Municipalities To Benefit From New Project
Enhancing the capacity of municipalities to be more responsive and inclusive in the delivery of services, promotion of socioeconomic development and inclusive growth, the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) in partnership with the European Union (EU), is undertaking a project entitled ‘Enhancing Municipalities’ Capacity for Development (EMCD)’. The project funding is EUR750,000 for a period of three years and the project is currently in its first year.
Twelve municipalities in four provinces have been selected to benefit from this project. They are Free State (Xhariep, Matjhabeng, Masilonyane), Western Cape (Oudtshoorn, Prince Albert, Witzenberg), North West (Rustenburg, Madibeng, Moses Kotane) and Northern Cape (Siyancuma, Umsobomvu, Emthanjeni). In addition, the EMCD aims to facilitate inclusive, participatory inter-municipal planning and governance for effective long-term socioeconomic development.
The EMCD project will be implemented in two regions, a bio-region and a mining region. The Karoo is a semi-arid bio-region in the centre of the country and crosses four provinces – Northern Cape, Free State, Eastern Cape, and Western Cape. The mining region falls within the platinum belt in the North West Province. The Bojanala district municipality includes five local municipalities and about 94% of the country’s platinum is found in this district, which produces more platinum than any other single area in the world.
Challenges In The Karoo
The challenge in the Karoo is to create governmental systems, policy networks and business linkages that not only develop the region as a whole, but also in constituent parts while ensuring the natural environment is used sustainably. The battle for resources such as land and water is evident, but additional pressure is being placed on the region with prospecting rights sought for uranium and shale gas mining. The Karoo region is also part of SALGA’s Small Towns Regeneration (STR) programme, which started in 2013 and is intended to be a strategic partnership between public, private, academic, CBOs within the Karoo and across four provinces (Northern Cape, Free State, Eastern Cape, and Western Cape)
The project has four expected results:
Increased capacity of municipalities to undertake responsive inter-municipal planning as well as to implement the plans and strategies to enable them to meet their developmental mandate.
Strengthen community participation, particularly of organised community groups (NGOs, CBOs, FBOs including men, women, youth, elderly persons, people with disabilities) in municipal planning, implementation of plans and strategies, monitoring and evaluation of municipal programmes and projects.
Improved organisational capacity and governance in targeted municipalities.
Increased service delivery partnerships between targeted municipalities, the private sector, civil society and other public sector organisations.