MEC Paul Sebegoe. Picture: Thabo Rantlha
Local government and traditional affairs MEC Paul Sebegoe has warned that the government would adopt a "no service delivery, no pay" approach to hold municipal officials accountable for the lack of service delivery in municipalities.
"We are charged with a responsibility to achieve universal access to basic services by 2014. Community impatience is increasing and that is contributing largely to violent service delivery protests. Most of our municipalities are grant dependant without sustainable revenue sources, with high infrastructure backlogs and limited technical capacity," said Sebegoe.
Quoting from a countrywide survey by the Institute for Democracy in Africa in April last year, Sebegoe said only one in 10 citizens was satisfied with the quality of service delivery from their district and local municipalities.
Acting on the resolutions taken during the recent service delivery summit in Rustenburg, Sebegoe said the department was working on developing an intergovernmental integrated approach for data collection to ensure sector departments' participation in the integrated development plan processes.
He said they also resolved to harmonise relations between council and traditional leadership to be able to implement service projects, inculcate the culture of ownership and belonging in communities, councillors to lead by example and champion the payment of services and develop an infrastructure asset register.
On municipal governance and administration, Sebegoe said they resolved to improve council efficiencies and responsiveness, delink responsibilities of members of the mayoral committee and portfolio chairpersons, improve public communication, strengthen monitoring and evaluation systems and functionality of ward committees, and encourage stakeholder participation through ward committees, among others.
"We need to commit ourselves to serving our communities to the best of our abilities. Employment is at the heart of our preoccupations.
A revival of growth that does not generate jobs would be pointless, and employment is undoubtedly the surest safeguard against poverty and guarantee of strong social cohesion," said Sebegoe.
Acting provincial director-general Abbey Tlaletsi said municipalities were entrusted to implement adopted resolutions on improving access to basic services.
"We'll have to work closely with the departments of finance and local government and traditional affairs to implement issues affecting municipal governance and administration, viability and sustainability," said Tlaletsi.
He said the provincial executive committee at its recent meeting identified water, sanitation, electricity and roads as top priorities and that Premier Thandi Modise had engaged Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs Edna Molewa, Minister of Public Enterprises Malusi Gigaba and Minister of Transport Sbu Ndebele in an effort to fast-track delivery on these priorities.