The African National Congress (ANC) in the Eastern Cape on Monday, 23 January 2023 convened a Provincial Officials meeting with Executive Mayors, Mayors of all ANC-led municipalities and all ANC Regional Officials at the East London International Convention Centre in the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality.
The meeting was convened for the ANC Provincial Officials and Regional Officials to assess and devise mechanisms to accelerate service delivery across municipalities of the Eastern Cape, in line with ANC’s theme for 2023 that of taking decisive action to advance people’s interests.
The meeting focused on the state of roads, water provision, and municipalities’ expenditure patterns. The meeting received and considered comprehensive updates on the state of roads and plans and the municipal expenditure on service deliverables from both the MEC of Transport , Cde Xolile Nqatha and MEC of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Cde Zolile Williams.
The presentations from the two MECs served as an important basis for the leadership of the ANC to have thorough discussions on these important matters and develop clear achievable plans to turn around the situation in the best interest of the people.
On municipalities expenditure trends:
The ANC leadership expressed its concern about the municipal expenditure patterns. The leadership of the ANC affirms that the municipalities represent the closest sphere of governance to the people, tasked with the critical responsibility of serving the people.
It is in this context that the ANC is extremely concerned with the challenges around water provision to our communities. The situation cannot continue unabated as water is a basic human right. The ANC, therefore, tasked its deployees with the full implementation of the ANC manifesto in the transformation of the socio-economic conditions of the people.
To this end, the meeting resolved to establish processes to ensure that the municipalities ensure unhindered water provision, including proper use of relevant grants. The department of COGTA and Provincial Treasury will create necessary tools to assist the municipalities in this regard, within the spirit of the resolutions of the meeting. Further COGTA is mandated to institute S78 study on the appropriate location of the water function whether it must be located in the District or Local Municipalities.
The ANC deployees in each municipality are thus tasked with reporting to the ANC and the communities timeously. The ANC emphasized that it will not tolerate any poor performance and infighting from its deployees, as that has a negative impact on the program of the ANC and its standing in society.
ANC directs all its Regions and Municipalities to develop an expenditure recovery implementation plan and regular meetings will be convened to assess progress regarding expenditure patterns and where there is no visible progress decisive action will be taken by the ANC.
ANC mandated MEC of COGTA to consider initiating a legal and policy review for the provincial government to intervene where municipalities are failing in discharging their obligation on expenditure as opposed to returning funds to the national fiscus, when the needs of the people of Eastern Cape are well documented.
For ANC-led municipalities to avoid delays in the procurement of services , the meeting implored municipalities to improve planning processes regarding procurement by ensuring that procurement plans reflect project plans, and are implemented without delay in the new financial year. To also develop project planning and implementation tracking mechanisms to monitor planning, expenditure trends and project delivery against set time frames.
To also establish within the DISC Project Pre-Engineering Approval and Post-Execution Audit Units, enforce sector-specific regulations, norms and standards (i.e., CIDB, ECSA regulations, and other professional bodies’ prescripts) mainly to professionalize the infrastructure sector, especially in municipalities.
Further to enforce National Treasury “Infrastructure Development Management System (IDMS) and the “Local Government Framework for Infrastructure Delivery and Procurement Management” (LGFIDPM) protocols, mainly to entrench the authority of the DISC – Audit Units.
The meeting noted that Eastern Cape’s intricate roads network has been significantly compromised by the effects of weather elements akin to climate change. This is further compounded by an unprecedented rate of utilisation of roads infrastructure due to a high incidence of passenger and commercial vehicles along major and secondary routes in the context of expanding settlement areas.
The meeting acknowledged the significant roads infrastructure disparities between the ‘eastern’ and ‘western’ sides of the province. Recognising that whilst 90% of the roads are gravel and 10% are surfaced, the province is facing an excess of R 3 billion backlog maintenance funding deficit; whilst the province currently receives less than a billion rand to maintain its network.
As such the meeting resolved that:
Provincial government must continue to vigorously lobby for increased roads infrastructure budget for the province.
Consideration to be given to increasing the proportion allocated to maintenance, versus upgrading from gravel to surfaced roads.
Establishment of an Inter-governmental Rapid Response Unit (RRU) to respond to crises of roads value chains.
All ANC-led municipalities to ring-fence money for the maintenance of infrastructure and prioritise within their budgets by ensuring the fixing of roads, potholes, sewage spillages and broken water pipes.
January 8th Statement has directed the ANC and its government that 2023 is the year of fundamental consequence in the life of our nation, and that we must rededicate ourselves to the cause of fundamental transformation of our country and the renewal of the ANC.
In furtherance of these imperatives, this year is correctly declared as the ‘’THE YEAR OF DECISIVE ACTION TO ADVANCE THE PEOPLE’S INTERESTS AND RENEW OUR MOVEMENT’’.
ISSUED BY THE AFRICAN NATIONAL CONGRESS-EASTERN CAPE PROVINCE
Cde Gift Ngqondi
Provincial Head of Communications
Mobile No :0849519924 /084843970