Dlamini-Zuma outlines new municipal regulations for South Africa

Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma says that her department is currently working on a number of pieces of regulation which are aimed at strengthening governance in the country.

Responding in a written parliamentary Q&A, Dlamini-Zuma said that this includes the implementation of the new District Development Model (DDM) as approved by president Cyril Ramaphosa’s cabinet in August 2019.

“The DDM is designed to improve collaborative planning amongst the three spheres of government, and the establishment of a ‘One District, One Plan and One Budget’ for each of the 44 districts and 8 metros.

“The department is reviewing several of its legislations and is developing regulations and frameworks to strengthen these legislations,” she said.

Dlamini-Zuma provided an outline of these new regulations and frameworks in more detail below.

The Local Government: Municipal Systems Amendment Bill

Dlamini-Zuma said that the objectives of the Amendment Bill are to:

  • Assist municipalities to build the skills base necessary to exercise their powers and perform their functions by appointing suitably qualified people and competent senior managers; and
  • To professionalise local public administrations.

Local Government Demarcation Bill

This bill provides for the criteria and procedures for the determination and redetermination of municipal and ward boundaries, as well as the establishment of an appeals authority.

Amendment of the Local Government Municipal Structures Act

Dlamini-Zuma said that the amendment will:

  • Provide for a minimum of 10 councillors per municipality;
  • Provide for the prohibition of a councillor who was found guilty of a breach of the code of conduct for councillors for a period of two years;
  • Provide for additional functions of the speaker;
  • Provide for a whip of municipal council;
  • Clarify the formula for the composition of an executive committee; and
  • Provide for a Code of Conduct for Councillors.

District model 

In a presentation on September, Dlamini-Zuma said that the new District Development Model is a response to the ‘pedestrian growth’ which the country has registered over the past decade which was ‘simply not enough’ to ensure employment and income for a majority of people.

To address these and facilitate for better coordination and integration, government has adopted the new District Development Model (DDM).

“The DDM seeks to strengthen the local sphere of governance, moving us away from silo planning, budgeting and implementation,” she said.

Dlamini-Zuma said that the new model will provide for a ‘more tangible, common vision for development’ of the country. “By adopting a long term view and interconnecting the local economies we are able to re-imagine a better community, district and nation.”

She said that government further plans to locate each district’s competitive advantage and ‘utilise it for shared growth and prosperity’.

This will include the establishment of ‘district hubs’ which will employ skilled people at ‘district hubs’ so that they may avail shared skills which local municipalities lack.

“The hubs form part of the district’s capacity and will link the localities to provinces and national departments,” she said. The hubs will also house critical and scarce skills such as engineers, planners, ICT specialists and administrators, to the districts and local municipalities.

Dlamini-Zuma said that these hubs are currently being trialled at three pilot sites across the country – Waterberg in Limpopo, eThekwini in KZN and OR Tambo in the Eastern Cape – which will impact over 10% of the population, the majority of whom are the poorest in our country.

The ownership and management structure of these economies are a microcosm of South Africa, she said.

Dlamini-Zuma said that the district-model will also see budget changes across government, with the ultimate goal of unifying finances into a singular budget.

The District Development Model will be implemented through the specialisation and reprioritisation of each and every department, state entity and municipality’s plans and budgets, she said.

“The ‘One Plan’ which will inform the ‘One Budget’ is an intergovernmental strategic framework for investment and delivery in relation to the district and metropolitan spaces,” she said.

“The District Development Model is all about how we work together as one government in all our district and metropolitan spaces, even if each sphere, sector or entity has its distinct, interrelated and interdependent constitutional powers, functions and responsibilities.

“In this case working together means planning, budgeting and implementing as one, while we hold each other accountable along the process.”

Read: Taxpayers to foot the bill for proposed R243 billion universal income programme in South Africa

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Dlamini-Zuma outlines new municipal regulations for South Africa