SPEECH BY NORTH WEST PREMIER, PROF TEBOGO JOB MOKGORO, AT THE SALGA NORTH WEST PROVINCIAL MEMBERS ASSEMBLY HELD ON SUNDAY, 29 NOVEMBER 2020 IN RUSTENBURG

Programme Director,
Chairperson of SALGA in the North West, Cllr Fetsang Molosiwa
The entire leadership, membership and management of SALGA North
West
Speaker of the North West Provincial Legislature, Hon Suzan Dantje
MEC for Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional
Affairs, Hon Mmoloki Cwaile
MEC for Health, Hon Madoda Sambatha
MEC for Provincial Treasury, Hon Motlalepule Rosho
Members of the North West Provincial Legislature
Chairperson of the North West House of Traditional Leaders, Kgosi
Moshe Mabe
Councillors
Eskom representative, Ms Lona Manzana
CEO of Magalies Water, Mr Sandile Mkhize
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Chief Operating Officer of the Municipal Demarcation Board, Mr Aluwani
Ramagadza
Representatives of various institutions of higher learning
Representatives of the Independent Electoral Commission
Distinguished guests
Members of the media
Ladies and gentlemen
Good morning.
It is an honour and a privilege to stand before you this morning and be
afforded an opportunity to address the annual Provincial Members
Assembly of the South African Local Government Association (SALGA)
in the North West.
I speak to you at a time when we are at the crossroads, expected to
chart a way forward for the future of local government in this province in
at a period in our lives when the entire globe is been ravaged by the
devastating and long-lasting effects of the novel Coronavirus, aptly
known as COVID-19 to most of us.
We have come to the realization that the global outbreak of the
pandemic, and in South African in particular, has changed the face of
service delivery forever; hence, we need to look at ways and means of
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delivering basic municipal services to our communities in a different
manner than we have attempted to do in the past.
We are mindful, Chairperson, that the new normal, the new way of doing
things, is not going to be easy in the face of an ailing and devastated
economy; an economy that is seriously struggling to get on its feet.
The question is then, “how do we inspire the delivery of basic municipal
services during this period of uncertainty presented by the COVID-19
pandemic while having to honestly introspect the deteriorating state of
municipalities in the North West Province?”
It is an open secret that municipalities in the North West, and elsewhere
in the country, have experienced a decline in the ability to deliver
services, with some being put under provincial administration and the
outbreak of the pandemic has not made things any simpler for us to fix
the mess that some of those municipalities find themselves in, for some
reason or the other.
Therefore, as this Provincial Members Assembly gets underway, it is
very important to take into cognisance the state of our municipalities as
we find new avenues to deliver quality services while faced with the
ever-increasing threat posed by the spread of COVID-19 to lives and
livelihoods.
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Through an honest introspection of where we are, as local government,
will go a long in assisting us to adopt to the new normal; that of providing
quality services while fighting the spread of the virus.
Just over two years ago, addressing this very same gathering in
Klerksdorp, I raised the following issues, amongst the many which are
still there, for consideration by SALGA in their quest to turn the fortunes
of our ailing municipalities around;
– The inability of various municipalities to attain clean audits, with
some of them continuing to slide into financial management abyss
and continuously receiving disclaimers from the Auditor-General
– The lack of Service Delivery Improvement Plans (SDIPs) in place
in most of our municipalities
– Lack of internal controls to prevent irregular, wasteful and
unauthorized expenditure, prevalence of negative audit outcomes,
lack of administrative capacity, poor revenue collection and poor
administration of conditional grants to municipalities.
We should then ask ourselves whether we have overcome some of
those hurdles which continue to be an achilles heel in our quest to
deliver quality services to the people.
I had earlier this month embarked on a road show to engage with
various municipalities in the province, at times accompanied by MECs,
to get first-hand as to what is the reason for the recurring collapse of
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municipalities, even those that had been placed under administration
previously and the picture that we got was too gloomy to comprehend.
However, we should ensure that we turn that gloom into bloom and we
have started to do that as a government.
Tomorrow, we are hosting a Provincial Economic Recovery Summit and
SALGA is a key role player in this exercise because the economic effect
that came about as a result of COVID-19 has a bearing on our ability to
deliver quality basic municipal services.
I strongly hold the view that we can turn things for the better if we work
towards a common goal as a united front committed to improving the
lives of those that have put their trust in us as elected public
representatives and public servants.
Looking at the list of various invited participants and contributors to this
Assembly, I have no doubt the festival of ideas that will ensue here will
produce strategies to take our service delivery efforts a gear up in the
face of the devastating virus that is COVID-19. It can be done, it is
possible.
This is evidently true if one looks at our coordinated efforts to fight the
spread of the pandemic in the last eight months; the manner in which the
Provincial Coronavirus Command Council and the various District and
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Local Coronavirus Command Council were able to harmonize work
between the two tiers of government brings me much hope than despair.
Our coordinated health response plan to the virus as well as other areas
of focus related to the fight against the virus, have proven our ability to
rise above expectation when really needed to do and I appeal to all of us
to use that same vigour to deliver quality basic services to needy
communities.
The Provincial Government is readily available to provide, at all material
times, the necessary support and expertise to ensure that ailing
municipalities are aided and service delivery happens in during the fight
to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Programme Director, allow me to wish this Provincial Members
Assembly all the best in their endeavours and hope that by the end of
their engagements, a way forward regarding service delivery is in place.
I thank you
ENDS