As the new term of office for municipal leadership begins, there's renewed focus on improved service delivery, better governance and financial management.
To help municipalities reach service-delivery goals, the Local Government Turnaround Strategy (LGTA) was approved by Cabinet in 2009. One of its main aims is to restore the confidence of people in municipalities by improving the way local governments are run.
It strives to ensure that municipalities have proper management, administrative and technical skills to improve their performance. This includes developing specific implementation plans for every municipality in South Africa.
However, because many municipalities are still struggling to reach service-delivery goals, a new revised Local Government Turnaround Strategy called the Accelerated Turnaround Strategy is being put into practice.
Deputy Director-General of Cooprative Governance and Traditional Affairs Ricardo Hansby said the new Accelerated Turnaround Strategy was developed to speed up implementation of the programme.
The programme enjoys the support of Cabinet Ministers and MECs.
It has a broader approach that will addresses critical issues raised by communities. Since community participation is key to the success of the strategy, efforts will be made to involve the active participation of communities.
Drivers of the programme
Hansby said municipalities would therefore continue to consult with communities.
“However, a lot more still needs to be done to get communities involved, not just as part of the LGTAS, but to play a role as advocates and drivers of the programme in a much more practical and visible manner,” Hansby added.
With the introduction of the revised Accelerated LGTAS programme councillors should ensure that there is also revived and renewed energies and willingness through community participation across political spectrums.
Remote rural areas
Councillors are therefore encouraged to raise awareness about the programme among communities.
This will benefit the country as a whole since better services will improve people’s lives by meeting their basic needs.
Special efforts will be made to improve service delivery in remote and rural areas – where there is poverty, underdevelopment and a lack of skills in municipal management.