Minister and Deputy Ministers,
I associate myself with the protocol observed by Min van Rooyen,
Everything that happens in our country, ultimately happens in a municipality. From a school to a power station, from a factory to a military base, from a sanitation plant to the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) - the powerful radio telescope being constructed to look out into space and back in time from a local municipality in the Karoo.
We are reminded of the proverb: "For Want of a Nail":
- For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
- For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
- For want of a horse the rider was lost.
- For want of a rider the message was lost.
- For want of a message the battle was lost.
- For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
- And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.
Local government is that horseshoe nail that we must never lose, lest we lose the battle against poverty, unemployment and inequality and, ultimately, our republic.
The proverb also illustrates the fact that local government is a complex system, often in a state of disequilibrium, in which relatively small changes can have very large, and often unintended and unforeseen consequences.
INTEGRATED URBAN DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK
The reality that everything ultimately happens in a municipality also applies to the fact that South Africa is urbanising very rapidly.
According to the UN, fifty-four percent of the world’s population lives in urban areas. By 2050 this will increase to sixty-six percent. In 1950 only three in ten people lived in urban areas.
Continuing population growth and urbanization will add two-and-a-half billion people to the world’s urban population by 2050. Ninety percent of this increase will be in Asia and Africa.
In fact, Africa is expected to be the fastest urbanizing region between 2020 to 2050.
Sixty-three percent of South Africans already live in urban areas. This will rise to seventy-one percent by 2030. By 2050 eight in ten South Africans will live in urban areas.
We need to guide the growth and management of urban areas in ways that unleash the potential of our cities and towns and reverse the terrible legacy of apartheid spatial injustice.
Our rural areas and urban areas are inextricably linked. Many rural areas are undergoing rapid densification. In the words of Mike Davis: not only is the peasant coming to the city but the city is coming to the peasant.
Our National Development Plan says that by 2030 South Africa should observe meaningful and measurable progress in reviving rural areas and in creating more functionally integrated, balanced and vibrant urban settlements.
The National Development Plan says that for this to happen the country must do three things:
First, we must clarify and relentlessly pursue a national vision for spatial development;
Second, we must sharpen the instruments for achieving this vision; and
Third, we must build the required capabilities in the state and among citizens.
South Africa's Integrated Urban Development Framework (IUDF) was adopted by Cabinet in April 2016.
The IUDF is central to our goal of transforming municipal spaces for radical economic and social transformation.
The IUDF aims to guide the development of inclusive, resilient and livable urban settlements, while directly addressing the unique conditions and challenges facing South Africa’s cities and towns.
Importantly, the IUDF recognises that the country has different types of cities and towns, each with different roles and requirements.
The IUDF principles and priorities should inform and guide long-term development plans and policies, strategic infrastructure investments, regulatory and fiscal instruments, spatial targeting, as well as sector policy documents and related legislated frameworks.
All of this requires promoting both bottom-up and top-down partnerships that are governed by principles of co-ownership rather than hierarchy or compliance.
The following steps have been taken to implement the IUDF since its adoption last year:
The 2016 SALGA National Members' Assembly and well as by the Third Presidential Local Government Summit in 2017 resolved to support the implementation of the IUDF;
The President's Coordinating Council resolved that provinces must implement the IUDF in selected sites in each province;
The Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Council resolved to implement the IUDF in a number of Strategic Infrastructure Projects (SIPS);
CoGTA, the Department Rural Development and Land Reform, the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, and the National Planning Commission are developing a revised framework for intergovernmental planning;
The process to reassign the Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act (SPLUMA) from the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform to CoGTA and DMPE is at a very advanced stage;
CoGTA has worked with National Treasury to ensure alignment of metropolitan Built Environment Performance Plans (BEPPs) for 2016/17– 2018/19 with the IUDF;
Practical site work is being done in Polokwane and Umhlathuze Local Municipality to test the policy objectives of the IUDF.
Work on the development of spatial contracts is being dine in Ekurhuleni, Nelson Mandela Bay and Msunduzi.
MOUs have been signed with the World Bank and Switzerland on funding work related to secondary cities.
We encourage the Portfolio and Select Committee to engage issues of urbanisation and spatial transformation.
COMMUNITY WORK PROGRAMME
The Community Work Programme continues to make a contribution to government's efforts to eradicate poverty and promote community development.
As of March 2017 there were 243 162 people participating in the CWP. This exceeds the annual target of 234 823 participants.
We intend creating an additional 32 135 work opportunities in the following year. Our target for the 2017/18 financial year is 258 400 CWP participants.
We are concerned that the existing MTEF budget projections will make it very difficult to meet the target of 1 million work opportunities. We have shared this concern with the Portfolio Committee.
CWP tries to ensure that it is a beginning, not an end, by facilitating training and experience for participants.
For example, Lungisani Mbadamane from Amahlathi worked for the CWP from 2010 to 2016. He attended welding, leadership and hand skills engineering training courses that also motivated him to do a security training course. He exited the programme after being employed as a security guard. He is now earning a better salary and is saving to further his studies in engineering.
The contracts of the existing CWP implementing agents have come to an end. We are working closely with National Treasury to ensure that we improve the CWP implementation model to deal with findings by the Auditor General. We will also strengthen both the project management capacity of the CWP unit as well as institutional arrangements at provincial and district level
MUNICIPAL DEMARCATION BOARD (MDB)
We commend Ms Jane Thupana, the Chairperson, and members of the Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB) for their excellent work - often under difficult conditions and tight deadlines.
The spatial transformation conference hosted by the MDB last year has contributed to legislation amending the Local Government: Municipal Demarcation Act which we aim to introduce in Parliament before the end of this year.
The amendments will deal with, amongst others, the difficult issue of the frequency with which municipalities and wards are re-demarcated - and attempt to give recognition to the reality that these demarcations have both electoral as well as developmental consequences.
The amendments will also aim to create more accessible channels for citizens to raise objections against decisions by the MDB, as well as mechanisms to strengthen collaboration with the many sector departments that are affected by municipal demarcation.
SOUTH AFRICAN CITIES NETWORK (SACN)
We commend Cllr Parks Tau, the Chairperson, Mr Sithole Mbanga, the CEO, and the leadership of the South African Cities Network (SACN).
Our work continues to be enriched by the well researched and thoughtful papers and reports produced by the Cities Network as well as their continued involvement in implementing the IUDF.
My thanks to Minister van Rooyen and Deputy Minister Bapela for their collegiality and comradeship, and to Acting Director-General Charles Nwaila, outgoing Acting DG Muthotho Sigidi, the officials in the Departments of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs and the Ministry for their dedication and support.
Our thanks to the Chairpersons and members of the Portfolio and Select Committees.
Last but not least, my appreciation to my partner in co-operative governance, my wife Kim Robinson.
Baie dankie; Inkosi; Thank you; Ke a leboga; Inkomu; Ndi a livhuwa.