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Service - Leadership in Government - Issue 77

  • Text
  • Service delivery
  • South africa
  • Service
  • Employment
  • Youth
  • Unemployment
  • Leadership
  • Government
  • Wwwglobalafricanetworkcom
  • Transition
  • Solar
  • Assessment
  • Programmes
  • Csir
  • Salga
  • Challenges
  • Digital
  • Environmental
  • African
September is a time of renewal. In this edition of Service, we look at what is about to be renewed, in the process of being renewed, and in need of renewal in South Africa.

S elections “SALGA

S elections “SALGA often conducts induction programmes for councillors so that those who are new are able to catch up fast and they learn from those who were there and equally they learn from others who have moved on to other spheres of government who can provide them with the perspective of the necessary intergovernmental relations that are a critical part of local government.” The state of readiness for the electoral transition Thabo Manyoni, chairperson of the Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB), briefed the NMA on the delimitation of the municipal wards in preparation of the 2021 municipal elections. Wards are delimited every five years in metropolitan and local municipalities for electoral purposes caused by changes in the number of registered voters as a result of migration and the enrolment of new voters on the voters’ roll. “On 1 December 2020, the MDB handed 4 468 ward boundaries to the IEC to prepare for the Local Government Elections,” said Manyoni. Glen Mashinini, chairperson of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), updated the NMA on the institution’s state of readiness for the elections. “The commission will be taking into cognisance the many uncertainties of the current environment, especially how Covid-19 is turning out. But up until we have received a scientific report and indications from CoGTA and the Department of Health, we as the commission feel that we cannot deviate from what is expected of us by the constitution. We have to discharge our duties accordingly.” Representing the South Africa Police Service (SAPS), Major-General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi also gave a status update on the SAPS’s safety and security state of readiness. He expressed confidence that all safety and security measures have been put in place to create an environment for free and fair elections to take place and that hotspots in the country have been identified and will be prioritised. “Historically, all previous elections have experienced challenges unique to the specific context during which those elections were held, but were declared to be free and fair,” said Major-General Mkhwanazi. A reflection on the implications of legislation Senzo Mchunu, Minister of Public Service and Administration (DPSA), expressed disappointment that the growing distrust and poor image associated with the public sector continues. He said public sector workers and government officials needed to obtain the requisite skills and qualifications to perform their duties and desist from corrupt practices. “In the public service you are expected to produce an assessment for something, only to find out that you are not trained for the purpose. You still need to be trained in such a way that your training is tailor-made to produce high productivity. “That’s the only way that we can make strides in the march towards a developmental state and it does not end there. We need to train public servants to resist corruption,” said Minister Mchunu. Cllr Xola Pakati, Executive Mayor of Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality, said of efforts underway to professionalise the public service, “Since 2019, we have been engaging in the establishment of an office conducting standards and compliance and the issue of doing business with the state and the disclosure of financial interests.” Cllr Bheke Stofile, speaker of the Matjhabeng Local Municipality and SALGA NEC member, said of the discussion, “We’ve always been engaging with the sector being professionalised. Part of this professionalisation of the sector is to accept that certain things happening in the sector that are wrong had to be dealt with. That is why we firmly participated in the amendment of the Municipal Systems Bill that is before Parliament.” Managing the transition Nkosinathi Mthethwa, Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture, spoke about the transformation of South Africa’s heritage landscape. He emphasised that to build a truly non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous society, processes of removing the vestiges of colonialism and apartheid racism were important. He also spoke on how certain monuments, symbols, signs and statues in public spaces carried a history of oppression and tyranny and that it was important for South Africans to begin having conversations on what their role should be in a democratic dispensation. “Do we create a concentration camp of unwanted statues with a narrative or do we leave it to those who still value them to preserve them thus running a risk of reigniting old right-wing nationalism by privatising public property? Do we allow for a juxtaposition of these statues as it is the case in the Union Building where President Mandela is given prominence and centrality while Hertzog was moved to a less prominent space?” he asked. Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA), at the time spoke about the feasibility of conducting free and fair elections in the shadow of the Covid-19 pandemic. She emphasised that while the country was ready to hold elections in 2021, several 8 | Service magazine

elections S non-returning councillors so that they can adjust at a time where they are no longer in the public office, and to assist them to meet their financial obligations. A total of R139-million was paid to eligible recipients from 2011 to 2014 with more than 4 000 applications having been received. In 2016/17, more than 5 500 individual applications were screened and a total of R274-million was paid. The United Nations regard South Africa as having one of the most progressive constitutions in the world. other considerations, including the legal, socio-political, health and practical would also be assessed. “We will have to look at the way it goes and we have to make an assessment on whether the election is possible in 2021 depending on where we are. If we look at the second wave, it started in November but by March we were not in the second wave, so it depends on how long the third wave remains with us,” said Dlamini-Zuma. “The considerations will be determined by the infection (rate). It may be that we will be over the third wave by then when the election date has been gazetted but if not, there will be consideration on whether we can have elections and if the answer is that we can’t because of the pandemic, then we will have to consider going to the Constitutional Court to ask for an extension because 27 October is actually the last constitutionally accepted day we can have elections.” Managing key aspects of the transition SALGA Chief of Operations Lance Joel outlined the process of once-off gratuity payments to non-returning councillors. Joel explained that the payments, which would be based on pensionable salary, would be preceded by strict screening which including the tax status of individual councillors with SARS. He added that the purpose of these payments is to provide financial relief to For 2021, a request for funding to the National Treasury was made and R350-million has been set aside, based on three months of salary. Rio Nolutshungu, Chief Officer: Municipal Capabilities and Governance at SALGA, outlined some critical elements of the SALGA Transition Management Plan for the 5th term of democratic local government. He explained that the purpose of the induction programme is to help ensure that new councillors understand their duties and responsibilities in the field of municipal governance, that they understand local government policies and procedures and to equip them with the skills and knowledge needed to undertake their role as a councillor. “The 2016 Integrated Councillor Induction Programme appreciated the journey of councillor induction as a first step in a series of learning interventions, which was best expressed via the Inductive Learning Pathway diagram. The purpose of the model is to assist councillors with identifying developmental areas to enhance their leadership and governance competencies,” said Nolutshungu. Elias Msiza, from the Municipal Councillor Pension Fund, explained the role of the fund, saying it was intended to service the retirement needs of councillors. He explained the various benefits are offered to its members, which include housing loans, funeral and death benefits among others. Cllr Nkadimeng brought the NMA to a close, saying she was confident that the discussions emanating from the NMA would translate into actionable strategies to improve service delivery outcomes over the next five years of local government. “This Special NMA has witnessed an unprecedented and major convergence of views that is groundbreaking for local government. Despite the complexity of using this hybrid format of engagement, from a content perspective we all agree that we must not only adopt and embrace the Special NMA Declaration, but also take bold and proactive steps to implement and accelerate it.” S Service magazine | 9

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