Statement on Local Government Elections
17 October 2021
The 2021 Local Government Elections will take place in the next few weeks and the communities of South Africa will once again express their voice on whom should represent them in governance. The ANC is confident that the people will once again express their overwhelming support for their liberation movement which has transformed this country from the ruins of colonial apartheid to a non-racial, non-sexist, and a democratic society.
The ANC still believes in the vision for Local Government that was so clearly articulated in the Ready to Govern document during the formative stages of our democracy, where-in it was recognized that there was a need for a strong and effective local government. As a result of the large disparities between local areas and regions, a strong central government is required to address the legacy of apartheid and to ensure more balanced forms of local development. Strong local government should be complemented by a provincial government whose primary tasks will be to ensure integrated and coordinated local development planning, the provision of appropriate regional services and to provide support to those local authorities which lack resources, particularly in the rural areas.
The ANC in Parliament has managed to strengthen legislation in order to deepen the transformation of Local Government and address some of the previous shortfalls. This includes the amendment of the Municipal Structures Act 3 in 2021 to provide for, amongst other things, the prohibition of a councilor who was found guilty of a breach of a code of conduct for councilors for a period of two years. We have also recently promulgated the Traditional Khoi and San Leadership Act of 2019, which allows for the representation of traditional leadership in municipal councils. These additions and amendments to pieces of legislation sharpen our ability to pursue the fundamental transformation of local government and further provide impetus for development that is tailored specifically for our local communities.
We also admit that the transformative project we have embarked upon has not been as linear as some of our critics would like society to believe, it has been complex and characterized by shortcomings that we learn from. The Auditor General’s Municipal Finance Management Reports have pointed as much, many municipalities still fail to adhere to the promulgated legislation such as the Municipal Systems Act of 2000, this has directly led to challenges in service delivery and under-development.
In the 2019/20 MFMA report entitled “Not Enough to go around, yet not the right hands at the till”, the Auditor-General sharply raises issues such as the collapse in governance, failure to fill critical vacancies, and financial mismanagement as being the contradictions which lead to corruption, malfeasance and the collapse of service delivery in most of our municipalities. The ANC in Parliament is alive to these challenges and has already identified hotspot municipalities, we have been intervening using constitutionally available mechanisms, these also include invoking section 139 of the constitution to place municipalities under administration.
President Cyril Ramaphosa’s administration is already intervening decisively on the unemployment, poverty, and under-development challenges which still characterizes many of our communities through the flagship program that is the District Development Model (DDM). This is an inter-government approach to improve integrated planning and delivery across the three spheres of government with district and metropolitan spaces as focal points of government and private sector investment. The DDM is aimed at facilitating integrated planning, delivery and monitoring of Government’s development programmes through the concept of a joint “One Plan” in relation to 52 development spaces / impact zones through the establishment of national technical capacity as well as district hubs that will drive implementation of the program.
Finally, we would like to encourage the whole of society to vote for the ANC on the 1st of November 2021 and ensure that South Africa continues with the march forward towards the transformation of Local government to reflect the vision of a non-racial, non-sexist, and a democratic society.
Issued by the Office of the Chief Whip, Hon. Pemmy Majodina
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