High level speakers at the two day local government summit held at Protea Hotel Ranch Resort last week provided insight into matters relating to the theme “Building a developmental local government by getting the basics right”.
Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Minister Des van Rooyen related to the state of Limpopo municipalities in relation to the Back to Basics Programme and Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane referred to Limpopo’s Water Master Plan that was approved by Limpopo Premier Stan Mathabatha in April 2016. “The Master Plan contains a wealth of information that will change the water services landscape in the Province and spans over a 30 years planning horizon,” Mokonyane said.
Other speakers included Mathabatha who delivered the opening address, South African Local Government Association (Salga) Limpopo Chairperson Thembi Nkadimeng, Limpopo House of Traditional Leaders Chairperson Malesela Dikgale and Limpopo Director-General Nape Nchabeleng.
The closing address was delivered by Provincial Treasury MEC Rob Tooley who said the summit had succeeded in defining what it really meant to get the basics right in local government and that it may inform input into the IDPs of municipalities.
The Back to Basics (B2B) Programme
Van Rooyen said that the Back to Basics Programme rests on five pillars. “Creating conditions for decent living by delivering municipal services to the right quality and standard is a must. This is essentially why people have elected us. We cannot fail in this task. It includes planning for and delivery of infrastructure and amenities, maintenance and upkeep, including the budgeting to do this,” Van Rooyen said in alluding to the first pillar. The other pillars are: Demonstrating good governance and administration by spending public funds prudently, Ensuring sound financial management, Doing more with less and finding innovative solutions and Building sound institutions by appointing skilled and ethical personnel at all levels.
“Programmes to address generic systemic problems, such as weaknesses in human resource management, supply chain management, infrastructure procurement and financial management, revenue enhancement, debt management, infrastructure maintenance, should be developed. Dysfunctional municipalities should be assisted by multi-departmental task teams, consisting of both national and provincial resources,” Van Rooyen said.
Limpopo Water Master Plan
Mokonyane said that Limpopo’s Water Master Plan has dissected and analysed all aspects of the water cycle. “Its purpose will be to act as the source document for water and sanitation planning and services development in the Province by all water service institutions,” Mokonyane said.
According to Mokonyane, the implementing of the recommendations of the Water Master Plan will lead to the timeous development of raw water resources that involve local groundwater and the transfer or import of water from neighbouring countries, well-planned and synchronized construction of treatment works, bulk lines, reservoirs and reticulation networks, waste water treatment works and ancillaries. It will also ensure adequate and timeous supply of water and sanitation services to growth points that will unlock the business potential of the Province, facilitate improved operations and maintenance practices, reduce water losses and improve agricultural water practices. Finally, it will also result in an improved level of services to end-users, compliance to Blue and Green Drop Standards and implementation of water conservation demand management and cost recovery.
Spokesperson for Coghsta Khathu Razwiedani confirmed that no specific resolutions had been formulated as yet.
Story & photos: BARRY VILJOEN
Featured photo: Limpopo Economic Development Association (Leda) Chief Executive Officer Ben Mphahlele and Eskom’s Customer Relations Manager Hilton Rampedi represent their institutions at the summit.