy.

NEW OUTCOMES-BASED APPRAOCH

Honourable Speaker, although we have made great strides in terms of providing services to our people, improving access and equalising expenditure, our people have not yet received the desired results. It must also be stated that massive increases in expenditure did not always produce the results we wanted.

It is against this backdrop that National Government, through the Ministry of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation in the Presidency, under the political leadership of Minister Collins Chabane, developed a set of performance outcomes. These outcomes effectively mark the beginning of a process for improving government performance and providing focus to our delivery. Remember, this is the year of improving service delivery and a year of action.

The outcomes and measurable outputs form the basis for performance and delivery agreements between Ministers or groups of Ministers and the President, as well as MECs or group of MEC and the Premiers.

We will concentrate on the five priorities derived from the ANC manifesto and the Medium Term Strategic Framework 2009 - 2014 which government published last year. It is our belief, as the ruling party, that our priorities and activities will steer South Africa in the right direction. This is meant to bring about focus and ensure sufficient emphasis on the most critical areas of the electoral mandate.

These choices are made to further ensure that our limited resources are used efficiently to achieve the desired outcomes. Also, this will enable us to measure delivery and better manage performance over the long-term.

Honourable Speaker, the outcomes-approach is based on a few questions that government had to ask to achieve its objectives: What are the key outcomes that government wants to achieve? Which priority outputs should we measure to see if we are achieving each outcome? Where should the system focus in order to achieve the outputs? How much do we need to invest, within limited resources, to achieve the best mix of desired outcomes? What targets should we set to achieve our desired results?

Informed by this approach, government has turned our priorities into twelve desired outcomes and their associated measurable outputs. In terms of COGHSTA, our focus will be on outcomes eight, and nine.

In terms of outcome eight, which is related to Human Settlements, we want to build sustainable Human Settlements and improved quality of household life. As a consequence of rapid urbanisation, new household formation and racially-based planning in the past, South Africa faces a significant challenge in providing affordable, sustainable accommodation to its citizens.

The key outputs that relate to human settlements are to ensure an accelerated delivery of housing opportunities and expanding access to basic services. The sustainable human settlements and improved quality of household life are defined by access to adequate accommodation that is suitable, appropriately located to allow access to economic opportunities, affordable and fiscally sustainable with access to basic and social services, and provide security of tenure.

The key activities are: placing more focus on upgrading informal settlements, reviewing standards and densities of products, accreditation of municipalities to deliver houses, implementing a backyard rental upgrading programme, and establishing a bulk infrastructure planning and funding coordination mechanism. We also need to develop a process to identify and transfer state owned land that can be used for development.

Honourable Speaker, recent developments in local government, particularly during last year, necessitated a comprehensive plan to turn around local government. In terms of outcome nine, we want to build a responsive, accountable, effective and efficient local government system. We need a differentiated approach to municipalities, as a strong link exists between the institutional and socio-economic vulnerability of municipalities. Furthermore, municipalities vary considerably in terms of size, economic base and poverty concentrations. There are very high levels of basic infrastructure services backlogs, low levels of governance and accountability, financial management is poor and there is a high staff vacancy rate.

Key outputs for this sector will be meeting the basic needs of communities and building a clean, responsive and accountable administration. Key activities, among others would be developing intergovernmental agreements on the ideal scope of services, developing and implementing a differentiated approach to municipal financing and support, developing a revised and simplified and differentiated IDP process to ensure effective planning and intergovernmental cooperation.

We also need to implement and expand Operation Clean Audit 2014, develop debt collection and revenue enhancement strategy, implement and support municipal budget and reporting regulations, review current supply chain management regulations, and develop a municipal priority skills strategy.

As COGHSTA, we believe that when we implement these activities in a focused manner, we should be able to achieve these outputs and produce the outcomes our people expect. As we have said before, these are societal outcomes that the Province should drive and not only for government. Government will provide the necessary leadership to achieve them.

Our efforts towards meeting these outcomes are reflected in our performance targets set in our Annual Performance Plan for 2010/11 financial year. For each outcome, a series of strategic outputs and measures have been identified.

REVIEW OF PROGRESS SINCE 29 JUNE 2009

Honourable Members, on 29 June 2009 we reconfirmed ourselves as COGHSTA to a whole range of issues. But experience taught us that we needed to reorganise the Department to realise our goals and objectives in order to accelerate and speed up delivery.

Our commitment remains that of improving the quality of the lives of our people. Therefore when we re-organised the Department, formulated policies; reviewed our performance, we did so in pursuit of this objective.

Human Resource Development

In line with the Executive Council decision on implementation of the Skills Development, COGHSTA has appointed ten Interns in different fields. These interns have gained work experience and have added value were they are deployed. The cost for these interns is three hundred and sixty thousand rand (R360 000). They have been prepared to occupy posts in any public sector department.

For the financial year 2009/2010, we allocated thirty-five (35) employees bursaries to the value of two hundred and fifty thousand rand (R250 000) and we hope and trust that upon completion of their studies, these employees will employ their acquired knowledge and skills in various work units to improve the standard of service delivery. To date, this bursary scheme has assisted a number of employees in various study fields and the output is twenty (20) officials that have successfully completed the qualifications.


In dealing with the skills gap in the Department, talented or scarce skilled personnel, we have awarded six (6) scholarships to deserving matriculates to study at Institutions of Higher Learning in different disciplines like Civil Engineering, Construction Management, Quantity Surveying and Project Management.

The aim is to absorb these students upon completion of their academic studies and to remain in the Province for a particular period as part of COGHSTA’s recruitment and retention strategy. Already two (2), who are beneficiaries of the scholarship, have been absorbed in the department.

Human Settlements Delivery

For the 2009/2010 financial year, the Department received a Conditional Grant Allocation of one hundred and seventy three million (R173m), and additional one hundred and fifty two million rand (R152m) for Priority Projects from the Integrated Housing and Human Settlements Development Grant. In total we received three hundred and twenty-five million rand (R325m) 2009/10 for human settlements development.

Honourable Speaker, please allow me to indicate that in terms of provision of housing to the Upington twenty (26) and our Military Veterans, we remain on course despite challenges around the size and the criteria to ensure that we fulfil all commitments we have made.

I am pleased to inform the House that we built three thousand four hundred and fifty five (3 455) houses and serviced four hundred and sixty nine (469) sites in all the five Districts of the Province at the end of December 2009. Furthermore, one thousand eight hundred and forty eight (1 848) title deeds were transferred to families. All housing beneficiaries received basic services of sanitation, water and electricity.

Priority Projects: Informal Settlement Upgrading Programme (ISUP)

Honourable Speaker, we are all aware that the National Department of Human Settlements identified the following Informal Settlements Upgrading Projects (ISUP) as priority projects for the Northern Cape.

These projects are Colesberg: Ouboks two thousand two hundred and twenty units (2 220); Kimberley: Lerato Park five thousand units (5 000), Upington nine hundred and fifteen units (915), John Taolo Gaetsewe four thousand five hundred units (4 500) and Pampierstad one thousand four hundred and fifty units (1 450). In all these five ISUP projects, much progress has been made and we will in the 2010/11 financial year continue with the projects.

Cooperative Governance

During the year of 2009/10, twenty selected Local Municipalities across the Province received specific hands-on support. These municipalities were the ones who received the lowest ratings for their IDP’s and special effort was given to Karoo Hoogland Local Municipality. A major concern is that most of the municipalities struggle to implement their IDP’s and deliver a service to their communities.

All of these concerns need to be addressed during this year and this will be the focus area for the different sector departments.

Honourable Speaker, the Constitution of the country places the responsibility on government to ensure that every person or household has access to basic services, in order to ensure that poor people or households are not discriminated against due to their economic status. All our municipalities have indigent policies and registers and provide basic services of electricity, refuse removal, water and sanitation. There is a total number of two hundred and seventy four and four hundred and eighty nine thousand (274 489) households registered on the municipal systems in the province.

Households in informal settlements are also benefiting from the free basic services, though they are not registered on the municipal systems, they benefit in the form of communal stand pipes for water and bulk waste container which are emptied every second week.

The quantity of free basic services is provided as follows: Free Basic Water is provided at a minimum of six kilo litre (6kl) per household per month; Free Basic Sanitation is provided at fifteen litre (15L) per person per day, that is water borne systems; Free Basic Refuse Removal is provided by collecting waste once per week; and Free Basic Electricity is provided at fifty (50Kwh) per household per month

Honourable Speaker, the Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) has made significant progress with regard to service delivery. Since its inception in 2004, and amount of eight hundred and ninety two million has been spent on cemeteries, Multi-Purpose Community Halls, Multi-Purpose Sports Facilities, Project Management Units, Roads, Sanitation, Solid Waste Removal, Street Lightning, Street Tradi

Mail Us

Office of the Premier 
Private Bag X5016 
Kimberley 
8301

Leave a Comment