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Service - Leadership in Government - Issue 77

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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 snippets THE NEW

S snippets THE NEW DEPUTY MINISTER OF COOPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS Cllr. Thembi Nkadimeng has been appointed as the new Deputy Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA). Cllr. Nkadimeng, SALGA’s now outgoing President, was appointed as the Deputy to CoGTA Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma by His Excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa in August. She filled the vacancy left by Parks Tau when he was appointed as Deputy Minister of CoGTA, and subsequently appointed by Gauteng Premier David Makhura as the Member of the Executive Council (MEC) for Economic Development on 2 December 2020. The dedication and ability that brought her to the helm of SALGA will continue to serve her well as she moves along a new and exciting path in service to her country. SEIFSA WELCOMES CABINET RESHUFFLE The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA) is looking for forward to working with new Minister of Finance, Enoch Godongwana. SEIFSA also welcomes President Ramaphosa’s decision to pull the security cluster into his control, especially following July’s violent unrest that led to the disruption of businesses and manufacturing activity. The Absa Purchasing Managers’ Index came in at 43.5, clearly demonstrating the massive level of disruption in the supply chain caused by the inability to deliver much-needed raw materials to industries and other customers of final manufactured goods. Commenting on Godongwana’s appointment, SEIFSA Chief Economist Chifipa Mhango said his background in government administration and his role as part of the ANC’s Economic Transformation Committee, coupled with his education background in economics, makes him a suitable candidate for the finance portfolio. “SEIFSA looks forward to the continued drive towards infrastructure investment in the economy, as when measured in terms of fixed investment levels to GDP, it is still below par when compared to other emerging economies. We hope under Mr Godongwana, there will be real efforts made to ramp up investment,” he said, adding that there also needs to be more focus on the implementation of policies that will support the manufacturing sector and drive job creation, considering the massive unemployment rate in South Africa. SALGA CONCERNED ABOUT THE STATE OF MUNICIPAL FINANCES SALGA has expressed its disappointment at the deteriorating levels two provinces with the greatest net improvements in municipal audit of accountability in the recent audit outcomes of local government for outcomes compared to the prior year. the period 2019/20 and calls upon on Mayors and Speakers to extract accountability and implement consequence management as empowered Pockets of excellence by the legislation, as well as National Treasury and Cooperative Of the 200 municipalities that had finalised audits, about half (116) Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) to exercise powers vested in received unqualified audits, of which 27 of them received clean audits. them in terms of the Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA). These 27 municipalities are pockets of excellence whose success stories Councils must employ competent people and take appropriate steps must be celebrated. These 116 municipalities account for 77% of the where officials fail to carry out their responsibilities. Mayors and Speakers overall local government expenditure budget. must hold the administration accountable and act decisively to implement consequence management and National Treasury and CoGTA must Consumer debt throttles municipalities implement measures as provided for in the MFMA to extract accountability. One of the biggest challenges that has confronted local government over An analysis of the audit results paints a worrying picture about the the past 20 years is that of municipal consumer debt. The AG’s 2019/20 state of municipal finances. The number of municipalities receiving report continues to contextualise this problem and demonstrates how it unqualified audit outcomes has declined from 147 in 2016/17, 123 affects municipal governments’ budgets, ability to render services and in 2017/18, 114 in 2018/19 to 116 in 2019/20. Although there is a accounting processes. slight improvement in the number of unqualified audits received by The aggregate municipal consumer debt stood at R230-billion as at municipalities for the period 2019/20, the AG’s report, however, indicates 30 December 2020. This is the precarious financial environment in which an overall regression in comparison with the previous years, mainly due municipalities find themselves, which contributes to the low collection to the 57 audits that were not finalised by the cut-off date. rate, and thereby affecting their budgets. This underscores the call that There is a net improvement in audit outcomes of 30 municipalities SALGA has been making towards a review of the financing model for with better audit outcomes compared to the prior year, with Limpopo local government. (eight municipalities) and the Eastern Cape (six municipalities) being the Source: Salga 4 | Service magazine

snippets S DO YOU WORK IN GOVERNMENT? Mobile data for you A new transversal mobile communications services contract means that government employees can buy uncapped mobile for R278 per month. South Africa’s four major mobile network operators are providing uncapped data at extremely affordable prices. The RT15-21 is the government’s new communications contract with South Africa’s main mobile providers, Vodacom, MTN, Telkom, and Cell C. To qualify for the contract, these providers had to be able to provide 3G network coverage of at least 80% of the population at the start of the contract, with plans in place to grow to 100% coverage. They also had to be able to offer users uncapped data packages without a fair usage policy (FUP). In addition, civil servants must be able to purchase personal voice and SMS bundles at a flat rate from the provider, up to a maximum of R500 per user per month. The contract will be in effect for five years – running from 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2026. RT15-21 succeeds the previous agreement – RT15-16 – which government had in place with Vodacom since 2016. Under that contract, the country’s largest operator had the exclusive right to provide government’s mobile packages. It offered enterprise-style bundling that had departments sharing allocations of data and voice minutes. According to a contract circular provided to organs of state by the National Treasury, civil servants will now be able to choose from eight different mobile packages – two from each operator. Vodacom will continue supplying its Always Connected Anytime and Always Connected Work Plus packages, while MTN will be providing Enterprise Sharing and Business All Day plans. Cell C will be offering Pinnacle and Epic packages, while Telkom will let state entities choose from Naledi Gold and Naledi Platinum packages. These plans will be offered on device only, SIM-only, or device and SIM plans. State entities who wish to make use of the transversal contract will need to acquire details on the packages available from all the service providers but will be free to choose products from any of the providers. The subscription periods for the plans had to be flexible from a minimum of six months to a maximum of 48 months (four years). The circular from National Treasury provided an overview of the packages that operators are offering government entities. Several mobile plans offered very low-cost pricing. For example, a Cell C Epic R150 SIM-only contract is available to government entities at R278 per month, which includes: • Uncapped data without an FUP • 1 000 voice minutes between Cell C and Cell C numbers • Unlimited SMSs • R150 airtime • Unlimited voice minutes within a closed user group Below are some of the packages, values and pricing. Civil servants will now be able to choose from eight different mobile packages – two from each operator. Service magazine | 5

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