IFPYB Says Let Us Get Local Government Working
“With the local government elections on the horizon it is incumbent on us to take stock of the past 4 years, and make an honest assessment of what has happened.”
“The upcoming elections are an opportunity to change the direction of local government in South Africa and it was incumbent on the IFP Youth Brigade to drive that agenda of change. The IFP 2011 Local Government Elections Manifesto remained relevant even today because it provided a clear and practical vision for local government in South Africa.”
This was expressed by Mkhuleko Hlengwa MP, IFP Youth Brigade National Chairperson, whilst speaking during the Okhahlamba (Bergville) IFP Youth Brigade Constituency Conference.
“In truth during the past 4 years local government has tripped from one crisis to another. The agenda of service delivery and good governance has been replaced by fraud, corruption, maladministration and nepotism. The audit findings of the Auditor-General have consistently pointed out that auditees had findings on compliance and regulations, many of which related to supply chain management, irregular and wasteful expenditure, mainly due to a lack of basic controls and a lack of consequences for poor performance and transgression.”
“Municipalities across South Africa are collapsing because of corruption, cadre deployment and a total disregard for due process. The Municipal Financial Management Act is being flouted left, right and centre. Instability in political leadership has added fuel to the fire of failure, exacerbating the problems confronting our municipalities.” Said Hlengwa.
Hlengwa further said that “Strong nations are built on the ability to fulfil promises and therefore responsiveness to the needs of the public must take centre stage. The reality is when communities begin to feel that they are not getting proper services from the government and feel that promises and their needs, hopes and aspirations are not being met, rightly or wrongly, public and often violent protests become the order of the day as we have experienced almost daily.”
Hlengwa also decried the obsession with catchphrases saying “Whilst many are obsessed with the tired and empty refrain of a “good story to tell”; the reality is 21 years into our freedom and democracy many South Africans continue to struggle daily and most certainly do not have a “good story to tell”. They need jobs, houses, electricity, water and not poor service delivery and are simply fed up with the refrain of empty and un-kept promises.”
“Municipalities are rightly positioned to be the vehicle on which service delivery must be channelled, because local government is closest to the people. If local government works, South Africa works, because all development is local.”
“Provincial and National Departments have done local governments a huge disservice by continuously failing to pay their municipal rates and taxes. It is totally unacceptable and a shame of the highest order that municipalities are owed billions of Rands by their counterparts in Provincial and National Departments, namely the Departments of Health, Public Works and Basic Education.”
“We cannot expect municipalities to succeed if government departments are complicit in setting them up for failure through a perpetual and calculated resistance to pay rates and taxes.” Said Hlengwa.
In conclusion Hlengwa reiterated that “As the IFP we have the duty to offer and deliver for South Africans a local government that works. In this current sea of chaos and corruption the IFP must be an island of hope, service delivery and good governance.”
Issued by Mkhuleko Hlengwa on behalf of IFPYB, Mkhuleko Hlengwa is IFP Youth Brigade National Chairperson