5 December 2012

South Africa: Municipalities Must Deliver Quality Services - Baloyi

Pretoria — All municipalities must be equal to the task of delivering quality services to the people, said Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Richard Baloyi.

Speaking at a New Age/SABC breakfast briefing on Tuesday, Baloyi said: "We want our municipalities to be equal ... providing quality services to the people as well as strengthening the capacity of municipalities."

He said they wanted municipal workers to create an environment where officials were ready to provide the public with quality services.

Baloyi said following a spate of service delivery protests in 2008, government conducted a study on the state of local government which lead to the development of the Local Government Turnaround Strategy (LGTAS).

He said the study had suggested that they needed to do things differently. "We then developed a turnaround strategy to deal with questions that respond to the challenges of the day. As a responsible government, we then said the voice of the people should dictate the pace at which we do things; hence we've developed this strategy.

"We need this strategy to build and strengthen the relations between government and the people. There has to be a sound financial management, infrastructure roll-up and maintenance is intact and we need to fight corruption," he said.

According to Baloyi, the Municipal Infrastructure Support Agency (MISA) is the solution to the challenges confronting municipalities.

MISA was established to support municipalities with planning, management and other technical expertise to roll-out infrastructure more efficiently and effectively especially in weaker municipalities.

The LGTAS is aimed at counteracting those forces that were undermining local government system including root causes such as reforms in the leadership, policy, regulatory and oversight environments of municipalities.

Government wants to turn around municipalities from struggling with failure to ones that are confident in their abilities to execute their service delivery mandates.

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