“Provincial and local governments have already failed in South Africa”, Mr. Jaco Mulder, FF Plus MPL and leader of the party in Gauteng said.
The report of the Auditor General for the 2010/2011 financial year has indicated that only 16 of the 121 audits of national departments and provincial legislators are clean and that R26,4 billion had been spent in an irregular manner or had been wasted. This shows an increase of R4 billion from the previous financial year. Furthermore, the deterioration of service delivery and financial management in local governments are continuing. The large scale wasting of taxpayer’s money has a direct negative influence on service delivery.
The establishment of provincial borders in 1994 and the continued creation of greater municipal areas with central control are as clumsy and unreasonable as the foolish creation of borders in Africa in the colonial era and are at present being managed by incompetent officials and power-hungry politicians.
Provinces such as Limpopo and the Eastern Cape also do not have any economy of scale and certain municipalities and service delivery in municipalities are being taken further away from local communities through large, clumsy councils and metro-councils.
The FF Plus strives toward more decision-making powers for local governments as it reflects the reality of South Africa. South Africa is a community of communities and many communities have unique challenges which are not being addressed at present with disastrous consequences. Some of the communities are cultural communities and others again are culturally diverse but with geographically common needs. Every community has a unique character.
The National Council of Provinces is a white elephant which has to be replaced by a national council of communities. Expertise should be deployed as close as possible to grass-roots level and communities should be empowered to have a larger say in their own affairs.
The Matjhabeng municipality in the Free State which consists of Virginia, Ventersburg and Hennenman already in 2011 submitted a request to the Demarcation Board to establish a new municipality because the financial affairs and service delivery in these areas have been destroyed by the existing system.
The residential association of Hartbeespoort in the Northwest near Brits is at present also investigating the possibility of establishing a new municipality and support is growing in certain areas of Soweto to secede from the Johannesburg Metro.
The government could seek information from communities such as Orania, Kleinfontein and others who, without the support of the government, are starting to develop into developmental areas which positively influence the surrounding areas.
The South African Constitution guarantees a safe living environment, access to basic services and clean water for all citizens and the State has already failed in this. Mulder called on communities to set them up in an organised manner and to support the FF Plus in demanding control over their own affairs.