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Serving communities better

Written by Albert Pule
Communities will now experience an improved local government and receive satisfactory and good quality service.

Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Pravin Gordhan, who spoke at the recent at the Presidential Local Government Summit, said municipalities would spend public funds carefully, hire competent staff, ensure transparency and be accountable to the people it serve.

He said robots, leaking taps and streetlights would be fixed; grass would be cut, and potholes would be patched.

“Complaints are that we don’t take people seriously and often take more time to respond. Sometimes we take three days to respond to something that could take one day. We need to change that and respond to problems timeously,” said Minister Gordhan.

He added that all municipalities should work harder, serve communities differently and respond to their concerns within a reasonable time.

Minister Gordhan said for local government to work effectively and make a positive impact on the lives of residents, political leadership and administrators should play an important role.

“All of us are accountable to change people’s lives and create better prospects for the economy.”

The summit committed to going back to basics and doing the simple things correctly.

To help local government to prosper, national government would support, monitor, intervene and ensure that there is adherence to norms and standards.

Delegates at the summit included the leadership of local government across the country who committed to the following:

  • Implement the Back to Basics programme.
  • Create conditions for decent living by consistently delivering municipal services to the right quality and standard. This includes planning and delivery of infrastructure and amenities.
  • Ensure good governance and effective administration, cut wastage, spend public funds prudently, hire competent staff, and ensure transparency and accountability. Further ensure that corruption is prevented and rooted out at all levels.
  • Ensure sound financial management and accounting by prudently managing resources so as to sustainably deliver services and bring development to communities.
  • Build and maintain sound institutional and administrative capabilities managed by dedicated and skilled personnel at all levels.
  • Put people and their concerns first and ensure constant contact with communities through effective public participation platforms.
  • Ensure quarterly performance monitoring and reporting on the work of municipalities as directed by the Back to Basics approach.
  • Improve the political management of municipalities and be responsive to the needs and aspirations of local communities.

Minister Gordhan said his department would embrace the Back to Basics approach in addressing the challenges facing local government and committed to strengthen local government in order to move our country forward.

For more information, call the Batho Pele call centre: 0860 428 392