Dlamini-Zuma outlines new model for municipalities in South Africa

Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma says that the government is pushing forward on its new District Development Model (DDM).

Answering in a written parliamentary Q&A this week, Dlamini-Zuma said that key to this new model is the introduction of DDM ‘hubs’, which will house critical and scarce skills – such as engineers, planners, ICT specialists and administrators – to assist districts and local municipalities.

“A DDM hub is conceived as a functional network of support and a facilitation system for intergovernmental planning in relation to a specific district or metropolitan space or a combination of district spaces or metropolitan spaces.

“These hubs will be established in a phased and differentiated manner across the various districts and metros, taking into account the dynamics of each district and metropolitan spaces.”

Dlamini-Zuma said that her department would determine where such hubs are needed and could potentially be established provided the required financial and funding resources are available in consultation with provinces and municipalities.

To date, fully-fledged DDM hubs have been established in the three pilot sites in the eThekwini metro, OR Tambo (Eastern Cape), and Waterberg districts, she said.

She added that the models would differ in a number of ways, depending on the skills needed in each municipality:

  • The design and composition of a DDM hub will differ from district to district and metro to metro, as demonstrated by the experiences in the three DDM pilot sites, thus influencing the capital costs for establishing these hubs.
  • Following the above, annual operating costs are dependent on the design and composition of a DDM hub in terms of staff size and associated overhead costs.
  • The staffing complement for each DDM hub is informed by needs and skills analysis informing a recruitment plan for each of the DDM spaces in collaboration with the respective provinces and municipalities.

“The hub managers for all three pilots are in place. Seven out of the eight approved positions have been filled in OR Tambo, (and) the senior development planner commenced duty on the 16 August 2021,” she said.

“Seven out of the eight positions were filled in the Waterberg District, (however) there are challenges in filling the position of the capacity building coordinator. Two out of the four approved positions for eThekwini have been filled.”


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Dlamini-Zuma outlines new model for municipalities in South Africa