PROGRAMME PURPOSE

The Department was able to keep its commitment to providing effective support to local government institutions for strengthened governance, promote sound financial management, enhance public participation and improve capacity of municipalities to accelerate service delivery. The purpose of the programme is to co-ordinate, support, promote and enhance governance, administration and public participation in local government. The programme consists of five sub-programmes which are detailed below, namely Municipal Administration, Municipal Finance, Public Participation, Capacity Building and Municipal Performance Monitoring, Reporting and Evaluation.

SUB-PROGRAMME: 2.1. MUNICIPAL GOVERNANCE AND ADMINISTRATION

Progress Analysis:

The Department supported the Municipal Demarcation Board with the redetermination of municipal boundaries process. A Roadmap for Municipal Demarcation, including all legislative prescripts was developed and implemented at affected municipalities.

A generic municipal Organisation and Design framework was researched, developed and implemented. Municipalities were also supported to implement municipal policies, plans and frameworks to enhance municipal administration and governance, including support with the filling of critical senior management posts.

A framework was developed to implement formal interventions, support was provided to municipalities to improve councillor oversight and 26 municipalities were supported on Back to Basics.

Skilled professionals were deployed to support and build capacity within district families with determining, reviewing and implementing appropriate municipal governance and administration processes, systems, plans, frameworks and procedures.

To promote and facilitate effective and efficient IGR between the province and local government, various MuniMec Forums (political and technical) were held including a successful Women in Leadership Dialogue that was hosted by the MEC.

A Departmental Rapid Response Team has been established and an early alert system is being implemented. KZN continues to experience fewer service delivery protests compared to other provinces. This is due largely to effective engagement with relevant stakeholders and support given to municipal rapid response teams.

Analysis of constraints and measures planned to overcome them

To enhance municipal administration and governance, a package of support programmes to municipalities will be developed and co-ordinated. In addition, a draft Framework of the Local Government Bill will be prepared and municipalities will be supported in revising draft standard bylaws. IGR and inter-municipal co-operation will continue to be supported and facilitated.

The Department will implement its Roadmap and will also continue to support the Municipal Demarcation Board and the IEC with the ward delimitation process.

SUB-PROGRAMME: 2.2. MUNICIPAL FINANCE

Progress Analysis:

Sound financial management in all 61 Municipalities is crucial for the functionality of local government institutions. The Auditor General’s assessments over the last five years have reflected that financial management and compliance issues in our municipalities have improved significantly with a substantial reduction in the number of audit queries raised. There is an overall improvement in the province of 14 audit opinions year on year and the highest recorded number of Clean Audits with municipalities receiving 18 Clean audits, 35 Unqualified, 7 Qualifications and 1 Disclaimer opinion and the seven municipal entities receiving four (4) Clean, two (2) Unqualified and one (1) Qualified opinions resulting in a total of twenty two (22) Clean Audits; thirty seven (37) Unqualified Audits; nine (9) Qualifications and one (1) Disclaimer opinion. Audit Outcomes were assessed and a cohesive Departmental Strategy to address these was developed promoting a multi-disciplinary response to addressing municipal audit outcomes to sustain and improve results in the Province. The Department has through effective financial monitoring and assessment under the Back to Basics Programme enhanced financial management and reporting in municipalities against the Sound Financial Management Pillar. Departmental support was provided through various fora including the District Finance Forums which also served as the Finance Technical Committees in support of the Re-demarcation Change Management Committees and process with targeted support to municipalities affected by re-demarcation on Information and Communication Technology, Budget and Annual Financial processes. All municipalities received light to medium support on key financial management processes including annual financial statement, mid-year budget and annual reporting processes. Guidance, advice and capacity building to Mayors and municipalities on the new MSCOA framework for has also commenced in partnership with the Provincial and National Treasury.

A partnership by KZN COGTA with DCOG, SACPVP and LGSETA through the National Municipal Property Rates Act (MPRA) - Mass Appraisal Strategy Committee yielded success in producing a final draft of MPRA Standards for Valuation which were drafted by KZN COGTA and submitted to the SACPVP for adoption to guide the valuation profession in MPRA implementation. The partnership also yielded positive results in the area of MPRA-Mass Appraisal-Valuation Education and Training programmes, and the Municipal Assessors Program was approved by the Department of Higher Education and Training with the addition of an alternative occupation title Municipal Property Assessor via the LGSETA providing for the development of a formal qualification to capacitate and professionalise municipal officials. The Department has further developed its own monitoring framework based on the amendment to the MPRA during the year. Municipalities were supported in preparation for the next General Valuation to be implemented on the 1st of July 2017. Municipalities affected by the re-demarcation were specifically supported to align valuation cycles and the Department processed applications for extension of valuation roll validity to promote alignment of valuation rolls and the Department published specific provisions relating thereto in the section 14(5) notice under the Municipal Structures Act (MSA). Statutory compliance in terms of the Section 131 of the MFMA and Section 81 of the MPRA reporting was achieved. Municipalities continue to receive support in implementation of the MPRA.
The Anti-corruption programme incorporated training on fraud awareness and fraud prevention with municipalities having been trained during the year and fraud risk registers having been developed.

Analysis of constraints and measures planned to overcome them

Lack of funding allocated to roll-out programmatic support to municipalities on the implementation of Simplified Revenue Plans, Debt and Indigent Management resulted in a limited level of support to municipalities. Internal capacity constraints further hamper the delivery of intense support and the realignment of the Department’s Local Government Branch seeks to enable the provision of targeted intense support rather than general support. However, this is still subject to the appointment of staff. The Local Government elections present a risk of non-compliance and financial challenges in municipalities which are being managed by the Department through a Re-demarcation Financial Process Plan and mitigation of specific risks.

SUB-PROGRAMME: 2.3. PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

Progress Analysis:

Public participation is a key facet in bridging the gap between government and the community. Various supports were provided to all 51 municipalities such as the development of Municipal schedules of community report back meetings, functionality of ward committees, development of ward based plans and with the development of ward level database with community concerns and remedial actions. In addition, all 828 ward committees were supported on the implementation of ward operational plans and all Community Development Workers were trained on the new reporting template. The CDWs are expected to play a pivotal role in the OSS structures as a supportive mechanism or platform to existing service delivery programmes. All war rooms were established and their functionality is static.

In addition, the Department prioritized the alignment of ward-based plans to the municipal IDPs with intent of enhancing the realization of provincial and national priorities at a ward-based level. The alignment of ward-based plans to IDPs is further aimed at promoting the role of ward committees and Operation Sukuma Sakhe in ensuring that a conducive platform for public participation through good governance in a manner that will optimize the realization of integrated and sustained service delivery is created.

Analysis of constraints and measures planned to overcome them:

Public participation requires a collective effort and commitment from various stakeholders to be effective. However, there has been a lack of support from other stakeholders being unable to play their role. Efforts will be made to ensure that all stakeholders are engaged at all times and reminded on their various roles and responsibilities. The unit remains committed in achieving its target even with the existing high vacancy rate.

SUB-PROGRAMME: 2.4. CAPACITY BUILDING

Progress Analysis:

The process of supporting municipalities with capacity building is central to the Department’s philosophy. The Department ensured that all municipalities are capacitated in accordance to the provincial capacity building strategy, implemented capacity building interventions and rolled out gender policy framework to all the municipalities. Phase 1 of the Accredited Councillor Training was rolled out to 10 District Municipalities. This training was based on 3 manuals which include Legislation, Structures and Functions; Good Governance and Codes of Conduct; and Councillor Oversight. Phase 2 of the Accredited Councillor Training was rolled out to Umkhanyakude and Umgungundlovu districts. This training was based on the following manuals which include Municipal Planning, Performance Management Systems, Municipal Finance, Traditional Affairs and Special Projects. The Department received 359 nominations for the training. A total of 199 Councillors attended the training and 174 Councillors submitted their portfolios of evidence and were found competent. A graduation ceremony was held for female Councillors on 3 September 2015 to acknowledge their achievements on the programme. 287 Female Councillors were invited to the graduation. It was proposed that a further graduation will be held for the Male Councillors.

The newly elected Councillors at Mtubatuba Municipality attended the Councillor Orientation Programme in May 2015 and August 2015. The Orientation Workshop was further rolled out to Councillors at Umkhanyakude District Municipality in November 2015 as part of the support provided to Section 139 Intervention Municipalities.

Analysis of constraints and measures to overcome them

There is a lack of funding to roll out the full qualification to Councillors namely, National Certificate: Local Government Councillor Practices, NQF Level 3. The Department is currently engaging with stakeholders to source funding for the various initiatives. There are huge differences between the number of nominated councillors and the actual number of councillors that attend the training.

SUB-PROGRAMME: 2.5. IDP CO-ORDINATION

Progress Analysis:

The Department believe that effective integrated planning is crucial for the well-functioning of Local Government Institutions and acceleration of service delivery. The Department formulated the Provincial Integrated Development Planning (IDP) Management and Support Plan with intent to optimize seamless governance in the planning, implementation and reporting of the provincial, national and local government priorities. The Provincial IDP Management and Support Plan serves as a tool through which the sub-programme co-ordinates its initiatives in partnership with the sector departments, State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) and municipalities. Furthermore, the Provincial IDP Management and Support Plan are envisaged to be approved by all the municipalities, sector departments and the SOEs at the Stakeholders Forum scheduled for February 2016.

In furtherance of the efforts to streamline and integrate provincial and national priorities using the IDPs as a conduit at a local government level. The Department has an on-going basis also assisted municipalities in building their municipal planning capacity through the concept of Development Planning Shared Services (DPSS). The DPSS equips municipalities with the requisite planning skills, which has enabled the municipalities to be in a better position to respond to the changing policy environment in respect of the new legislations, namely; the Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act (SPLUMA).

In response to the resolutions of the Rural Development Summit that was convened on 23 to 24 July 2013, the IDP Co-ordination Unit has prioritised the development of the Traditional Settlement Master Plans. The main rationale of the Traditional Settlement Master Plans is to improve land use management in traditional areas, thereby optimizing the use of land and mitigate against adverse development impact. This is going to be achieved through the working partnership that has been formulated by the IDP Co-ordination Unit with the Provincial House of Traditional Leaders.

Analysis of constraints and measures planned to overcome them

A major constraint during the drafting of the IDP Management and Support Plan is to find suitable dates and government venues to convene IDP meetings. Sector Departments and SOE’s do not have sufficient capacity to support the Provincial IDP Management and Support Plan and to attend IDP related meetings in Municipalities as required by the adopted Framework and Process Plans.

SUB-PROGRAMME: 2.6. MUNICIPAL PERFORMANCE, MONITORING REPORTING AND EVALUATION

Progress Analysis:

Functional municipal Organisational Performance Management Systems are crucial to give effect to the Municipal IDP’s. The Department remain committed in supporting the municipalities to meet their basic delivery mandates through the Back to Basics programme. As a result, all 61 municipalities had Back to Basics Support Plans developed, implemented and monitored. The Back to Basics reporting template was utilized to improve reporting for the municipalities. The implementation of Back of Basics programme in the Province was aligned to Operation Sukuma Sakhe. In addition, Back to Basics campaigns were conducted to create awareness in the municipalities. The Department also conducted 61 evaluations on the implementation of Back to Basics programme. All municipalities were supported to ensure that they are complying with single reporting system. All 61 municipalities were supported to institutionalise performance management system through assessing the alignment of IDP with Scorecard and Service Delivery Budget Implementation Plan (SDBIP).

Analysis of constraints and measures planned to overcome them

It was noticed that some of the support plans do not clearly identify desired results to be achieved, how they will be achieved, how they will be measured and that the provided support had little or no impact to the municipalities. Assessment tool was used to monitor Back to Basics programme performance and found that some municipalities were regressing dysfunctional category. As a result, a Strategic Planning session was held in December 2016 to discuss the challenges on Back to Basics programme. This resulted on the assessment tool and support plans being amended for immediate implementation. There was a delay in the development of the electronic dashboard due to the change of project scope which further led to severe budget constraints.

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