Programme Director;

MEC for Cogta, Mr SE Hlomuka;

Professor Somadoda Fikeni

Members of the Executive Management Committee;

Senior Middle and Junior Managers;

Ladies and gentlemen;

  • As you know and as I keep reminding colleagues of every opportunity, I have always been a vocal advocate of clearly defined service delivery objectives with realistic budgets and reasonable timeframes. I hope that this review session will revive these simple prerogatives as we chart the direction KZN Cogta will take in the immediate future to meet its constitutional mandate as we face the enormity of the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • We have set for ourselves a long-term target of building capable local governance institutions wherein people who pay their rates and service charges to their respective municipalities get high quality public services in return. In addition, we now also aspire to stabilise the sphere of local government where municipal operations and local economies have been severely disrupted by Covid-19.
  • We are meeting as extended MANCO to reflect on performance amid the state of national disaster declared by the President in March
  • Government as a whole has shown great interest in risk assessment and management but possibility of lockdown couldn’t be foreseen
  • The nation wide lockdown will inevitable have devastating effects on the performance and success story we vouched to tell in a short and long term.
  • We are here now and the onus is on us to salvage what we can in our sector towards social stability through viable local government
  • As COGTA our road to recovery starts here and today
  • An organisation’s effectiveness is directly affected by its crisis management process and save it from total shutdown of it’s work processes as we are not absolved from service delivery.
  • Business continuity management committee becomes key support in taking decisions that will encourage stability.
  • Performance management relies on planning, monitoring, reviewing and evaluating. We are today about reviewing, assessing what is already done for forward looking purposes.
  • This is why we have invited to today’s session an astute analyst Prof Fikeni to tell us the hard truths about our sector.
  • Circumstance are forcing us to be in unison about what employees can do differently and reprioritised objectives, hence the invitation was extended to junior and middle management.
  • The local government sphere has been allocated additional budget as the sphere together with Health that is at the coal face of the fight against COVID-19.
  • Programme 2 in particular, needs to be elaborate on support required in this regard.
  • The department suffered a loss of 408 million during the recent mandatory budget cuts by Treasury and resulted in reprioritisation and re-tabling of it’s strategic plans. It is at times like these where the Batho-Pele principle of Efficiency, doing more with less, has to be strived for.
  • Minister of finance said explaining zero-based budgeting that the country needs to move towards and I quote “we need to refocus our attention on the growth-enhancing activities and no longer take for granted that the baseline that was there last year, will always be the case”
  • For us a mammoth task of driving the District Development Model remains which is the strategy of the 6th administration to bring about growth and development in Districts.
  • Cooperatively organising sector departments we are compelled to move with speed with rolling out DDM, to pool our limited resources together to ensure that we focus our attention on where the people are and on supporting economic activity in the lives of our people.
  • The need to still develop infrastructure to make our cities smart and investment attraction sites, remains.
  • It becomes compelling to then also critically review systems in place to help realise the ideal.
  • Tools and structures to serve as a governance and oversight on Project Management, which seems to be lacking to be considered to improve on this aspect moving forward and we rely on Research and Evalution units to advise.
  • We are going to have to review mainly how projects are managed internally to reduce wastage, delays and implement only what is relevant to the cause.
  • The current situation magnified the challenge of supply versus demand of water in the Province. The finalisation of the Master plan should be given all due attention.
  • We will continue mobilising every cent and rand towards provision of alternative water supply sources like boreholes, water tank etc. while working on long-term solutions.
  • Our resources have always been scarce and now even more stretched and left priorities competing with each other.
  • With all of that said we still can draw valuable lessons from the pandemic that hit us so hard.
  • The need to gear ourselves up with 4th industrial revolution that can save the department lots of money on travel, accommodation and hiring of venues for this or that gathering and most importantly time.
  • Improved risk management and mitigation to ensure business continuity come what may
  • Organisational efficiency and productivity should be come the new gospel now and beyond this crisis
  • As we navigate through these unchattered waters of the pandemic, it is time for all of us to act in accordance with the injunction posed by John F Kennedy who said “ask not what the country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”