South African Municipal Magazine
Leaders in Local Government Business Intelligence &
Leaders in Local Government Business Intelligence & Insights
THABO MOSES MANYONI CHAIRPERSON MDB
LOCAL GOVERNMENT ELECTIONS 2021
NEW AUDITOR GENERAL
Prepaid sub-meters significantly lower municipal risk
n a downturn economy the struggle for municipalities to collect on utilities increases significantly. With municipalities like Ekurhuleni saying that illegal and bypassed electrical connections costing R1.2 billion just last year, finding a solution to utility management has become critical. Fortunately reputable prepaid utility sub-meter providers can help with at least a part of the municipal customer base: formal and backyard rentals - thereby reducing the drain on municipal resources and help ensure they are able to honour their commitments to Eskom.
sumption empowers tenants to change their usage habits and better manage their utility budgets. Also, prepaid means they never find themselves with an electricity bill that they cannot afford that could potentially bankrupt them and force them to take desperate measures like absconding. Prepaid sub-meters lower the chance of disputes arising making for a much better tenant / landlord relationship and, more importantly, ensuring that landlords are paid so they can then pay their municipality, which in turn can honour their Eskom commitments.
According to a report for the World Bank, more than 13% of urban households in South Africa reside in backyard struc- Illegal Connections tures and that number is set to climb as more people flock An unfortunate reality is that some landlords avoid paying the municipalities by illegal connections, essentially by byto the cities looking for work. Many property owners rely passing the main meter. The only way to police on these informal rentals as their primary source this is with monitoring purchasing patterns of income. However, managing and collect“Traditionally, combined with a regular meter inspection ing utility payments from tenants, whether landlords either cycle. formal or informal, is an ongoing risk for divide the total bill In exceptional cases the main municproperty owners. by the number of ipal meter is replaced with a prepaid tenants or use meters to sub-meter, either in error, or as an at“Traditionally, landlords either divide measure consumption tempt to defraud the Landlord and Muthe total bill by the number of tenants and then bill their nicipality. or use meters to measure consumption tenants once a and then bill their tenants once a month. month. Fortunately, reputable sub-meter providers This can result in disputes and tenants withhold the answer. holding payment, or more frequently, tenants absconding without paying their bills. This can put landlords under pressure since they are still liable for mu- “Working with signed NDAs in place, Citiq Prepaid has alnicipal payment but may themselves no longer be in a posi- ready helped a number of municipalities track and trace tion to do so. Landlords unable to pay their municipal bill in fraudulent activities. We are able to assist with a full transturn puts the Municipality under pressure,” explains Michael action history for suspect meters, masked bank account information and even ad-hoc investigations. We also asFranze, Citiq Prepaid Managing Director. sist with full disclosure in criminal prosecutions. In short, The benefits that landlords get using prepaid sub-meters installing a Citiq Prepaid sub-meter is the stupidest thing a extend to the municipality too. Prepaid sub-meters continue fraudster can do,” Franze comments. the chain of payment trust from tenants all the way to the Power and water remain scarce resources in South Africa Municipality and even Eskom. and protecting our fragile supply is in everyone’s interest. Prepaid sub-meters allow tenants to see exactly how much Prepaid sub-meters could very well be the elusive missing electricity they are using. This immediate feedback on con- link to achieving real resilience.
SOUTH AFRICA’S MOST TRUSTED PREPAID UTILITIES SOLUTION
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Nardine Nelson Publisher & CEO Kweda Media & Communications
SONA 2021 on page 8
n 11 February 2021, President Ramaphosa delivered his much-anticipated State of the Nation (SONA) address in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Coincidentally this was the same day in 1990 on which Nelson Mandela walked out of the Victor Verster prison a free man. In this edition of Municipal Focus, we provide our readers with an in-depth summary of the important announcements made in the State of the Nation address. This year the local government elections will be held between August and November under the auspices of the new Political Party Funding Act, which comes into force on 1 April 2021 and is designed to allow voters an insight into who is funding the various political parties. In Municipal Focus we explore
The Vaal Dam on page 44
the state of readiness of the Municipal Demarcation Board and the important work they do to ensure the elections take place. With the untimely passing of Kimi Makwetu, Auditor General of South Africa (AGSA), just before his term ended in December 2020, President Ramaphosa appointed Tsakani Maluleke as his successor. The first woman to be appointed as AGSA, she is well qualified both in terms of academia and experience to keep our public servants accountable for the funds they manage in order to effect service delivery. We are delighted to introduce you to the new AGSA and to provide our readers with a summary of the audit report on the municipalities delivered by the late Kimi Makwetu. In the following pages you will
also meet Bonginkosi Mkhize who was appointed as CEO of the KwaZulu-Natal Joint Municipal Pension Funds (NJMPF) in July 2019. He is the first black head of the NJMPF and is doing sterling work to ensure the Fund delivers to its members. Our water feature is devoted to the challenges and opportunities facing government in the sphere of water and sanitation infrastructure. The effects of climate change and the concomitant increase in extreme weather events has placed a spotlight on the on-going need to preserve and sustain our scarce water resources. Municipal Focus reviews how the government is hard at work implementing various programmes and infrastructure projects that will have an impact on the sustainability and preservation of South Africa’s water resources. As we go to print with this edition the government is in the process of rolling out the COVID-19 vaccination programme to the nation. The goal is to vaccinate at least 40 million of our population to establish herd/community immunity. As vaccines become available we urge our readers to get vaccinated and beat the pandemic. Enjoy the read and keep safe.
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Leaders in Local Government Business Intelligence &
26 Municipal Demarcation Board FEATURES
08 State of the Nation Address (SONA) 16 A reflection on SONA 2021 20 Local Government Elections 2021 30 Ensuring accountability for municipalities 32 New Auditor General appointed 36 Limpopo Dept. Public Works, Roads & Infrastructure 40 Natal Joint Municipal Pension Fund
44 Water Wise: Sustaining our water resources FEATURES 50 Limpopo State of the Province Address
56 Centre for Human Rights: Righting wrongs in Africa MUNICIPAL NEWS
62 Boosting the economy 64 Makhanda National Arts Festival 66 Moses Kotane Local Municipality 68 Sedibeng District Municipality 70 Okhahlamba Local Municipality
South African Municipal Magazine
Leaders in Local Government Business Intelligence &
Leaders in Local Government Business Intelligence & Insights
ON THE COVER SONA 2021
THABO MOSES MANYONI CHAIRPERSON MDB
LOCAL GOVERNMENT ELECTIONS 2021
NEW AUDITOR GENERAL
EDITORIAL CONTRIBUTORS Editor Desmond Sampson email@example.com
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All editorial, business and production correspondence should be addressed to Municipal Focus, PO Box 12454 Plumstead 7800. Manuscripts, illustrations and other material must be accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed envelope. No responsibility can be accepted for unsolicited material. The editor reserves the right to amend and to alter copy and visual material as deemed necessary. Copyright by Kweda Media & Communications. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted by any form or any means without prior permission of the publisher. The opinions expressed in Municipal Focus are not necessarily those of the publishers.
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STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS
THE STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS 2021
President Ramaphosa delivers historic State of the Nation Address (SONA)
n 11 February 2021, President Ramaphosa delivered what will be remembered as a historic SONA. It was delivered on the same day in 1990, exactly 31 years ago, when President Nelson Mandela walked out of the gates of Victor Verster prison. This year, for the first time, the SONA event was held during pandemic circumstances and protocols. This meant that limited attendees were allowed in Parliament to attend the address. For close to a year we have become accustomed to attending virtual meetings and events in an effort
to prevent the spread of COVID-19. As we are still in the grip of this deadly pandemic, Parliament was obliged to follow life-saving protocols by limiting the attendance of the members of both houses, the executive, officials, VIP guests, ordinary guests and completely cancelling the usual pre-SONA ceremonies. By 11 February 2021, South Africa had recorded a loss of more than 45 000 lives and the virus had infected nearly one-anda-half million people in our country. It is against this backdrop that the President presented the much-anticipated
STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS
The President receiving J&J vaccination shot
SONA address. He began by paying tribute to the people of South Africa for being resilient and courageous during the pandemic that wreaked havoc and devastation, not only in South Africa, but across the globe – and which has brought about a spirit of solidarity across all sectors of society. In his opening remarks the President said, “More than anything else, this crisis has revealed the true character of our remarkable nation. It has revealed a spirit of the people who refused to be defeated. It is this South African spirit that must drive our resolve to build a new and more equal economy and a better, more just society. The year ahead must be a time for change, for progress and rebirth. It must be a year in which we rise. This is no ordinary year and this is no ordinary State of the Nation Address.” Due to the extraordinary circumstances we find ourselves in as a nation the President said he would focus on the most pressing needs of the people of South Africa and prioritised the following: • The defeat of the coronavirus pandemic. • The acceleration of our economic recovery. • The implementation of economic reforms that will create sustainable jobs and drive inclusive growth. • The eradication of corruption and strengthening of the state. The plan to defeat the Coronavirus pandemic The President indicated that the war against the pandemic will be won
on the vaccination battleground. In the forefront of this battle are the healthcare workers and scientists, who have been working tirelessly to contain the virus, and are now ready to go on the offensive with the vaccine roll-out campaign that will see at least 40 million South Africans being vaccinated in the shortest possible time. To commence this offensive the government has been fully briefed on the state of readiness of the provincial vaccination facilities and is satisfied that all provinces have their vaccination rollout plans in place when the nine million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccines arrive in South Africa. Over and above these vaccines from Johnson & Johnson, the government has secured 12 million vaccine doses from the global COVAX facility. The other vaccines that are available to South Africa through the AU’s African Acquisition Task Team facility will complement this. In addition Pfizer has committed 20 million doses that will be delivered at the end of the first quarter. The President has assured the nation that the government is ready to enter this most important and decisive stage of the battle against the virus and advised, “We are greatly encouraged by the active involvement of business, labour, the health industry and medical schemes, in particular in preparing for this mass vaccination drive. We have overcome before and will overcome again and rise.” The President exuded confidence that the coronavirus pandemic will be defeated and exhorted all South Africans to join the battle plan and get vaccinated.
The President indicated that the war against the pandemic will be won on the vaccination battleground. In the forefront of this battle are the healthcare workers and scientists, who have been working tirelessly to contain the virus, and are now ready to go on the offensive with the vaccine roll-out campaign that will see at least 40 million South Africans being vaccinated in the shortest possible time
STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS The plan to accelerate our economic recovery Since the onset of the coronavirus our economy has suffered as many businesses of all sizes were compelled to either shed jobs, suspend operations or close completely. This was due to the severe lockdown that was necessary to save lives and prevent the transmission of the virus. The harsh reality is that we have all experienced the devastating impact of this global phenomena. It is therefore not surprising that we seek direction from our President to assist the nation and lead the country out of the economic quagmire we find ourselves in. A comprehensive economic plan is what is required. The President in his SONA address acknowledged this. “We must overcome poverty and hunger, joblessness and inequality. We must overcome a legacy of exclusion and dispossession that continues to impoverish our people, that the pandemic worsened,” declared the President. The President indicated that four months ago he presented to the Joint Sitting of Parliament the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan and he reported that this plan was now in the process of being implemented. The focused outcomes of this plan is to restore growth and create jobs. To achieve these outcomes four priority interventions will take place, namely: • A massive rollout of infrastructure throughout the country. • A huge increase in local production. • An employment stimulus to create jobs. • An urgent expansion of our energy generation capacity.
The President spoke of boosting the economy
The President spoke of upgrading infrastructure
The President was upbeat about this plan and said that the government has now developed an infrastructure investment project pipeline worth R340-billion in network industries such as energy, water transport and telecommunications. He said that the government has launched two major human settlements projects that will provide homes to almost 68 000 households in Gauteng. Further infrastructure roll-out progress has been made on several water projects such as phase 2A of the Mokolo and Crocodile River Water Augmentation Project as well as the uMkhomazi Water Project. Other infrastructure projects being rolled out are the construction and rehabilitation of the major N1, N2 and N3 highways.
It is without doubt that by supporting local production, job creation will be stimulated. The President therefore exhorted South Africans to follow his example as he only buys local products wherever possible. He drew our attention to the last SONA, where he paraded his “made in South Africa” suit, which he wore with pride and carried out his commitment to local production by “showing off” his present suit that was also locally made. To illustrate the government’s seriousness and commitment to stimulate and increase local production the President said, “Cabinet approved the SMME Focused Localisation Policy Framework that identified 1000 products that must be procured from SMMEs by the market”. In addition, the Departments of Small Business Development and Trade, Industry and Competition are supporting SMMEs to access larger domestic and international markets. South Africa is in dire need of job creation stimulus. The shedding of jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the unemployment situation in the country. The government has recognised that it has a responsibility to stimulate job creation both through its policies and through direct job creation opportunities. The Presidential Employment Stimulus is one of the most significant expansions of public and social employment in South Africa’s history. “By the end of January 2021, over 430 000 opportunities had already been supported through the stimulus. A further 180 000 opportunities are currently in the recruitment process. These are in areas like education, arts
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STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS and culture, global business services, early childhood development and smallscale subsistence farming,” the President proclaimed. The President added, “These programmes are about real lives and real livelihoods.” The President also mentioned the establishment of a national Pathway Management Network established last year to provide support and opportunities to young people across the country. He encouraged young people to join the more than 1.2 million people who are already in the network. It is clear that with these progressive job creating stimulus programmes the government is leaving no stone unturned to turn the tide around this vexed issue of unemployment. Load shedding has clearly been a major concern for all South Africans and an urgent intervention by government was required. As a result the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy will soon be announcing the successful bids for the provision of 2000 megawatts of emergency power. In a bold move, municipalities will soon be able to buy power from independent power producers, thus alleviating its dependence on Eskom. Municipalities will also be allowed to
generate their own energy and any surplus could be sold back to the grid. The government is now actively engaged in amending a plethora of regulations that will allow the procurement of additional power from renewable energy, natural gas and battery storage. The plan to implement structural economic reform Government has been grappling with economic structural reforms for a while and has acknowledged that the implementation of these reforms is essential to stimulate economic growth and employment. To drive these economic structural reforms the government put together a team from the National Treasury and the President’s office under the auspices of Operation Vulindlela to focus on reforms in the electricity, water, telecommunications and transport sectors, as well as reforms to our visa and immigration regime. Operation Vulindlela has made good progress in its work to implement the necessary reforms needed to take South Africa on a path of economic growth, and has insisted that we complete the migration from analogue to digital and to ensure that there are no more delays,
The government is now actively engaged in amending a plethora of regulations that will allow the procurement of additional power from renewable energy The President spoke of municipalities generating their own power
President Cyril Ramaphosa SONA 2021
a deadline has been set for the end of March 2022. This process will be phased in province-by-province. This project is vital if we are to hold our own in the fourth industrial revolution. Under Operation Vulindlela changes in the water sector include the revision of water licensing time frames down to 90 days, revival of the Green Drop and Blue Drop programmes to strengthen water quality monitoring and revise raw water pricing. To prevent delays in water infrastructure development the government will accelerate the establishment of a national Water Resources Infrastructure Agency. It has been mooted for some time that there should be a shift from road freight to rail. The President emphasised the need to develop an efficient rail and port network if we are to compete internationally. He announced that the government was repositioning Durban as a hub for the southern hemisphere and developing Ngqura as the container terminal of choice. The rail corridor from Gauteng is being extended to enable the export of vehicles through Port Elizabeth. Turning to SOEs the President indicated that a centralised SOE model
Anti-Corruption Advisory Council, a multi-sectoral body that will oversee the initial implementation of the strategy and the establishment of an independent statutory anti-corruption body that reports to Parliament”. In a display of intolerance towards corruption the President authorised the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) to probe and investigate all allegations of possible fraud and corruption in the procurement of COVID-related goods and services. The SIU reported that it has finalized investigations into 164 contracts with a total value of R3.5-billion. The President has also significantly finalised the Political Party Funding Act that will come into operation on 1 April 2021. This act will regulate public and private funding of political parties in an attempt to advance transparency and accountability. Corruption is not the only crime that government is focused on. Other focal points include cable theft, infrastructure vandalism, land invasions, gender-based violence, truck hijacking and others. The President said the government has taken steps to stop these crimes by making the necessary changes to the legislation and forming task teams in the provinces to deal with these crimes. An example of is being implemented this financial year that will ensure standardised governance, financial management and an operational performance framework. In addition to this the mandates of all SOEs are being re-evaluated to ensure that they are responsive to the country’s needs. The President applauded the agricultural sector that has performed exceptionally well despite the pandemic. He paid tribute to the citrus industry that produced a record in citrus exports this year. Conditions indicate that this sector will continue to grow. The government has accelerated land distribution through a variety of instruments such as land restitution and the expropriation of land to boost agricultural output. The plan to eradicate corruption Despite the fact that the Zondo Commission of enquiry has not as yet completed its work, it is crucial for government to act on the evidence already made available. The President acknowledged this by proclaiming, “We have started implementation of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy, which lays the basis for a comprehensive and integrated society-wide response to corruption. We will shortly be appointing the members of the National
this is the introduction of key pieces of legislation to make the criminal justice system more effective in combatting gender-base violence. In concluding his SONA the President acknowledged that many businesses and families are still struggling and continue to suffer as a result of the pandemic and that government was sensitive to the need for relief interventions. To mitigate the hardship experienced by those without an income, the government extended the period for the Special COVID-19 Grant of R350 by a further three months. In addition to this the government also decided to extend the COVID-19 TERS benefit until 15 March for those sectors that have been unable to operate. In his closing remarks the President motivated the nation by saying, “Just as a harsh fire gives new life to our country’s fynbos, this crisis is an opportunity to build a different, better South Africa. Rebuilding our country requires a common effort. Let us work together as government, as business, as labour and as all of society to clear away the rubble and lay a new foundation.” The President concluded by quoting Maya Angelou’s inspirational poem “Still I Rise”. PICTURES COURTESY GCIS
In concluding his SONA the President acknowledged that many businesses and families are still struggling and continue to suffer as a result of the pandemic and that government was sensitive to the need for relief intervention The President spoke of addressing corruption
A REFLECTION ON SONA 2021
WE LIVE IN EXTRAORDINARY TIMES AND THIS REQUIRES EXTRAORDINARY MEASURES A reflection on the State of the Nation Address
by Acting Minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni
hen President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation on Thursday, 11 February, he made a simple yet profound statement that “this is no ordinary year, and this is no ordinary State of the Nation Address”. In the same vein, the debate that followed is no ordinary debate. We had a hybrid parliamentary session amidst a global pandemic that has affected us all. We remember those who have departed and those who continue to battle with the Coronavirus. I pay my respects to a colleague- the late Minister in the Presidency, Jackson Mthembu and fellow honourable members who lost their lives due to this pandemic. We convey our deepest condolences to their families and all South Africans who lost their loved ones
as the world wages a battle against the COVID-19 pandemic. During the State of the Nation Address, President Ramaphosa highlighted progress in implementing some of the commitments that he made in the previous SONAs. The Presidency, through the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME), is finalizing the Geo-Spatial Referencing Guidelines to ensure location mapping for all the projects under implementation at any given time. This is critical for effective monitoring and evaluation and gives us the ability to measure our progress towards the development of our country, as set out in our Vision 2030 that is espoused in the National Development Plan (NDP). With only nine years to go until 2030, President Ramaphosa boldly invited
A REFLECTION ON SONA 2021 South Africans and everybody interested to measure the performance of our leadership in delivering against the set targets, albeit under difficult conditions and in an ultra-fluid environment. The performance agreements that the President signed with the Ministers is a clear demonstration of this administration’s commitment to transparency and accountability. It also illustrates the President’s confidence in the ability of his team to deliver. For once, the performance of the executive will no longer be subject to speculation but objective measurement that relies on facts and empirical evidence, as science teaches us that measurement is a process of associating numbers with physical quantities and phenomena. It is based on quantitative or numeric data. This government is committed to evidence based performance monitoring. To this end, the DPME and the Department of Public Service and Administration are reviewing the integration of the performance management system for members of the executive and Director-Generals and/or Heads of Departments to ensure full alignment and synchronisation. This is also part of the work of professionalisation of the public service and in this regard, the Department of Public Service and Administration has published a National Implementation Framework towards the Professionalisation of the Public Service and some of the proposals in this Framework include: • The alignment of individuals to organisational performance; • Aligning performance management to professional bodies and industry registration, and • Continuing learning and professional development. These clearly show that the President’s statement about professionalising the public service is not a mirage – we are on course to establishing a professional public service. Departments are already tabling their quarterly reports to parliament on the implementation of their Annual Performance Plans (APPs) towards the attainment of MTSF targets. The system of tracking the implementation of the MTSF has matured to an extent that the DPME will now supplement these quarterly reports with two biannual consolidated reports on progress with implementation
of MTSF targets. In the review of the MTSF, that was necessitated by reprioritisation of budgets and operating environment due to the pandemic, the National Planning Commission assisted the DPME with ensuring that the revised MTSF targets are measurable. The National Planning Commission has completed the Review of the NDP, which is the plan for all South Africans. The Commission will make this review available in the public domain and also release a framework to guide the implementation of the NDP for focused areas. Under the leadership of President Ramaphosa, the path to a capable developmental state is much clearer because he has defined clear goals for this country, thus making our steps bolder and the strides measurable. We tread on this unchartered territory with great zeal and confidence because we cherish a common vision. We are emboldened to make this
House of Parliament SONA 2021
assertion because despite numerous challenges, our economy is showing some bold green shots. The agricultural and mining sectors continue to register quarter-on-quarter growth and this is not accidental, but consequent to deliberate actions taken by our government. We ensured that the agricultural sector continued to operate and provided food security for the people. When the necessary safety protocols were put in place through a partnership of government, mining industry and labour, the mining sector was brought back to full production capacity in line with our commitment to save both lives and livelihoods. The resilience of these two sectors has emboldened the implementation of the SMME-focused localisation policy framework. To date, the Department of Small Business Development has introduced over 385 SMMEs and Cooperatives to the value chains of large
President Cyril Ramaphosa SONA 2021
retailers and wholesalers and the majority of the products are agro-processed goods. In the meantime, the mining sector continues to provide business opportunities for SMMEs in the services sector, and we are working with the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy to support the participation of SMMEs in the mining value chains, including primary mining activities. In the State of the Nation Address, President Ramaphosa referred to the 1000 products that have been identified for production by SMMEs within the localisation policy framework. We are pleased to report that we have working arrangements with standards bodies and regulatory authorities to ensure that SMME and cooperative manufacturers are not frustrated by regulatory protocols that are necessary to ensure the quality of our products. Through these working relationships, SMMEs and Cooperatives enjoy a fast-tracked process. The outbreak of the pandemic is yet another reminder that the 4th Industrial Revolution is upon us. The economy and everything else have gone digital. Connectivity of South Africa and access to affordable high speed broadband is no longer optional, but has become an essential service like water and electricity. Our connectivity programme has to be revised from connecting health and schools to connecting homes, therefore the Department of Communications and Digital Technology is already revising the guidelines and our approach for connectivity. Let us take heed of President Ramaphosa’s wise words, that “People of South Africa, it is your country that calls on you to rise” and intensify our collective efforts to grow South Africa. We live in extraordinary times and this requires extraordinary measures. Our immediate task is to pull our people out of the rut, and rise together as we build a better future for South Africa. President Ramaphosa has pointed the way, we shall not be deterred. Khumbudzo Ntshavheni is the Minister of Small Business Development and Acting Minister in the Presidency. This is an edited version of her speech delivered in the National Assembly on 16 February 2021.
MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS 2021
LOCAL GOVERNMENT ELECTIONS 2021 Voting during a pandemic
Lockdown restrictions, that prohibit political activities, mean that political parties cannot campaign for votes. Restrictions on public gatherings render large rallies at stadiums or halls out of the question. It is at these rallies that political parties usually gauge their support by the attendance of potential voters.
n a normal world and under normal conditions, local government elections should be held sometime this year. However we are not operating in a normal world, or under normal conditions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Should the local elections go ahead, or should it be postponed? Many political parties are of the view that it would be prudent to postpone these elections, as the electorate may be hesitant to risk getting infected at polling stations, even if COVID-19 safety protocols are in place. Lockdown restrictions, that prohibit political activities, mean that political parties cannot
campaign for votes. Restrictions on public gatherings render large rallies at stadiums or halls out of the question. It is at these rallies that political parties usually gauge their support by the attendance of potential voters. A major challenge for politicians in these conditions is to devise alternative and creative campaign strategies to garner support from the electorate. A further argument in favour of postponing the local elections is that a few by-elections should take place before the local elections can be held. This could push the election to 2022. The hope is that by the time the elections are
MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS 2021
Checking voter register
held the population will be vaccinated and the risk of infection will mitigate considerably. Declaration of political party funding Another factor that will affect the coming election is the Political Party Funding Act that introduces a strict regulatory framework for the private funding of political parties. This law comes into effect in April 2021 and will set limits on the source, size and use of donated funds by political parties – whether from persons, organisations or entities. To ensure transparency and accountability, political parties are required to disclose all donations received above the disclosure threshold
IEC official assisting a voter
of R100 000 to the Electoral Commission every three months, as well as ahead of general elections. They in turn will report these disclosures to Parliament. The intention of this law is to curtail corruption and provide maximum transparency to the electorate regarding the funding of political parties. The major concern for political parties will be exposing donors who wish to remain anonymous. Political parties fear that donors will now withdraw their funding as they may not want the voting public to know who the political party is they are supporting. Are we ready? Indications are that the elections should take place between 4 August and
1 November 2021. There are some who argue that as a constitutional democracy, the state is bound by the constitution to discharge its mandate to hold elections as laid out in the constitution. This means that the local elections must be held this year. The only way the elections can be postponed is if the constitution is amended. Some political parties fear that as indicated in the 2016 local government elections, where there was a significant drop in voters in the metropolitan areas, the loss of support will continue unless they have more time to campaign. A different view is that social media can be advantageous to political parties where they can campaign to a ready audience. Most of the electorate are digitally savvy, and campaigning on-line might be the new normal, and also cost effective. Whatever the arguments for or against holding the elections, the various organs of state entrusted with ensuring that the conditions and environment for fair and free elections are in place are proceeding at full pace. According to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), they will be ready to conduct local elections despite the pandemic, and are fully prepared to discharge their constitutional mandate. The recent by-elections proved to be a successful test-run during the pandemic. The IEC successfully managed these by-elections and were satisfied that they were able to apply and implement the necessary COVID-19 protocols.
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MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS 2021
The Electoral Commission approached the Electoral Court for approval to extend the period within which the by-elections scheduled to be held on 3 March 2021 and 31 March 2021, to a date not beyond 120 days from the date of the Court Order. Casting a vote
This experience has given the IEC the confidence that they will be ready to conduct safe, free and fair local elections in 2021. However, with the second wave of COVID-19 the Electoral Court has authorised the postponement of byelections scheduled to be held during March due to the continued COVID-19 alert level 3 lockdown restrictions. This brings to 24 the number of ward by-elections that have been postponed since the start of 2021 due to the second COVID-19 wave and its associated restrictions. The Electoral Commission approached the Electoral Court for approval to extend the period within which the by-elections scheduled to be held on 3 March 2021 and 31 March 2021, to a date not beyond 120 days from the date of the Court Order. Another important government institution, the Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB), has also advised government that they have completed their work on demarcating the municipal boundaries, as well as wards in all the provinces, and have handed these to the IEC. During the last Local Government Elections (LGE) in 2016, there were 4 392 municipal wards in the country. However, for 2021, there will be an additional 76 wards in the country, which brings the total number of wards to 4 468.
The handover of ward boundaries allowed the IEC to begin its final preparations for this year’s local government elections, including finalising voting districts and voting station locations, and embarking on voter registration initiatives. This includes alerting voters whose voting districts may have been split during the ward delimitation process. Voter registration With regard to the registration of voters who do not have complete addresses (at the last count the amount of voters with partial addresses stood at 1.1 million) the IEC has managed to register a large number of voters without complete addresses after the
Ink on thumb of a voter
constitutional court declared that those South African citizens who do not have complete addresses are eligible to vote. These voters resided mainly in informal settlements. In declaring that they are ready the IEC has introduced a new “real time device” voting mechanism. This device records voter attendance at the polls in real time and thus with no time lag, the chances of duplicate votes have been eliminated. It is now left to the government, with the input of the political parties, to announce on the date when the local level elections will be held. (Additional sources: elections.org.za) PICS SUPPLIED BY IEC
MUNICIPAL DEMARCATION BOARD
SHAPING OUR FUTURE THE MUNICIPAL DEMARCATION BOARD An independent authority, deepening democracy "Wards are delimited every five years for the purpose of local government elections"- Thabo Manyoni
he Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB) is an independent authority responsible for delimiting all metropolitan municipalities and all local municipalities that must have wards, into wards. The (MDB) was established in terms of sections 155 and 157 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa and the Local Government: Municipal Demarcation Act, 1998. The Board consists of ten board members appointed by the President for a five- year term with the exception of the Chairperson, the members of the Board serve on a part-time basis. Thabo Moses Manyoni, was appointed by President Cyril Ramaphosa on 1 March 2019 as chairperson of the MDB, holds a Bachelor of Arts degree, a diploma in business management and a certificate in executive leadership. He has extensive experience in the public service, especially at local government level. Apart from having worked for the Independent Electoral Commission for four years, he has been a municipal manager for two municipalities over consecutive periods of four years. He was also the executive mayor of Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality, during which period he served as the national chairperson of SALGA and the vice president of the United Cities and Local Government in Africa. He has also served in the provincial and national spheres. He was a member of the Provincial Executive Council over a period of three years during which he also served as acting premier. At a national level he has served as a member of parliament. In view of the crucial role played by the MDB, Municipal Focus spoke to Thabo Manyoni - Chairperson of the Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB)
Chairperson Thabo Manyoni – we asked him to unpack for our readers how this important cog fits into the local government elections. Please provide an in depth overview of the work of the MDB? 2021 marks the 21st anniversary of the Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB). We are a Constitutionally-created body and the only demarcation authority in the country. The MDB as an independent authority has continued to deliver its mandate without fear, favour or prejudice. Our mandate is derived from the Municipal Demarcation Act (Act No. 27 of 1998) and Municipal Structures Act (Act No. 117 of 1998) and to this end the MDB: • Determines and re-determines municipal boundaries • Delimits ward boundaries for local government elections • Conducts municipal capacity assessments to ascertain whether municipalities have the requisite capability to fulfil their constitutional obligations • Advises the responsible MECs on the allocation of powers and
functions between local and district municipalities • Provides advisory services on related local government matters. The MDB has played an instrumental role in deepening democracy in South Africa through the reversal of apartheid spatial logic - creating boundaries that do not run along ethnic, racial or class lines, integrated settlements, facilitated an equitable service delivery and an inclusive tax-base to foster socio-economic development. Part of your mandate is to determine the boundaries of municipalities together with the wards within these municipalities. When are these boundaries determined? To be clear - the MDB is responsible for delimiting municipal inner (wards) and outer boundaries but is not responsible for provincial boundaries. Wards are delimited every five years preceding the local government elections (LGE) – the next one will take place this year – and municipal boundaries are done once every five years.
To be clear - the MDB is responsible for delimiting municipal inner (wards) and outer boundaries but is not responsible for provincial boundaries. Wards are delimited every five years preceding the local government elections (LGE) – the next one will take place this year – and municipal boundaries are done once every five years.
MUNICIPAL DEMARCATION BOARD
What are the criteria used to determine these municipal boundaries? The MDB applies the delimitation criteria as set out by the law. The number of registered voters in each ward, may not vary by more than 15% from the norm: avoiding as far as possible the fragmentation of communities. The object is to enhance participatory democracy in local government and create identifiable ward boundaries. The availability and location of a suitable place or places for voting, takes into consideration: communication and
accessibility; density of population; the topography and physical characteristics as well as the number of voters that are entitled to vote within the required time-frame. You spoke about the importance of not varying more than 15% from the norm – can you unpack this further? A norm – or average - is equal to number of registered voters in the municipality divided by number of wards in the municipality. For example: If a municipality has
20 000 registered voters and 20 wards, we would divide 20 into 20 000 and the norm would then equal 1000; 15% below norm is 850 and 15% above norm is 1150. Therefore, a municipal ward may have any number of registered voters between 850 and 1150. It should be highlighted that the MDB has no influence in the determination of the formulae or the number of councillors in a municipality and therefore cannot increase or reduce the number of councillors determined by MECs. The MDB cannot change the formulae, increase or decrease the number of councillors or the number of wards. As I mentioned earlier, wards are delimited every five years preceding the local government elections. This is necessitated by various factors such as changes in the number of registered voters due to either migration of people or new registered voters and changes in the number of councillors. What are the steps that need to be taken to delimit ward boundaries? Firstly, the IEC provides the national voters roll and then the Minister of COGTA determines the formulae to determine the number of councillors, which the MECs then apply. Based on the number of councillors, the MDB determines the number of wards – for example: ten councillors equals five wards. As part of enhancing public participation in the
ward delimitation process, the MDB first embarks on a technical consultation process to develop draft wards in consultation with municipal officials (GIS and planning officials). This is followed by an extensive community consultation process on draft wards. This allows for members of the community to make proposals on how they would want their wards configured. After the consultations the MDB determines wards and publishes them in provincial gazettes -any aggrieved person can object in writing within 14 days of publication. After the 14 days, the MDB considers all the objections received and either, confirm,vary or withdraw wards. Decision on final wards is then published in provincial gazette. The final step is to submit the ward boundaries to the IEC for local government elections. How different is the municipal boundary determination process? When a proposal for a municipal boundary change is received by the MDB either from the Minister, MEC or on someone’s own initiative, the MDB may decide to publish its intention to consider such a proposal in newspapers inviting members of the public to submit their views and representations in writing (Section 26 MDA), within a period not less than 21 days of the publication. After the expiry of submissions period the Board considers the submissions and decide to either not change the boundary or change the boundary or conduct public meetings and/or conduct formal investigations. In an instance
where the Board conducts investigations and public meetings, the Board will consider results thereof and decide whether to change the boundary as proposed or not. (Section 27, 28, 29 MDA). If the Board decides to change the boundary it publishes its decision in a provincial Gazette inviting anyone aggrieved by a decision of the Board to submit objections (Section 21 MDA), within a period of 30 days. After the end of the objections period, the Board considers all the objections and decides to either withdraw or vary or confirm its decision
as published. A final decision is then published in a provincial Gazette (Section 21(5) (MDA). This can take around two years prior to the LGE. In 2018, the MDB concluded technical the municipal boundary re-determination process. Between 2019 and 2021 the MDB could not conduct any municipal boundary re-determinations, that process will commence after the 2021 local government elections. That was done to allow the MDB time to delimit wards and the IEC to prepare for the local government elections. Where can the various communities follow the process of the determination of their municipal boundaries? New ward boundaries for the 2021 local government elections were handed over to the IEC in December 2020. Information is available on the MDB website. To further assist communities an App, #KnowYourWards, was developed. Through this App, communities are able to use their address and drop a pin of their location to determine which wards they belong to – as well as the extent of their wards. In 2018, the MDB finalised the Municipal Capacity Assessments that will assist in ascertaining whether municipalities have the requisite capability to fulfil their Constitutional obligations. This will enable us to advise the responsible MECs, with conviction, on the adjustment of powers and functions between local and district municipalities.
ENSURING ACCOUNTABILITY FOR MUNICIPALITIES Through the lens of the late Auditor General
he late Kimi Makwetu, who passed away on 11 November 2020, just weeks before his seven-year term was due to expire on 30 November, took over as head of the country’s supreme audit institute in 2013. Since that time he has called on those charged with administration and oversight to consider reverting to basic systems and controls. He believed that these are the foundations for proper accountability to the citizens of the country to ensure that taxpayers monies are spent in a disciplined manner, in line with the prescripts set out in many pieces of legislation governing the proper running of municipalities, and that citizens can derive the expected benefits from this spending. In his final report the AG continued along the lines he adopted since the time he took over the reins of this august chapter 9 institution. Throughout his stay in office he has appealed to municipalities to ensure that they follow the basics of accountancy when administering taxpayers money, as they have to account to the citizens of the country. Although he had a roller coaster audit experience at local government level, he has reported a steady decline in clean audits during his tenure. In delivering his report the AG indicated his satisfaction with the audit of those municipalities that yielded a clean audit, as they were able to demonstrate that by adhering to the basic fundamental elements of financial controls clean audits were possible. He acknowledged the hard work done and the investment made by those municipalities who were able to maintain, sustain and achieve
The late Kimi Makwetu
clean audits and added that these municipalities can tell a positive story on how they run their municipalities. On the flip side the AG reports a disturbing trend of municipalities not being able to generate sufficient funds to pay for bulk water, electricity and service providers and as a result many have a huge debt problem as they were unable to collect fees due for services they provide to the community. This situation was exacerbated by unauthorised, fruitless, irregular and wasteful expenditure. The AG however drew attention to the Thabo Mofutsanyana District Municipality (Phuthaditjhaba) where he commended the municipal public accounts committee that thoroughly investigated irregular expenditure in the previous year. In his report the AG says, “The financial statements of a municipality tell the story of how well a municipality is managed. As is the case with these few
municipalities, it can be a good story of disciplined spending that achieves value for money; meticulous billing and collecting practices; assets that are well maintained and safeguarded; careful investments and savings for emergencies and future projects and commitments to investors and communities being honoured”. Weaknesses We summarise some of the weaknesses in his report: Poor quality of submitted financial statements and performance reports. The AG stated that credible finance statements and performance reports are crucial to enable accountability and transparency in government. Most municipalities continued to fail in these areas. Not only did the unqualified opinions on the financial statements provided for auditing show no improvement from the previous year, but only 18% of municipalities could
provide financial statements without misstatements. The AG paid tribute to the Mgcawu District Municipality, who received a clean audit for many years, but due to a single compliance finding failed to garner a clean audit this time. However, the AG noted that the municipality is “well capacitated” with strong leadership that includes a qualified chartered accountant who hold staff accountable. Prevalent use of consultants Despite the prevalent use of consultants this practice did not yield the intended results. An amount of R1.26b was spent on consultants for financial reporting services of which only 7% was a result of vacancies in the municipal finance units. Only 14% of the municipalities using consultants showed an improvement in their audit outcome while 22% regressed. Despite some adverse comments regarding the use of consultants the AG acknowledged that consultants play a constructive role in assisting municipalities in providing a financial support system to discharge their financial mandates. In this regard he drew
attention to Pixley ka Seme (De Aar) and reported that while the municipality did not receive a clean audit, he commended the municipality for holding consultants accountable for poor service. When the municipality became aware that the statements produced by the consultants contained numerous errors, the consultants had their fees docked by 35%. The consultants resolved the outstanding issues at no further costs. Similar comments were made by the AG in his report in respect of consultants used by the Moses Kotane (Mogwase Sun City) municipality. In this municipality, due to the lack of skills necessary to manage their finances, the municipality made use of consultants for two consecutive years. The outstanding feature in this case was that “the management did not delegate their responsibility for financial statements to the consultants”. Poor financial health of municipalities The financial statements showed increasing indicators of a concern in local government finances. The AG assessed that 79% of municipalities as having a financial health status that was either concerning or requiring urgent
intervention. Just under a third of the municipalities were in a vulnerable financial position. This could be ascribed to the inability to collect debt from municipal consumers. This situation has worsened as a result of the poor economic climate brought about by the Coronavirus. In these circumstances it is inevitable that municipalities will struggle to balance the books. Overall 34% of the municipalities disclosed a deficit. Conclusion In his conclusion of his last report the AG says “when looking across the board and after careful analysing the financial statements we audited, we can safely conclude that local government does have sufficient money and assets to fulfill most of the basic needs and aspirations of its citizens. However, much work is needed to make sure that this is realised. Proper administration and superintendence over the financial affairs of local government were not exercised and we found through this audit examination to be seriously lacking with subsequent consequences.”
However in his last audit he was able to provide clean audits to the following municipalities:
CLEAN AUDITED MUNICIPALITIES Eastern Cape
Senqu District Municipality
Midvaal Local Municipality
Okhahlamba Local Municipality
Capricorn District Municipality
Gert Sibanda District Municipality Nkangala District Municipality
John Taola Gaetsewe District Municipality
Cape Winelands District Municipality West Coast District Municipality Berg River Local Municipality Drakenstein Local Municipality Cape Agulhas Local Municipality Cederberg Local Municipality Hessequa Local Municipality Langeberg Local Municipality Overstrand Local Municipality Prince Albert Local Municipality Saldanha Bay Local Municipality Theewaterskloof Local Municipality Witzenberg Local Municipality
NEW AUDITOR GENERAL
OFFICE OF AUDITOR GENERAL ONCE AGAIN IN SAFE HANDS NEW AUDITOR GENERAL APPOINTED
sakani Maluleke, the first female Auditor General in South Africa’s history is aware that she has huge shoes to fill. She is also aware that she will be watched with hawk eyes to see if she lives up to the expectations the country came to expect of this office, after the sterling work of her predecessor, former AG late Kimi Makwetu. But Maluleke, who officially started in her new position on 1 December 2020, is a trailblazer and used to holding her own – knocking down stereotypes on her rise to this austere position. What made her appointed as the first female AG ever in the history of South Africa even more remarkable, was that it was a unanimous vote by all parties in Parliament. Maluleke certainly has the qualifications to step into the shoes of her predecessor, who served the nation with distinction during his term in office. She served for six years as the deputy to Makwetu – who served as AG until his untimely passing on 11 November 2020 – just 19 days short of his full term of seven years that would have expired on 30 November 2020. To those close to her and who know her work ethic, it came as no surprise that at the young age of 44, Maluleke is occupying one of the highest and most important positions in the finance sector of our country. As Auditor General her job is to hold to account and call to account all people, entities and institutions entrusted with the management of public funds and resources. She must ensure that there is no mismanagement of our taxes and
The new Auditor General Tsakani Maluleke
NEW AUDITOR GENERAL
must assist municipalities in taking the corrective measures that will ensure a clean audit. Maluleke had an early start, when at the age of nine, she worked on the cashier’s till at the family supermarket in Shoshanguve during the school holidays. It is from here that her love and passion for accountancy developed and grew. At first she wanted to follow in the footsteps of her late father, who was a judge at the Venda High Court. He advised her to study law and after matric she enrolled at the University of Cape Town (UCT) with the intent to study law. However, the pull of accountancy, her first love, was too strong and she changed direction from law to accountancy. She completed her undergraduate B.Com. Accounting degree in 1996, followed by her postgraduate degree in 1997. In 2016 she received a Diploma in Development and Public Management from the University of the Witwatersrand. Maluleke has more than 20 years’
experience in the private and public sectors, spanning diverse areas that include auditing, consulting, corporate advisory, development finance, i boards, including the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), the Independent Regulator and the Board for Auditors. She currently serves as chair of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants. She has also served on the Presidential Broad-Based Black Economic Advisory Council, where she led a sub-committee that developed recommendations that influenced key amendments to legislation and regulations relating to BBBEE. In her new position Maluleke must also look at strategic government objectives, programs and initiatives and respond to identified risks in her audit work. Certainly no mean task, but we believe the Office of the Auditor General is once again in safe hands. She is certainly an accomplished and inspirational leader and we wish her well.
Maluleke had an early start, when at the age of nine she worked on the cashier’s till at the family supermarket in Shoshanguve during the school holidays. It is from here that her love and passion for accountancy developed and grew. At first she wanted to follow in the footstep of her late father, who was a judge at the Venda High Court. He advised her to study law and after matric she enrolled at the University of Cape Town (UCT) with the intent to study law.
LIMPOPO DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS, ROADS & INFRASTRUCTURE
INTERVIEW WITH THE LIMPOPO MEC FOR PUBLIC WORKS, ROADS AND INFRASTRUCTURE Honourable Namane Dickson Masemola 1. In March 2020 you assumed the office of MEC for the Department of Public Works, Roads and Infrastructure in Limpopo. What were some of the major initiatives you implemented in the Department to manage the effects of COVID-19? Immediately upon our arrival in the department a lockdown was announced, so there was no time to focus on any other thing than on the fight against COVID -19, guided by the National and Provincial Coronavirus Command Councils respectively. The guidance and regulations put in place made it easier to develop strategies to deal with the pandemic internally. We were able to establish our internal COVID- 19 steering committee that assisted the Department to implement all requirements at the
HON MEC: MR NAMANE DICKSON MASEMOLA
work place meant to safeguard the health and wellbeing of officials. We were able to operate through online platforms and engaged with our stakeholders in line with the requirements. It was not easy at first as change management had to be conducted urgently through responsible line functions. These people had to bring all staff on board at a time they themselves didn’t know much about the pandemic, however they successfully managed to provide guidance throughout the process which ensured the department’s ability to continue operating. 2. How did the pandemic affect your management practices? The Department had to move with speed to fully make use of the
LIMPOPO DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS, ROADS & INFRASTRUCTURE
technology available in order to continue doing the business of government. We had to adapt to virtual meetings in order to continue playing the oversight role on the performance of the Department. With technology it was easier to conduct meetings even outside of working hours, as some people were working from the comfort of their homes and were more flexible. It was imperative that we reconfigure our way of operating in order to best service both the internal and external stakeholders. 3. Transport and infrastructure development are key to the growth of
Indeed, the growth and development of this country is dependent on infrastructure development. To this end we have been able to make inroads in the development of our road infrastructure network, notwithstanding the national economic backfoot we find ourselves in as a result of COVID-19.
the economy. What are the flagship projects of the Department? Indeed, the growth and development of this country is dependent on infrastructure development. To this end we have been able to make inroads in the development of our road infrastructure network, notwithstanding the national economic downturn we find ourselves in as a result of COVID- 19. When the lockdown conditions were eased, we were able to slowly go back on site and inspect road conditions on the ground. One of our main achievement was to sign a Memorandum of Agreement with several mines in the Sekhukhune district for the rehabilitation of the existing bridge and the construction of a new Steelpoort bridge on road D2219. This type of partnership between public and private institutions is critical, as they will enable government to carry out its mandate and ensure continuation of delivery of services to the people. The rehabilitation and construction of the bridges will be managed by the Roads Agency Limpopo, an entity of the Department of Public Works, Roads and Infrastructure. The Department is also managing construction works at the state-ofthe-art traffic college in Manenu, Vhembe District. This project is being implemented in phases, of which the first phase has been completed. There are several roads that
were completed and through these construction projects, jobs were created and community members received on the job skills training Seven kilometres on road D3556 from N11 at Gilead towards road D3564 in the Waterberg District was completed. Through this project 44 community members were employed and 38 of them benefitted from the Construction Education Training Authority (CETA) accredited on the job training. The Department assessed several roads in the province and swiftly ensured that contractors were appointed to start with major rehabilitation. The road networks that are due for major rehabilitation are • D3480, the road Joining Giyani and Phalaborwa in Greater Giyani Municipality • D3200 in Lebaka Mohlabaneng; Greater Giyani Municipality • D11 Kolobetona in Ga- Mamaila • D5140 Praktiseer in Sekhukhune District • D2537 Penge in Sekhukhune District • D1589 Kgobokanang to Ga-Makgato in Blouberg, Capricorn District As the implementing agent of government, we are also focusing on the construction of several school infrastructures in the province, these schools are: • Naledi ya Meso Primary school near Motetema in Sekhukhune • Leduma- Mahume Primary School that will be built at Maserumule Park in Makhuduthamakga , Sekhukhune District
Marude Secondary School in Thohoyandou , Vhembe District • AllDays Primary school in Vhembe District • Mahlagaume Primary school in Fetakgomo- Tubatse, Sekhukhune District • Gidela Secondary school in Mopani District 4. What are your major successes over the last year? In the year of uncertainties the Department was able to deliver on some of its major targets. These are the completion of infrastructure projects on behalf of client departments such as the Masia and the Mphaphuli Traditional Councill offices in the Vhembe District. These are offices for leaders of Royalty that assist them to render their services with dignity. We have been able to hand over sites for contractors to commence with infrastructure works for six (6) school project and six (6) roads requiring major rehabilitation. We have been able to continue with the business of government. The Department used the opportunity of a lockdown reprieve when we were all office bound, to attend to issues raised by external stakeholders concerning service delivery, and we were able to find common ground and rebuild relationships. This achievement will go a long way in ensuring that we
move together with our communities in developing the province. 5. How is your Department improving the lives of the citizens of Limpopo through job creation and the Public Works Programme? The Department, through its coordination role and partnership with implementing bodies, have commenced with Phase IV EPWP targets for this financial year. The provincial performance as of the end of December 2020 saw 52 451 work opportunities being created in the Social, Environment & Culture and Infrastructure Sectors of the programme against a target of 57 792 that translates to 91%. The Social Sector achieved 128%; Environment & Culture Sector achieved 79%, whilst the Infrastructure Sector achieved 69%. The overall work opportunities created in the province, including nationally funded projects through Non- State Sector & National Departments is 62 715, which represents 66% of our annual target. The provincial target inclusive of the Non- State Sector is 94 655 Work Opportunities. 6. What exciting plans do you have for the the growth, renewal and transformation of the region ahead of the local government elections? Our business is infrastructure delivery, and with accelerating economic recovery being on top of government’s agenda,
infrastructure development becomes one of the major vehicles to contribute to the recovery of the economy. Our plans are to focus on infrastructure development throughout the province concentrating on developing our road infrastructure network, designing modern bridges and making transportation of goods and people reliable, while opening access to the rest of Africa. This link has potential to unlock economic potential of the province. We will also continue to be an implementing agent of government and deliver on infrastructure needs of provincial departments such as schools, hospitals, clinics, libraries, offices etc. This is the reason why we exist 7. What message do you have for the citizens of South Africa in these difficult times? The people of South Africa are resilient people. We shall overcome this pandemic and we shall rise again as President Ramaphosa said. We need to keep wearing our masks correctly, practicing social distancing, washing or sanitizing our hands. I further urge people to choose to be vaccinated when their turn comes. We shall overcome. Thank you
The KwaZulu-Natal Joint Municipal Pension/Provident Funds – building a better tomorrow
The KwaZulu-Natal Joint Municipal Pension/ Provident Funds (NJMPF) is one of the oldest - if not the oldest - municipal pension fund in South Africa. Please give us an overview of the Fund, focusing on its historical background The KwaZulu-Natal Joint Municipal Pension/Provident Funds (NJMPF) is a provincial municipal pension fund that provides retirement benefits for municipal employees in the province of KwaZulu-Natal. The NJMPF drives inclusive, transparent and sustainable practices through innovation and financial literacy. NJMPF was founded through an Ordinance of Natal in 1942. It was founded to provide financial security for municipal employees in the province of KwaZulu-Natal as a vehicle for their retirement savings. The NJMPF is a non profit organisation,
it is self-administered and responsible for three retirement funds, namely: the KwaZulu-Natal Joint Municipal Pension Fund (Superannuation) and the KwaZulu-Natal Joint Municipal Pension Fund (Retirement) - that are both Defined Benefit Funds with guaranteed predictable lump-sum and monthly pension benefit at retirement - as well as the KwaZulu-Natal Joint Municipal Provident Fund, which is a Defined Contribution Fund. The fund credit depends on employer and employee contributions, interest on investments and returns by the Fund, where the member bears the investment risk. The NJMPF is leading the pack as a financial institution and offers an example of what is meant by superior service. In the last decade, the NJMPF has received a total of 101 accolades for excellence in different award categories, both locally and internationally, in areas such as
governance, investments, treating customers fairly, financial literacy programmes and best practices in retirement funding industry. For the past decade, the NJMPF has been working on the rationalisation project – the main objective of removing any historic discrimination and the equalisation of benefits in the two defined benefit funds. Is this Fund fully integrated? Are all municipal workers, irrespective of race or job description, allowed to be members? Please elaborate on the criteria to be a member and the projected benefits The NJMPF is fully integrated, it serves a diverse membership that has a fair representation of all racial groups, different income and social groups. Its active membership base is spread across the province of KwaZulu-Natal
and incorporates members in towns and cities (53%) as well as semi-urban (35%) and rural areas (12%). Active members total more than 22,300 with the gender split of 61% males and 39% females. The ages of our members are grouped into 40 years and younger (39%), 40 to 54 years (45%) while 16% are within 10 years of normal retirement age. The income spread amongst members is 22% semi-skilled workers 28%, 43% have a higher level of skill, or are classified as white collar, with 7% highly skilled and well paid. The total number in our pensioner group is 8 722, of which 42% are pensioners, 50% widow/ers and 8% are children beneficiaries. Municipal workers in all 10 districts of KZN, irrespective of race or job description, are members the NJMPF. The vision of the Fund is to provide superior retirement services and benefits to members, beneficiaries, and pensioners whilst its mission is to serve the best interests of the members by ensuring a high standard of retirement services to provide financial security. In ensuring that the members retire comfortably, the NJMPF has committed to providing its members a series of financial literacy and educational programmes. Communication and education for a quality retirement lifestyle is a priority for Fund management and staff. Engaging on substantial financial literacy and educational programmes is aimed at educating members and pensioners in the sound tenets of financial management to make informed financial decisions. The Fund has built up assets in excess of R20-billion. Please give an overview of these assets and who manages them At the NJMPF we believe that we are more likely to achieve our objectives if our investment portfolios are structured to deliver consistent performance. Our multi-balanced manager fund approach uses some of the world's
“Our multi-balanced manager fund approach uses some of the world’s best managers who excel in their areas of expertise and combine their complementary processes to provide the highest level of diversification and discipline in our investment portfolio” best managers who excel in their areas of expertise and combine their complementary processes to provide the highest level of diversification and discipline in our investment portfolio. The Fund monitors and, when necessary, replaces managers to provide a structure which captures our highest conviction ideas as conditions change. The Fund has adopted a multi-balanced management approach and with the help of our investment consultant, the Fund constructs an investment portfolio by utilising the expertise of various investment managers. The skill of blending various balanced managers into a portfolio is dependent on the Fund completely understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each manager. The Fund together with its investment consultant
spends a lot of time on researching the capabilities and performance records of the asset managers in the industry, trying in an effort to determine which managers are truly skilful, and able to meet the investment objectives of the Fund. The majority of the NJMPF’s assets are invested in various asset classes and proportionally weighted in equity’s, bonds, property and cash. Investing money in the listed companies and the government organisations results in job creation, alleviating poverty, and infrastructural developments. The Fund has an investment policy which adheres to the requirements of Regulation 28 of the Pension Funds Act of 1956 and was established in accordance with PF Circular 130 issued by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (“FSCA”).
The NJMPF values are entrenched in assisting members and providing support where it is possible – which makes it vital for the Fund to have a healthy relationship with its membership. The robust Financial Literacy Programme is evidence of this and it continues as an ongoing project. You indicate that your Fund is amongst industry leaders. Please elaborate on this statement indicating what sets the Fund apart from other municipal retirement funds What sets the NJMPF apart is its ability to add value through the value chain in the different areas of responsibility, by strategy formulating (intent) based on informed research and proper understanding of the micro and macro retirement environment, quality execution (implementing those strategies), aligning goals and objectives with the overall company strategy including the mission, vision and values of the Fund, placing members and pensioners at the centre of decision making, and continually brainstorming ideas - allowing creativity and innovation to build a culture of excellence and efficiency. The NJMPF values are entrenched in assisting members and providing support where it is possible – which makes it vital for the Fund to have a healthy relationship with its membership. The robust Financial Literacy Programme is evidence of this and it continues as an ongoing project. The NJMPF understands that providing timely and succinct communication is key in upholding the Fund’s mission of
providing superior retirement services. Please describe some of the Fund’s projects and what your members can expect in the near future We are member-centric and treat each and every one of our stakeholders as family. We understand how fragile life can be, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic. Now more than ever the family needs to stand united and protect one another. During Mandela Day 2020, the Fund pledged to use the 67 Mandela Minutes to celebrate the life of all NJMPF centenarians. Following up on this pledge, the Fund visited all NJMPF centenarians in their homes, and celebrated their life well lived. Our centenarians are aged between 100 and 106 years old. Understanding that the elderly are the most vulnerable and at high risk during these COVID times, the Fund created ‘NJMPF Covid-19 Survival Packs’ and donated them to the NJMPF centenarians. The survival packs had items like, hand sanitizers, facemask, fleece blankets, thermo mugs (these came in handy during winter when COVID-19 was at its highest peak) and fruit baskets. As part of the Fund’s Going Green project, the Fund also donated assorted seedlings to the NJMPF centenarians to grow their own veggie gardens and use sustainable gardening as a distraction
from the uncertainty and anxiety that came with the pandemic. The Fund introduced NJMPF animation videos offered in English, isiZulu and sign language enhancements for those members who are hard of hearing. Further to the animation video offering, the NJMPF introduced audio newsletters to accommodate those who are unable or those who prefer not to read - especially financial jargon that might be a challenge to understand. The audio newsletters are narrated by a household name in KZN-Vicky Masuku - a retired radio personality. Our members’ familiarity with Vicky Masuku and the flexibility and convenience of listening to the audio newsletter instead of paging through a written newsletter has increased interest from our members to listen to this quarterly offering. The Fund embarked on an exciting venture for 2020/21 by launching the Going Green project. The Going Green project forms part of a bigger project of sustainable investing. Sustainable investing is about investing in progress, and recognising that companies solving the world’s biggest challenges can be best positioned to grow. It is about pioneering better ways of doing business and creating the momentum to encourage more and more people to opt into the future we are working to create.
Transformation in the NJMPF: Growing your own timber
onginkosi Mkhize was appointed as CEO/Principal Officer of the KwaZulu-Natal Joint Municipal Pension/Provident Funds (NJMPF) in July 2019. He is the first black CEO/ Principal Officer of the NJMPF and his appointment, barely six months before the onset of Covid-19, was indeed a baptism of fire. However, Mr. Mkhize is no stranger to leading and building value through innovative and creative thinking and he excels in decision making within the pension funds sector. Over an 11-year period he worked steadily through the ranks at the NJMPF, serving as a manager, Chief Financial Officer and now CEO. Mr.Mkhize completed his South African Institute of Chartered Accounts (SAICA) articles at the office of the Auditor General, and it was there that he gained invaluable experience in compliance and statutory requirements including auditing and accounting in the public sector. Beside his academic credentials, he holds a bachelor’s degree in finance and a post graduate diploma in Investment Management and Banking from University of KwaZulu-Natal. His vision for the NJMPF under the converging economy and rapid development of technologies - is advanced technology facilities, lower administration fees and speedier conduction of business. With an illustrious track record in the pension fund industry of over 79 years, and ably led by Bonginkosi Mkhize, the NJMPF, has actively joined the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. Ironically 2020 (a fresh start to a new decade) was hailed with a great deal of enthusiasm at the end of 2019. It was even dubbed “20 plenty”. However, Covid-19 brought with it fear, sorrow and uncertainty and changed the world as we knew it. How did the KwaZulu-Natal Joint
Municipal Pension Funds respond to the pandemic? Under the steady guidance of the CEO, the NJMPF responded timeously to the outbreak and promptly created regular Lockdown Update circulars
containing relevant information and facts pertaining to the virus that were distributed to its members. The Fund also produced a video wherein Bonginkosi Mkhize addressed stakeholders to allay fears of global investment meltdowns and to assure members that the Fund was working diligently to continue processing contributions, paying claims and looking after the investment portfolios. In an attempt to keep its members safe and help fight the spread of the virus, the Fund also created an NJMPF Covid-19 survival kit, consisting of facemasks, sanitisers, sanitiser foot pumps and bottled water which were donated to all 55 municipalities in KwaZulu- Natal. This distribution of the survival kits reflects how NJMPF is giving back to its members and assisting them during these turbulent times - the Fund was not silenced by the global pandemic.
WATER WISE: SUSTAINING OUR WATER RESOURCES Improving our water infrastructure
uring his 2021 SONA address, President Ramaphosa alluded to the importance of continued investment into the water sector in the country, with the announcement of the development of an infrastructure investment project pipeline worth R340-billion for sectors such as energy, water, transport and telecommunications. Speaking during his fifth State of the Nation Address the President said construction had started and progress is being made on a number of major water infrastructure projects, such as Phase 2A of the Mokolo and Crocodile River project and the uMkhomazi Water Project. Challenges that require urgent attention It has been estimated that about one third of our water in South Africa is being
lost due to aging and leaking infrastructure. This state of our infrastructure has steadily been deteriorating. Scientific reports have indicated that South Africa is fast approaching physical water scarcity by 2025, and we will have a water deficit of 17% by 2030. These startling revelations should signal a stern warning to government that the time has come to urgently relook at the present policies regarding our water and sanitation challenges. A quick glance at the present water demand clearly indicates that the demand by South Africans for water is much higher than is available. The movement of people from the rural areas as well as neighboring countries to the metros has created a high population density that has caused low water availability due to the
increased numbers. The two provinces that are highly affected are Gauteng and the Western Cape. Gauteng has recently grown its population by one million as a result of this urban drift. The Western Cape has grown its population by 79% over a 10-year period. Both these provinces have not made the necessary policy adjustments to increase capacity that will service these additional demands on their water resources. This has no doubt placed a tremendous strain on the already overburdened existing water infrastructure. It must also be noted that South Africans use way above the world average of 173 litres per person per day by using 237 litres of water per person per day. Government Communications and Information Services (GCIS) advised that South Africa is the 29th driest country in the world out of 193. Statistics South Africa further reveal that municipalities with the largest percentage of backlog infrastructure development and low water reliability are located in the largely rural areas along the eastern seaboard in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. The highest being Ngquza Hill at 81.7%, Port St Johns at 81.3% and Mbizana at 77.8% as compared with Cape Town at 0.2% with Drakenstein and Saldanha Bay at 0.5%. The way forward Whilst South Africa is still under threat of a lack of sufficient water and
The time has come for a completely new approach to our water and sanitation needs in South Africa. An overhaul of policies and laws pertaining to the supply of clean and safe drinking water for South Africans is required. water quality, and with availability issues becoming more acute, the country is much better prepared to deal with this problem now than a few decades ago, owing to the Water Research Commission’s (WRC) meaningful contribution to the development of the capacity of the water sector, the broadening of the country’s watercentred R&D base, and the WRC continued commitment to direct and fund research on critical issues. “In the future (short-to long-term), it is envisaged that South Africa’s water problems may intensify. Issues such as water for all, quality of life, and a
sustainable environment are an essential part of the country’s national priorities and require considerable attention. In addition, implementation of the National Water Act of 1998, and the related national water strategy, places considerable demand on water management and calls for research support. The role of South Africa in SADC and NEPAD (New Partnership for Africa’s Development), especially with regard to water resource and water supply and sanitation issues, poses new challenges and requires new initiatives which are within the mandate of the WRC.” – Water Research Commission The time has come for a complete new approach to our water and sanitation needs in South Africa. An overhaul of policies and laws pertaining to the supply of clean and safe drinking water for South Africans is required. Ad hoc changes have proved to be futile, as these challenges have not been overcome. We have been addressing the symptoms and not the causes. Our researchers, interest groups and water and sanitation activists together with international water scientists in their many seminars and research papers have identified the root causes of our water challenges. The consensus is that unless we agree to undertake a comprehensive overhaul of the present policies relating to the full value chain of water and sanitation,
we will most certainly be heading for a water crisis. We have already witnessed numerous protests in many municipalities around water service delivery. This is a huge task, however it is essential if municipalities are to discharge their constitutional mandate to provide clean safe water to its communities. In view of the comprehensive nature of the overhaul we will look at the management of our water infrastructure. The most important aspect of water management is to acknowledge that without water, life as we know it, will just simply vanish. It is therefore vital that we invest in water infrastructure and institutions. We can learn from the many ancient civilizations that their main focus was on the development of water infrastructure, the supply of water and the management thereof. They understood the value of water sustainability and as a result imposed strict rules regarding the management of water and its infrastructure. Archeologists discovered many ancient water storage and water distribution canals that were still in good condition after several thousands of years. The great empires of Egypt, China and Rome were built on strict water management rules. During the Roman Empire, after successfully invading a country, the first major infrastructure to be built was the water aqueducts. These were a system of water channels often off the ground to provide water to the soldiers, their horses and livestock. The use of water was strictly monitored and the channels were guarded and maintained to ensure a sustainable supply of water. The Egyptians were the strictest when it came to maintaining water infrastructure. If anyone allowed the banks of the water channels to weaken or deteriorate the punishment was death. History tells us that one of the reasons for the collapse of many early civilizations can be attributed to the mismanagement of water resource infrastructures. We need to avoid this at all costs. Where to start In 2008 it was proposed that a national water resource infrastructure agency be established to secure South Africa’s long-term water security by undertaking the development and management of national water resource infrastructure. This proposal was as a result of the acknowledgement that there was poor performance of water and sanitation infrastructure at national and local level, poor asset management and insufficient maintenance of existing infrastructure, lack of technical
skills within the operational divisions at both national and local level, poor enforcement of policies, theft, vandalism of infrastructure and financial mismanagement. This proposal that was included in the National Development Plan was designed to address these shortcomings, but despite it being drafted in bill form, it was never tabled and the bill lapsed. This would be a great place to start this process. The way forward This proposal for a national water resource infrastructure agency should be revived together with the decentralisation of the management of water and sanitation water infrastructure. A start at decentralisation was made when the National Water Act was enacted. Since then only two Catchment Management Agencies (CMA), the Breede Gouritz agency, falling within the Western and Eastern Cape provinces and the Inkomati-
Usuthu agency largely in Mpumalanga, have been established. The Act envisages that water resource management is delegated to regional levels through CMAs to address specific issues relevant to the area and its people. The rationale for establishing CMAs relates to the proximity they share to the local communities and knowledge base. Decision-making, implementation and monitoring are improved because CMAs have easier access to information. They also lighten the department’s work-load in ensuring efficient water resource management at localised level, and are able to engage local municipalities on issues affecting their water resources. It is therefore essential and urgent that the departments roll out CMAs in the other seven water management areas without further delays in order to preserve and sustain our water resource infrastructure.
NATIONAL SCHOOL OF GOVERNMENT A SERVICE FOR MUNICIPALITIES T
he past year of 2020 marked 20 years since the establishment of local government system in its current form. The period within this sphere of government has characterized by a new era of accountable leadership of the people through which the communities are able from time to time express how they want to be governed. Several key reforms were introduced, and these included the promulgation of Municipal Structures Act of 1998, Municipal Systems Act of 2000 and the Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA) of 2003. The MFMA is aimed critically at modernizing budget and financial management practices by placing local government finances on a sustainable footing. Central to this is the governance part of the various players within the municipalities through clarifying and separating the roles and responsibilities of the mayor, executive and non-executive councilors and officials. The MFMA is a direct requirement of the Constitution, which obliges the local government sphere to be transparent about its financial affairs, and also is a direct result of the broader reform package for local government, and as outlined in the 1998 White Paper on Local Government. As a result of these reforms, local government has over the past few decades gone through an unprecedented change in governance and administration. This was also influenced by changes in other spheres which saw the national budgeting processes been rated amongst the leading nations in the world. Local government as the closest sphere to the people remains key in eradicating poverty and inequality within communities. This requires municipalities to play a developmental role to stimulate economic growth within the areas they govern. The National Development Plan highlights
the key challenges that continue to face Local government which include mainly poor capacity and weak administrative systems, amongst others. The report clearly shows that within the current framework of the Constitution, there is more room for allocation of powers and functions and for more diversity in developmental priorities being implemented. To achieve these objectives, the sphere needs to address the outlined capacity constraints, allowing more experimentation in institutional forms and working collaboratively with national and provincial government.
• Municipal audit outcomes continue to decline. A skilled and capable workforce is thus central to local government’s ability to meet its constitutional mandate and live up to its developmental local government vision. There is furthermore a need for high standard of ethical practice being maintained in local government and that public resources be used efficiently and, in the manner intended. Our democratic system of government in general is critically dependent on transparency and accountability to the public.
Improved performance requires commitment from every individual in every level within municipalities to pursue excellence in the execution of the roles and responsibilities allocated. Various reports by the auditor general in recent past have shown high levels of irregular expenditure by municipalities. Some of the other continuous challenges in municipalities include: • Underspending on capital budgets continues to be a challenge. • Total outstanding consumer debtors has expanded significantly. • Water and electricity losses remain high.
Improved performance requires commitment from every individual in every level within municipalities to pursue excellence in the execution of the roles and responsibilities allocated. The National School of Government established as a national department, continues to serve as critical partner in ensuring that the service delivery capacity in government and particularly in local government
is strengthened with the human resource capacity being continuously trained and retrained. The School has over the years trained thousands of officials within the local government sector on key areas, mainly on leadership, ethics and supply chain management. The facilitated training was mostly directly with the municipalities and in other instances in collaboration with other partners to capacitate municipalities. Such partnerships have been concluded with various provincial cooperative government departments and organized local governments. It is a known fact that the local government sector continues to experience high turnover of staff and these requires continuous building of capacity for ever changing staff components. As a School we have observed and encouraged some best practices in some municipalities that prioritize capacity building for their officials to enable them to deliver on their responsibilities. One of these best practices has been on the capacity being built on members serving on various bid committees before they commence with their duties. These are officials whom some do not possess any background in financial and supply chain management. It becomes crucial that such members are not just thrown in the deep end of serving in these committees that oversee millions of rand in spending, in a high-risk environment, without equipping them with the necessary knowledge of the supply chain environment. The School offers a specific programme on bid committees for the MFMA environment and the course is also offered online with learners being able to complete the course at their own pace. The bid committees in municipalities are changed quite regularly for a variety of reasons and remain the responsibility of the municipality that bid committees members are well capacitated to ensure that the awarding of the bids are done in line with the legal prescripts and follow required competitive processes so the municipality can get value for money.
behavior as one its key priorities within the public sector and the School has over the years been offering a course on ethics in local government which is at the heart of what is required to professionalize the public administration and municipalities. Communities and ratepayers expect services that are offered in an ethical manner and this has not always been the case and there are perceived serious challenges in the area of ethics within the local government sector. Amongst the offerings designed specifically for local government as a sector by the School is the flagship programme on Leadership Programme in Local Government which is aimed at municipal leaders, managers and other officials in municipalities. This is an accredited programme (with LGSETA) with five modules covering a variety of areas including intergovernmental relations and political oversight. The School remains available as dedicated support to local government sector through capacity building and the training is offered on multiple platforms including online, face to face and virtually. Training is offered throughout the country by a pool of highly experienced current and former officials of the state with the programmes content developed specifically for the sector. Major training partnerships have been formed with most metro municipalities and other municipalities, while there are still many more that still require support. The School remains open and doing its bit to improve the capacity of the state, including local government sphere through training and facilitating learning.
The current administration has made ethical
Contact Mr. Lucas Raphela, Director: Financial Management Training Tel: +27 86 100 8326 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www.thensg.gov.za
school of government Department: National School of Government REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA
STATE OF THE PROVINCE ADDRESS Delivered by the Premier of Limpopo Province Honourable Chupu Mathabatha Premier of Limpopo Province
Honourable Chupu Mathabatha
his year’s address is taking place amid a devastating and deadly global coronavirus pandemic, that has severely impacted our plans. To move Limpopo forward to a destination of equality, prosperity and a better life for all, we have aligned our work for the year ahead with the four national priorities outlined by President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa in the State of the Nation Address. These priorities are: • Defeating the coronavirus pandemic. • Accelerating our economic recovery. • Implementing economic reforms to create sustainable jobs and drive inclusive growth; and • Fighting corruption and strengthening the state. Regarding the task to defeat the coronavirus, there is evidence that we are beginning to win the war against this killer enemy. However, there are still many more battles to win before we can win the war. Part of these battles is the rollout
of the Covid-19 vaccine. Our healthcare machinery is equally ready for the vaccine rollout in line with the national plan. We have also been at work to empower the people of Limpopo with correct information about Covid-19 vaccination. As part of our Phase One rollout: • We will use all our hospitals, excluding
We remain committed to the idea of using the muscle of state procurement to transform and diversify our economy. During the year under review, we ensured that at least 19% of state procurement beneﬁtted women-owned businesses.
specialised hospitals, as vaccination sites. • We will use all hospitals as vaccination training centres for all the clinics in the catchment areas. • Each district has established mobile vaccination teams attached to the hospitals. • Districts are working to ensure that all vaccination mobile teams are well-equipped to conduct Phase One vaccination Phase Two of the rollout will focus on persons in congregate settings, such as people in correctional facilities, people 60 years and older, and persons with comorbidities. The second phase will also focus on other essential workers, such as the teachers, police, security oﬃcers, food and retail workers, workers in funeral parlours, employees of banks and mineworkers. Phase Three of the Covid-19 vaccine rollout will target almost everyone not covered in the ﬁrst two phases. We will focus on the programmes
to reposition Limpopo on a trajectory of inclusive socio-economic recovery, development and growth. We remain committed to the idea of using the muscle of state procurement to transform and diversify our economy. During the year under review, we ensured that at least 19% of state procurement beneﬁtted women-owned businesses. About 12% of state procurement beneﬁtted enterprises owned by young people. Our target is to increase this number to at least 20% in the next financial year. We will also improve the participation of people living with disabilities in the provision of goods and services to our government. Regarding our commitment to drive industrialisation, we are revitalising our Industrial Parks. In an effort to position digital economy as a driver of growth and a creator of employment, we have made signiﬁcant progress with the rollout of the Limpopo Broadband Network project. We have already established the Data Centre, Network Operating Control Centre, and
the Contact Centre. We have connected a total of 52 sites to the network infrastructure, using both ﬁbre and satellite technologies. There are already a number of young people in this province who are using the opportunity of the internet to empower themselves and others.
We have set aside R3.5 billion to augment the available resources to drive our response. From the R3.5 billion, we have allocated R500 million to support enterprise development, farmer support and road infrastructure.
These young people are using the power of the internet progressively, for personal development and for employment creation. Young people in Limpopo are trailblazers who set standards at the highest level and dominate the international scene. I want to congratulate a young woman, our very own Miss South Africa, Shudufhadzo Musida who is the perfect personiﬁcation of the phrase “Beauty and Brains”. In response to the Covid-19 pandemic that has worsened the challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality, we have adopted the Limpopo SocioEconomic Recovery Plan. We have set aside R3.5 billion to augment the available resources to drive our response. From the R3.5 billion, we have allocated R500 million to support enterprise development, farmer support and road infrastructure. As part of this Covid-19 relief programme, we are providing relief through our existing ﬁnancing facility to the value of R10 million to Co-operatives,
LIMPOPO SOPA Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises. The Tourism sector in our province has been growing and ﬂourishing since 2015. The impact of Covid-19 on our provincial economy was particularly devastating in the tourism sector. Accordingly, we are implementing a Provincial Tourism Recovery Plan, focusing on: • Protecting the provincial share of the tourism market. • Protecting the tourism infrastructure. • Implementing a revised Provincial Marketing Plan to rigorously promote Limpopo as a preferred tourist destination. Last year I announced our government’s plans to establish Farmer Production Support Units as part of our Agri-Parks. We have since allocated an amount of R57.5 million to fund the Farmer Support Relief Programme. This package will help support our farmers and mitigate the impact of Covid-19 on agricultural production. Over and above, 2 500 farmers in the province will beneﬁt from a R1.2 billion relief support initiated by the National Department of Agriculture, Land reform and Rural Development. The Constitution enjoins the state to support the institution of traditional leadership. In this connection we call on the legislature to expedite the process of the review of the Limpopo Provincial Governance and Traditional Leadership Framework Act. Regarding the improvement of our road infrastructure, we commend SANRAL for the completion of the muchawaited Polokwane N1 RING-ROAD. We are also delighted with the progress taking place at the R-81 between Munnik and Ga-Sekgopo. The 10 kilometre stretch improvements will go a long way in easing traﬃc congestions and reducing the number of road accidents in that area. The delivery of healthcare infrastructure is well underway. Please allow me to report the following progress: • The construction of the OutPatient Department (OPD) at MaphuthaMalatjie Hospital is at 80%; • Work has started on the renovation of the 36-bed female surgical ward at Letaba hospital. This work is expected to be completed in the next Financial Year; • We will be completing the upgrading of laundries at Tshilidzini and Letaba hospitals during the next financial year;
Pre-construction work has already commenced for the construction of Bosele and Lebowakgomo Emergency Medical Services stations. Delivery of water to our people remains high on the agenda of this government. Through the Regional Bulk Infrastructure Grant we are implementing major infrastructure projects across the province.
We are also delighted with the progress taking place at the R-81 between Munnik and Ga-Sekgopo. The 10 Kilometre stretch improvements will go a long way in easing traffic congestions and reducing the number of road accidents in that area.
Currently the Trans-Caledon Tunnel Authority is exploring funding options with the DBSA to facilitate implementation of Phase 2B of the Olifants River Water Resources Development Project. We are at the design phase of the Olifants River Water Resources Development Project. Also under construction are the bulk pipelines, pump stations and reservoirs to supply water to 40 villages in the Nebo Plateau. Another water infrastructure project under construction is the upgrading of Nkambako Water Treatment Works. This includes associated pipelines and pump stations, and the construction of a new pipeline to Babanana. These projects are yet another aﬃrmation of the ANC led government’s commitment to ensure that our people have access to clean drinking water. Investing in the education of our children is investing in the future of our province and our country. Using Grade 12 results as a yardstick, we have begun to earn dividends on our investment in education.
In terms of quantitative improvement, our results increased from 62.5% in 2016 to 65.6% in 2017. In 2018 we increased to 69.4%. The class of 2019 raised the bar to 73.2%. The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 disrupted our quantitative improvement. It is within this context that we should welcome the 68.2% performance from the Grade 12 class of 2020. Our message to the learners who did not make it is there are alternatives, together let us try again. We are continuing to invest in the state-of-the-art technology to improve the performance of our public healthcare system. To move our public healthcare system to the new age, we have equipped all our regional and tertiary hospitals with cutting- edge radiology equipment such as fully-ﬁtted Computed Tomography Scan (CT Scan). We will also be procuring additional mammography equipment to improve our capacity in the ﬁght against breast cancer. In this coming financial year, we will deliver 5000 houses across all the districts in the province. This will be further
supplemented by 148 rental units for those who qualify to participate in the housing rental market. Through the construction of houses and servicing of sites, we aim to create 3000 additional jobs in the sector. This will provide the much-needed shelter for 20 000 residents of our province. Local government is an engine that powers the delivery of basic services to our communities. During the strict lockdown, a number of municipalities had to adopt considerable measures to assist struggling household. some measures included: • Temporary suspension of credit control and debt collection policies • Temporary suspension of interest on arrears. • Writing off some of the debts • Temporary suspension of rates collection. We continue to honour the commitment to restore the dignity of our people by providing them with safer, well-located and decent housing. This year our people across the country and in our province will be refreshing the mandate of public representatives in the local sphere of government. We encourage the people of Limpopo to participate in the forthcoming local government elections and choose their councillors. Passenger Subsidy Programme For the 2021/2022 ﬁnancial year, government has set aside approximately R659 million to support the bus industry, so that workers do not spend substantial amounts of their wages on transport to work.
We will send a strong message against those involved or complicit in corrupt activities and a stern warning against elements involved in defrauding our government and delivering sub-standard work.
Last year I announced that I was to sign Service Delivery Agreements with MECs as part of the program to make government open, transparent, accountable. I have since ﬁnalised and signed Service Delivery Agreements with all MECs. The deliverables contained in the agreements include improving service delivery, ensuring good governance, and sound ﬁnancial management. These agreements will also help us to hold MECs accountable in relation to the work we have mandated them to perform. The worst and perhaps most deplorable crime in recent memory is the alleged PPE corruption. To make matters worse, that was at the time when our country was in a desperate need for the much needed resources. When this scandal broke I immediately invited the SIU to investigate and report back to us on their ﬁndings. We are awaiting the ﬁnalisation of the investigations. We will send a strong message against those involved or complicit in corrupt activities and a stern warning against elements involved in defrauding our government and delivering substandard work. The audit outcomes for provincial departments and entities are continuously improving. Today we are able to report that the provincial government has regained its feet with regard to the ethos of good governance and sound ﬁnancial management. CONCLUSION The measures we outlined are centred around a vision to industrialise our province through manufacturing development, agricultural expansion agro-processing, mining expansion, mineral beneﬁciation, and revitalisation of tourism. We envisage that there are other sectors that will play a key role as well, such as the services sector. Support for Co-operatives, and SMMEs to thrive is also a vital element in transformation and development. Through this vision, we hope to create jobs, eradicate poverty, reduce inequality, and march forward to a shared prosperity. Ndolivhuwa! Na khensa! Kea leboga I thank you! This is an edited version of the Limpopo State of the Province Address
BLOEM WATER CELEBRATES 30 YEARS OF SERVICE TO THE COMMUNITY To commemorate this milestone we interviewed the Chairperson of Bloem Water, Mr. Tefetso Phitsane on this auspicious occasion. 1. Congratulations on Bloem Water’s 30-year anniversary. Please give an overview of the history and services delivered by Bloem Water. Bloem Water is listed as a Schedule 3B National Government Business Enterprise in terms of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA), Act No. 1 of 1999, as amended. The Board as the Accounting Authority, of which I am the Chairperson, that reports to the Minister of Human Settlement, Water and Sanitation (DHSWS) as the Executive Authority. Bloem Water has grown to commemorate its existence of 30 years as a Water Board providing bulk quality water to more than 1.2-million people of the communities in the service areas since 1991. Since its establishment, in terms of Water Services Act 108 of 1997, the Entity has been operating in three Municipalities: Mangaung Metropolitan, Mantsopa, and Kopanong Local Municipalities through its four (4) Regions: • Brandkop; biggest reservoir located at Head Office in Bloemfontein • Caledon River Region; Welbedacht • Orange River Region; Bethulie • Modder River Region; Rustfontein
2. Please outline your sustainability practices and how you ensure the supply of quality water to your service areas. The sustainable practices are realised through operations, including water purification processes at three water schemes, are run through seven water treatment works located in the areas of supply. It operates three water schemes, with the biggest scheme being the Caledon that supplies bulk water to the Greater Mangaung Area. The Entity plays a critical role in
It operates three water schemes, with the biggest scheme being the Caledon that supplies bulk water to the Greater Mangaung Area. This is achieved through the main pipeline that transfers treated water to the biggest reservoir, Brandkop
upholding the South African Constitution in as far as access to basic Water Services and Sanitation is concerned. The Entity also engages in secondary activities for the relevant stakeholders (Municipalities and Shareholder). This is achieved through the main pipeline that transfers treated water to the biggest reservoir, Brandkop. The transfer of Raw Water via the Novo Transfer scheme for augmentation of Rustfontein Dam is also achieved at the Caledon when the need arises during low rainfall seasons. This scheme, with its challenges of siltation, poses a risk on the Raw Water availability to the Entity, but mitigation plans are in place to address this challenge. This includes, but not limited to, the planned Mangaung Raw Water Augmentation Project and the planned building of the off-channel storage dam to mitigate the siltation at Welbedacht Dam WTW. The second biggest scheme is the Modder River Region that supplies water to Botshabelo, Thaba Nchu, and Excelsior. The Region also supplies Raw Water to the Maselspoort WTW. The Orange River is the third region supplying Bulk Water to Kopanong Local Municipality. It is responsible for supply of
Chairperson Bloem Water: Tefetso Bernard Phitsane
drinking water to seven (7) of the nine (9) towns of Kopanong Local Municipality. 3. What have been some of your greatest successes, including the winning of awards? The Entity is proud of its flagship project, the Conduit HydroPower Plant that was initiated in partnership with the University of Pretoria, Water Research Commission, Free State Provincial Government and Department of Water and Sanitation. The Plant is situated at Brandkop reservoir that the main building with power supplies, saving costs towards electricity bill. The Entity received numerous awards, to name a few: Diamond Summit Award in 2018 – London, International Water Quality Awards- New York 2017, PMR Africa Awards from 2017 to 2020 respectively. In different categories; Best Water Providing Company in 2017, Good governance Company in 2018 and Best Water Service Provider in 2019 and 2020. The Entity annually bestows Long Service Recognition awards to employees who have reached employment milestones of twenty (20) years or more with Bloem Water. 4. How have you overcome your biggest challenges? Non-payment by municipalities remains the biggest challenge not only
for Bloem Water but water boards in general. This has a huge impact on the Entity’s daily operations to supply water and threatens its ability to meet current and future obligations. Municipalities’ failure to service its debt has resulted in the implementation of water restrictions resulting in water interruptions for communities. However, there have been several engagements with different municipalities and ultimately agreements reached. Several strategies, including strengthening of stakeholder relations, were introduced to take corrective action and pursue legal processes for revenue collection. 5. Please unpack how you ensure a culture of excellence in Bloem Water. Maintaining a conducive organisational culture to ensure that the Board can retain the right skills for effective service delivery is key. A well-designed induction programme has achieved the culture of excellence, offering of attractive working conditions, a conducive organisational culture, market related remuneration, career development through training and development opportunities, performance management with rewards. A staff engagement index is performed regularly to understand how employees think and feel about their
work and to provide them with an opportunity to express themselves regarding different workplace dimensions. Management to set in motion various interventions to address areas requiring attention uses this information. 6. How did Covid impact on Bloem Water? The impact of COVID-19 has inevitably resulted in delays on infrastructure projects, implementation of training during the lockdown period, however, the Entity ensured resource planning and management during the COVID-19 lockdown to ensure uninterrupted water supply 7. What are your plans for 2021? Through its 2021-2026 business plan which is reviewable annually, the Entity commits itself to utilize Key Performance Indicators in line with those of the Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation to monitor the performance of the Entity and in line with its strategic intent as well as the NDP. Further, in exercising strategic oversight over the Entity and realising the Executive Authority’s objectives, the Board of Directors of Bloem Water, has adopted a set of priorities underpinned by a set of strategic objectives for the period 2021 to 2026.
Righting wrongs in Africa
Centre for Human Rights trains hundreds of human rights experts over the last 21 years
he Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, is an internationally recognised hybrid institution; both an academic department in the Faculty of Law and a NGO/CSO that combines academic excellence, effective activism, education, training, research and capacity-building to advance human rights in Africa. About the Centre for Human Rights The Centre was established in the Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, in 1986, as part of domestic efforts against the apartheid system of the time. Over the years, the Centre has positioned itself in
an unmatched network of practising and academic lawyers, national and international civil servants and human rights practitioners across the entire continent, with a specific focus on human rights law in Africa, and international development law in general. The Centre presents 10 annual advanced human rights courses, has nine thematic research units, offers five Master’s degree programmes, presents two major moot court competitions, publishes three journals and houses one university press. Today, a wide network of Centre alumni contribute in numerous ways to the advancement and strengthening of human rights and
democracy all over the Africa continent, and even further afield. In 2006, the Centre was awarded the UNESCO Prize for Human Rights Education, with particular recognition for the African Human Rights Moot Court Competition and the LLM/MPhil in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa. On the occasion of marking 25 years of its existence in 2012, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ rights awarded its Human Rights Prize for civil society oranisations to the Centre. About the Master’s Programme in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa Established in 2000, the Master’s Programme in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa (HRDA) aims to develop capacity in the form of experts in the field of human rights and democratisation in order to strengthen national and regional structures that deal with human rights and democracy. It is a regional cooperation initiative involving 13 leading African universities representing all the main geographic subregions, languages and legal traditions in Africa. Candidates are taught by eminent lecturers in the field of human rights and undergo many practical training exercises. It is the only course of its kind in Africa. Graduates become members of the HRDA Alumni Association whose 590 members are currently active in the full spectrum of human rights work:
Established in 2000, the Master’s Programme in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa (HRDA) aims to develop capacity in the form of experts in the field of human rights and democratisation in order to strengthen national and regional structures that deal with human rights and democracy. from grassroots, through civil service, to international organisations including the African Union and the United Nations. The story of the HRDA programme started in the year 2000. By then, the Centre had over 15 years established itself as a human rights hub, with a South African-focused Master’s programme on human rights, and a growing African footprint gained by organising the African Human Rights Moot Court Competition together with law schools across the continent. With the adoption of its Constitutive Act in the same year, the African Union (AU) started to reshape a
more human rights-responsive regional governance landscape. The time was ripe for the Centre to introduce a postgraduate academic programme focusing on human rights within Africa, generally, and the AU, specifically. Together with its founding partners, the Centre designed and implemented the HRDA to nurture and mould a core group of committed change agents eager and able to more firmly anchor the principles of human rights adherence and democratic governance on African soil. Since then, for 21 years, the HRDA has run annually, without interruption. The Centre’s network has grown into 12 collaborating partners, stretching from the western-most part of the continent (Université Gaston Berger in Senegal) to the far east (University of Mauritius), and from the southern tip (University of the Western Cape) to the Horn of Africa (Addis Ababa University). Wonderful colleagues – programme managers, assistants, teachers, tutors – have come and gone; and some have stayed much longer than expected. They were consistently supported by the full Centre for Human Rights team. Since the year 2000, a total of 590 candidates from 46 countries (38 of them in Africa) survived the rigours of the programme, and proudly graduated. If, by its proverbial fruits a tree is appraised, the alumni of 21 years allow the Centre, its partners, collaborators and supporters
Call for applications
Master’s degree (LLM/MPhil) in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa (HRDA) This prestigous degree is presented by the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, in partnership with 12 leading African universities.
31 JULY 2021
Applications are fully online and opened on 1 March 2021.
Course duration: JANUARY – DECEMBER 2022
LLM/MPhil (HRDA) - Eligibility criteria • Law students (LLM option): A degree allowing access to the legal profession
Approximate cost: US$ 15 000 UP TO 25 FULL SCHOLARSHIPS ARE AVAILABLE FOR AFRICAN CITIZENS. Partially or fully self-funded students are also encouraged to apply for this programme.
Supported by the European Union, the Royal Norwegian Embassy, and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)
• Non-law students (MPhil option):
An Honours degree in a discipline relevant to human rights and democratisation
Applicants must have excellent academic credentials and demonstrate human rights experience or interest. Women, as well as members of minority groups such as indigenous people, LGBTI persons and persons with disabilities, are particularly encouraged to apply.
APPLY ONLINE: www.chr.up.ac.za/hrda
to withstand the strictest tools of measurement. The HRDA alumni testify not only to the manifold fruits of the labours of love, but also to the seeds they have planted to foster further growth in human rights and democratic governance. HRDA graduates are involved in all the dimensions of human rights practice, mostly on the African continent, but also beyond its borders. The Centre is privileged to count among its alumni: chairpersons of the African Union’s two main human rights bodies; Chief Justices; Cabinet Ministers; and many more graduates holding positions of great influence. Gatherings of human rights practitioners and academics in Africa frequently include a number of HRDA alumni who invariably make outstanding contributions. It is a constant highlight to encounter alumni on the sidelines of events, and to experience the broadening of networks and the reaffirmation of a solidarity of vision, value and purpose. HRDA alumni have founded NGOs in challenging circumstances, they have stood up for human rights at great cost to themselves and they have spoken up when others remained silent. The Centre aims to continuously grow and support the graduates of the HRDA into a network that collectively bends the arc of the moral universe towards justice and human rights. Applications for the Class of 2022 are now open. Up to 25 full scholarships are available for African citizens. Applicants must have excellent academic credentials and demonstrate human rights experience or interest. Women, as well as members of minority groups such as indigenous people, LGBTI persons and persons with disabilities, are particularly encouraged to apply For more information on the Centre for Human Rights, visit www.chr.up.ac.za For more information on the HRDA, visit www.chr.up.ac.za/hrda Contact details: Yolanda Booyzen Communications and Advocacy Manager Centre for Human Rights Faculty of Law University of Pretoria email@example.com 012 420 4512 / 012 420 3810
NEWS K E E P I N G YO U U P -T O - D AT E W I T H T H E L AT E S T A N D M O S T R E L E VA N T N E W S I N S O U T H A F R I C A
Boosting the economy Municipalities generating own power
Melting pot of activism
Remembering the Sharpeville Massacre
Clean air, clean rivers, clean audit
NEWS Boosting the economy
Municipalities can now generate their own energy The promulgation of the Electricity Regulation Act Regulations in October 2020 opened the door for municipalities to start investigating how they can generate their own electricity and purchase electricity from independent power producers (IPP). The Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Hon. Gwede Mantashe, gazetted amendments to the Electricity Regulations on New Generation Capacity, 2011 in terms of the Electricity Regulation Act, 2006, providing scope for municipalities to develop their own power generation projects, subject to certain requirements.
Solar panels & wind turbines storing energy from the sun
Municipalities can now explore alternative energy sources and through these sources bypass the Eskom grid.
The amendments clarify changes regarding determinations that may be made by the Minister under section 34 of the Act. Important amendments are: 1. Only organs of state active in the energy sector may procure new
Development Plan. •
The conclusion of power purchase agreements between buyers or procurers and IPPs will be further subject to any approvals required in terms of the Municipal Finance
procurement now includes, amongst
others, base load, mid-merit load,
new generation capacity project
peak load new generation capacity,
through an internal mechanism
How municipalities will benefit By introducing these amendments
as defined in section 76(a) of the
the door is now open to municipalities
Municipal Systems Act.
to creatively explore alternative methods
Submit proof that it has complied
of procuring energy. Up until now Eskom
Minister for the procurement or
with the provisions of section
has been the sole and exclusive provider
purchase of new generation capacity
120 of the Municipal Finance Act
of energy to the whole country,
in accordance with the Integrated
and the Municipal Public-Private
Partnership Regulations, where it
2. Municipalities, as organs of state, are now eligible to apply to the
Municipalities can now explore
intends to deliver the new generation
alternative energy sources and through
of this amendment it must:
capacity project through an external
these sources bypass the Eskom grid.
Conduct and submit a feasibility
mechanism described in section
study, where it intends to deliver the
76(b) of the Municipal Systems Act
This would also allow municipalities to generate energy and sell their surplus to
Should a municipality decide to make use
is aligned with its Integrated
generation capacity; and such
and energy storage.
and submit proof that the application
Eskom thus supplementing their revenue streams. Municipalities will thus be able to harness energy from the wind, sun, methane and other sources. First out of the starting blocks Stellenboch Local Municipality in Cape Town has taken advantage of these amendments and recently tabled a report to the full Stellenbosch Council for approval to investigate the procurement and use of alternative energy sources as allowed by the amendments. The Council approved the implementation of the report and is now proceeding to look at alternatives available to the council. According to a statement by Stellenbosch Mayor, Gesie van Deventer, the joint investigation will focus on various potential sources of energy production, including rooftop solar panels, methane mining, allowing the public to generate electricity and sell this to the municipality, purchasing electricity directly from independent power producers and the possible selling of electricity to willing buyers from outside their municipal area. Van Deventer said that with blackouts and load shedding frequently sweeping across the country it has become imperative for municipalities to start investigating other energy sources and said that their decision puts Stellenbosch in the lead to potentially become the first municipality in the country to eliminate load shedding. “While there is still a long road ahead in the battle against load shedding, today’s decision marks the official start of a journey for Stellenbosch Local
“our Municipality is in the fortunate position of having some of the brightest minds in the energy sector right on our doorstep” Municipality that may culminate in energy independence and long-term energy sustainability. The adoption of this report by Council paves the way for an investigation into the need, viability and opportunities to be conducted.” “In addition to benefitting from years of sustained good governance, our Municipality is in the fortunate position of having some of the brightest minds in the energy sector right on our doorstep. “We will be able to make use of
brilliant internal research entities, experts at the University of Stellenbosch, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the Western Cape Government as part of our joint investigation”. “This joint investigation will focus on various potential sources of energy production, including rooftop solar panels, methane mining, allowing the public to generate electricity and sell this to the municipality, purchasing electricity directly from registered IPPs, and the possible selling of electricity to willing buyers from outside our municipal area,” Hon. Gesie Van Deventer. Given these exciting developments in the energy sector, municipalities now have the opportunity to investigate creative and affordable ways of generating energy that will improve energy service delivery to their various communities.
Solar panels storing energy from the sun
NEWS Makana Local Municipality One of the local municipalities within the Sarah Baartman District Municipality is Makana. Located in the Eastern Cape approximately 120 km from Port Elizabeth in the west, and about 180 km
PICTURE BY MARK WESSELS
Makhanda National Arts Festival
in the east, it is strategically placed in the province’s largest industrial centres. Makana is named after the legendary Xhosa prophet and war doctor Makana. It was during the frontier war between the Xhosa and the British that the Xhosa and the Khoi, who were the indigenous inhabitants of the area, formed alliances to resist the British occupation. The seat of government of the Makana Local Municipality is Makhanda (formerly Grahamstown). The city lies at
A scene from one of the plays at Makhanda National Arts Festival
the meeting point of four major biomes.
Makhanda National Arts Festival, with
It is therefore not unusual to experience
its 180-year old history, generates
a rainy morning and a balmy afternoon
interest nationally and internationally,
on the same day.
and has become the showpiece event
This city is of great historical and cultural importance and was once the second largest city in the Cape after
on the South African arts and culture calendar. The Festival not only generates
Cape Town. In view of the plethora of
interest but also much needed
churches and a cathedral, the town
revenue as the excitement and
has assumed the mantle of the “City of
vibrancy of the Festival causes the
Saints”. This former frontier town has
population of the City to double
grown to become one of the leading
during the duration of the Festival. It
cultural, educational and tourist centres
is estimated that the festival attracts
in South Africa.
some 50 000 festival-goers to the
Makhanda prepares for the Festival
event. For the first time last year the
Preparations for the Makhanda
festival was completely on-line due to
National Arts Festival, held over 11 days
the Coronavirus restrictions.
in June, are already in full swing. The
The organisers for this year’s Festival
are planning for a hybrid event in July. The live 2021 festival is likely to be smaller but more intimate and focused to ensure that both audiences and artists enjoy good value for money. Makhanda is anticipating that the Festival will go ahead as planned and that the uncertainty caused by the Coronavirus will dissipate by the time the Festival kicks off in July.
The Makhanda National Arts Festival, with its 180year old history, generates interest nationally and internationally...
Ga-Segonyana Local Municipality hardest hit by floods
Heavy rains in the Northern Cape leave a trail of destruction
After many months of ardent prayers by the good folk of the Northern Cape for the drought to end, their prayers were answered. The drought was so severe and devastating the Northern Cape Province was declared a disaster province. What the good folk of the Northern Cape were not prepared for was the abundance of water that was bestowed upon them. The rains kept coming, and for more than three weeks of continuous rain, the rivers and dams began to overflow. The heavy rains, however, not only ended the drought but also left a trail of disaster and destruction. Infrastructure and roads were either washed away or badly damaged. Many villages and towns were cut off as the main arterial roads that residents used to receive their services were either washed away or were transformed into rivers. Houses and buildings were flooded and this caused the Province to once again declare the Northern Cape a state of disaster. Ironically, this time flooding was the cause of this state of disaster. Sadly the floods claimed the lives of five people with several others injured and hospitalised. One of the hardest hit municipalities was the Ga-Segonyana local municipality with its seat in Kuruman. Interesting the name Ga-Segonyana means small calabash with bubbling water. The water in the town of Kuruman more than bubbled, it flooded as the Kuruman River filled and flowed for the first time in 40 years.
Heavy flooding in the Northern Cape
Despite the destruction caused by the floods, many residents and children were so overwhelmed when they saw the Kuruman River flowing again, they plunged into the river with sheer excitement rejoicing the breaking of the drought. However, the flooding cut off many
surrounding communities of Kuruman and many were left without food, water and clothing. A humanitarian crisis was averted when the Humanitarian Organisation, Gift of the Givers, sprang into action and as is their reputation, organized the necessary social relief for those communities that found themselves in dire straights.
One of the hardest hit municipalities was the Ga-Segonyana local municipality with its seat in Kuruman. Interesting the name Ga-Segonyana means small calabash with bubbling water.
As the roads were washed away the only access to the villages requiring relief was by air. With their high level network of sponsors and influential donors Gift of the Givers was able to have a helicopter available that airlifted the necessary social relief to those stricken communities. The Premier of the Northern Cape, Dr Zamani Saul, said the early estimates are that the province will require approximately R600 million to restore the damage caused by the floods.
NEWS MOSES KOTANE LOCAL MUNICIPALITY
Melting pot of activism Overview With an estimated population of 243 648, covering an area of 5 719 kilometres, and an impressive growth rate of 22%, Moses Kotane Local Municipality is situated in the North West Province within the Bojanala Platinum District Municipality. Established in 2000 and named after the struggle icon, Moses Kotane, it borders Rustenberg, Madibeng and Kgetlengriver municipalities with its seat of government at Mogwase. As a rural municipality it is strategically situated on the R510 national road leading to most of the mines in the area. The internationally renowned Sun City complex, Pilansberg, Madikwe and Bakubung game reserves are significant attractions for local, national and international tourists. Tourism, mining and agricultural industries are the primary creators of jobs and socio-economic development.
Administration Moses Kotane Local Municipality is a collective type municipality run by the Executive Council (EXCO). The Executive
include: • •
Planning and Development Community Services and Public Safety
Committee is made up of six members
• Local Economic Development
who head portfolio committees of
• Infrastructure and Technical Services
council and includes the Mayor as the
• Finance (Budget and Treasury Office)
Chairperson. The portfolio committees
and Corporate Services The current EXCO was established in August 2016 after local government elections. The office of the Mayor directly administers Special Projects Programmes including; HIV/ AIDS, Youth, Senior Citizens, People with Disability, Women and Children and works with all relevant stakeholders for outreach programmes. Mayor Ralesole Diale is supported by the Acting Municipal Manager, Pogiso Shikwane as the Head of Administration. In its recent council report, the municipality indicated that, inter alia, it would present a clean audit and is confident that this can be achieved in view of the fact that it has steadily been
improving its audit scorecard from a disclaimer to a qualified audit and from a deficit to a surplus with no irregular, wasteful, unauthorised or fruitless expenditure. History The name Kotane resonates with many South Africans especially those who are familiar with the country’s struggle for freedom. It is with pride that this rural area in the North West Province produced iconic freedom fighters like Moses and Rebecca Kotane. Moses Kotane was born in Tampostad in the Rustenberg district in 1905 and died in exile in Russia in 1978. The
The late Rebecca Kotane
location of this municipality is steeped
Lobatla village near the Botswana border.
in rich cultural and heritage history and
they grew up was close to the Botswana
The monument consists of nine walls of
it is here that Moses Kotane grew up as
border and it became a gateway for
remembrance representing the
a herder but became involved in politics
freedom fighters to cross into Botswana
at a very early age. He educated himself
to undergo military training. The area also
and was an avid reader and this gave him
served as a secret hideaway from those
a grasp of the political situation in the
fleeing persecution by the security police,
country. His later education continued
including Nelson Mandela, Thabo Mbeki,
whilst he was in exile in Russia.
and Moses Kotane himself.
His leadership skills propelled him up
The couple are the embodiment of
the ranks of the Communist Party and
the resilience and courage of the people
as a result he became General Secretary.
of South Africa and it is therefore fitting
Due to his astute understanding of the
that this local municipality is named
politics of the day and his leadership skills,
he became a mentor to many leaders, including Nelson Mandela.
The burial site of Moses Kotane in Tampostad, Phela was declared a national
nine provinces. The passing of Ma Kotane The year 2021 marks the passing of Rebecca Kotane - Ma Kotane as she was affectionately known at the age of 108, in her home in Diepkloof, Soweto. She was buried on 6 Feb in Phela. President Cyril Ramaphosa accorded her a Special Provincial Official Funeral Category 2. In a statement, Mayor Diale said that Mme Kotane would be remembered “as one of the strong women, a champion for that matter, who supported her husband.
heritage site on 12 May 2017. Although
Both dedicating their lives to the struggle
involved in political activism and will
he died in Russia, his remains were
for freedom and reconciliation…
be remembered for her prominent role
expatriated and buried at this site in 2015.
in the Women’s March to the Union
The government further deemed the area
loss and offer our deepest condolences
Buildings in 1956. The couple remained a
of such great significance in the history
and solidarity towards the Kotane family,
thorn in the flesh of the apartheid regime
of South Africa’s struggle for freedom
friends and all people within Moses
until it was overthrown. The area where
that a monument was erected in 2019 at
Kotane Local Municipality jurisdiction”.
Rebecca Kotane was equally
“As the Municipality, we mourn her
NEWS Sedibeng District Municipality The district on the river
Positioned in one of the most strategic and valuable real estates in South Africa, Sedibeng District Municipality is the geographical envy of municipalities throughout the country. To place Sedibeng in perspective, it shares the borders with three provinces, Free State, Northwest and Mpumalanga, and it has a well-developed national road network that connects Sedibeng to all provinces. It is the only District Municipality that is on the banks of the Vaal River and Vaal Dam, and has one of the richest cultural/ heritage and political histories in South Africa. It comprises the local municipalities
of Emfuleni, Lesedi and Midvaal.
communities that are to be found within
most South Africans as they are
Significantly the historical rich cultural,
the borders of the Sedibeng District
synonymous with the Mass Democratic
heritage and political towns of Everton,
Movement that played a major role
Boipatong, Sharpeville and Ratanda have become the bedrock of the thriving
The names of these towns are edged in the memory banks of
in dismantling apartheid. Sedibeng District Municipality is one of the most unique district municipalities in South Africa as it provides a delectable blend of an industrial environment with serene, tranquil recreational spaces culminating in nostalgia, evidenced by the culture, heritage and political history. Significantly, Sedibeng District Municipality is the fourth largest contributor to the Gauteng GDP. Sharpeville Sharpeville was established in 1935 during the mayorship of John Sharpe who hailed from Scotland. The town was originally named Sharpe Native Township but was renamed Sharpeville in 1950.
leadership qualities masterminded
jolted the international community to
mantle of the birth of the human rights
this campaign. He led with integrity,
take action. A Commission of Human
movement, not only in South Africa
devotion and great personal sacrifice. His
Rights to develop the convention on
but globally. In South Africa, Sharpeville
ethos was “serve, suffer and sacrifice”. His
the elimination of all forms of racial
became the unlikely site of struggle for
life epitomised this ethos as he resigned
discrimination was established by
freedom and human rights, as it was
his position as university professor to
the United Nations, with and the first
there on that fateful day of 21 March
lead this non-violent march on
Human Rights Treaty being adopted on
1960 that 69 peaceful protesters paid the
21 March 1960.
the 21 December 1965 as a result of the
The town of Sharpeville carries the
ultimate price in their quest to regain
However, while leading the march
massacre. 21 March is a public holiday
their human dignity.
he was arrested and detained. This
in South Africa and is commemorated as
The Sharpeville Massacre
did not deter the crowd that swelled
Human Rights Day.
to 20 000 and they continued the march
PICS SUPPLIED BY CREATIVE COMMONS ATTRIBUTION
The Sharpeville Massacre ushered in the Defiance Campaign and the
to the police station to carry out their
Mass Democratic Movement with the
objective. At the police station the
objective to intensify the fight against
police opened fire on the peaceful and
the apartheid regime. The Pan Africanist
non-violent crowd, and 69 people were
Congress (PAC) orchestrated a national
massacred, and about 200 sustained
campaign to put an end to the dreaded
This caused a huge outcry of anger
This law obligated all blacks in
and disgust, sparking riots and strikes
South Africa to carry a pass-book that
throughout the country. This horrific
recorded their restricted movements to
event triggered the intensification
a demarcated area. Should they need to
for the fight for freedom and human
leave the area, they would have to get
rights and an end to the apartheid
permission to do so.
regime. The Sharpeville Massacre
The plan was for black communities throughout South Africa to march in a peaceful and nonviolent manner to the local police stations and “surrender” themselves to the police...
Furthermore, if a person could not produce the pass-book on demand, they were arrested. This was a dehumanising law and was regarded as an abhorrent instrument that debased the dignity of the black population. The plan was for black communities throughout South Africa to march in a peaceful and non-violent manner to the local police stations and “surrender” themselves to the police, as they would not subject themselves to the indignity of carrying the pass-book any longer. The founder and president of the PAC, Robert Sobukwe who was described as a visionary with unique
NEWS Okhahlamba Local Municipality
Clean air, clean rivers and a clean audit South Africa has a myriad of pockets of excellence situated throughout the country – some of which are less well-known than others. Nestled in the foothills close to the Free State and Lesotho borders, and in the shadow of the northern Drakensberg Mountains, is a serene local municipality that not only has clean air – it also boasts a clean audit, significantly for five years in a row. The Okhahlamba Local Municipality comprises of privately owned commercial farmland, small-holdings, three tribal authority areas and the urban areas of Bergville, Winterton, Cathkin and Geluksberg. The seat of government is Bergville. Interestingly, a retired sea captain founded this quaint town in 1897. Barely two years later the Anglo Boer War broke out and the area was caught up in the skirmishes between the Boers and the British soldiers. The British built a blockhouse in the settlement and remarkably this blockhouse is still
standing -the only blockhouse left in the province of KwaZulu-Natal. The area is redolent with cultural and historical significance and attracts many tourists. Whilst Bergville developed as a trading and commercial centre, servicing the cattle ranching and agricultural industries, the area is blessed with some of the most majestic and picturesque mountain sceneries in Africa. Approximately 50km from Bergville is the Royal National Park where the gorgeous aesthetics of the Amphitheatre are to be found. This is a rock wall with a dramatic cliff face approximately five kilometers in length and 500 meters high. Above the Amphitheatre, the Mountaux Sources peak soars into the sky, creating the source of the Orange River that meanders through South Africa, spilling into the Atlantic Ocean on the border of South Africa and Namibia. Completing this awe-inspiring natural water feature is the source of the Tugela River also originating from this peak.
Whilst Bergville developed as a trading and commercial centre, servicing the cattle ranching and agricultural industries, the area is blessed with some of the most majestic and picturesque mountain sceneries in Africa.
As the Tugela cascades down the slopes, a spectacular waterfall unfolds, the combined total drop of its five distinct free-leaping falls is 948m, and it is accepted as the world’s second-tallest waterfall. The uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park is also to be found within this local municipality, containing many caves and rock shelters and the most concentrated group of paintings in Africa painted by the Khoi San over a period of 4 000 years. These rock paintings, depicting animals and human beings, representing the spiritual life of the Khoi-San, are of outstanding quality and are well preserved. Due to its rich cultural heritage and historical significance, the area was declared a UNESCO heritage site in 2000. From the biggest to the smallest the Okhahlamba Local Municipality also boasts of having the smallest church in the world. This is the Llanduff Oratory
accommodating all of eight worshippers at a time. This unique local municipality attracts more that 500 000 tourists annually, making tourism an important industry. This growing industry has resulted in the municipality sourcing financial resources that will be utilised for further development. One of the most exciting projects in this regard is the construction of a cable car to rival that of the cableway on Table Mountain.
NEWS Newcastle Local Municipality Meet the “hands on” Mayor In a recent message to the residents of Newcastle Local Municipality the mayor, Dr. Ntuthuko Mahlaba, assured the different communities that he will be conducting “aggressive” site visits in the next few months to ensure that all the various projects undertaken by the municipality will be completed on schedule. “This year we commemorate, celebrate and reflect on the 20-year journey of Local Government Transformation. Local government is a pivotal cornerstone through which we can accelerate service delivery, create a dignified life for all, empower communities to be self-sufficient and restore our people’s hope for a better life,” said mayor Mahlaba. Effects of the Coronavirus The mayor was confident that the municipality would intensify its efforts to improve service delivery to all communities. He said, “As a service delivery orientated institution, we strive to continuously ignite the zeal to serve
Dr. Ntuthuko Mahlaba
end is fast approaching. In the spirit of
the municipality and that he will be
goodwill and camaraderie, Newcastle
interacting with residents across the
Local Municipality wishes to send words
municipality with the aim of finding out
of encouragement to all who have lost
for himself what needs to be done to
loved ones to Coronavirus.
improve service delivery.
The ultimate lesson that we’ve all learnt from COVID 19 is that we are all
the electorate. The municipality remains
in this together as humanity. We have
committed to produce an inimitable
adapted to a new life and we’ve made it
workforce which boasts of being
work. As we reflect on our achievement
progressive, vibrant and innovative”
and challenges in the last 20 years of local
In reference to the effects of the
government, let us be cognizant that this
coronavirus on the residents he somberly
government has improved lives for the
but encouragingly intimated “Life as
better and our pledge is to never cease
we know it is no longer the same as
doing so,” Mahlaba stated.
the Coronavirus continues to reshape
our lives and also rob us of our loved
The mayor pledged further that the
ones. We continue to brave this invisible
municipality would be visiting wards
enemy and weather a storm whose
that need the immediate attention of
“Local government is a pivotal cornerstone through which we can accelerate service delivery, create a dignified life for all, empower communities to be self-sufficient and restore our people’s hope for a better life”
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