Councillors should not be seen as 'chowing' money – Ramaphosa

Deputy President says councillors must be accountable and responsive

Councillors should not be seen as 'chowing' people's money - Ramaphosa

29 November 2016

Johannesburg - Councillors should not be seen as leaders that are "chowing" people's money, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Tuesday.

"We want councillors that are going to be accountable, councillors that are going to be responsive," Ramaphosa said.

Ramaphosa was speaking at a South African Local Government Association (Salga) conference in Sandton.

"As a country we look to this cohort of councillors that we have elected in August to exemplify everything our people expect of their public representatives.

"In every village, every town, township or city, we must establish the institutional capacity to deliver better services...we must prioritise co-ordination and communities' involvement through programmes," he said.

He said South Africans' default view of councillors had become that the officials were "the face of corruption" and "everything that is wrong."

He said councillors should see themselves as servants of the people, and serve those people where it matters most.

"You are here because you have to serve people. Our responsibility is to make sure that all structures of local government in all parts of the country serve our people all the time."

In the August 3 local elections the ANC lost the key metros of Tshwane, Johannesburg and Nelson Mandela Bay.


SA economy not growing fast enough to tackle problems

Johannesburg - The South African economy is not growing at the rate required to decisively tackle unemployment, inequality and poverty, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Tuesday.

"All levels of government, public finances are under a great deal of stress, limiting the scope for further social spending and increased infrastructure investment," Ramaphosa said at the South African Local Government Association (Salga) conference in Sandton.

"Local government should play a critical role to advance the economic activities in local areas that would increase more employment," he said.

He also urged municipalities to use various instruments, such as technology, to foster innovation.

He said this would encourage local investment and economic activities. He also added that municipalities should be incubation centres for entrepreneurs.

After he addressed delegates and journalists, Ramaphosa was rushed out of the meeting.

0.4% growth

On Friday, Moody's Investors services warned that if South Africa didn't accelerate economic growth, the country risked being downgraded.

"The negative outlook on South Africa's Baa2 government bond rating reflects risks related to the implementation of structural reforms aimed at restoring confidence and encouraging investment, upon which Moody's bases its expectations for a gradual growth recovery and debt stabilisation in coming years," said Moody's in a statement.

The South African Reserve Bank (Sarb) has forecast that the country's growth will top just 0.4% in 2016 and only accelerate beyond 1% in 2017 and 2018.

South Africa dodged a downgrade to "junk status" in both May and June.

Rating agencies have been sympathetic towards South Africa's current lack of economic growth, influenced by weak external demand, which has had an impact on exports, as well as the drought, said Renier de Bruyn, equity analyst at Sanlam Private Wealth.

A credit rating reflects the borrower's credit worthiness. This involves the likelihood that the borrower will pay back a loan within the confines of the loan agreement, without defaulting, explained Mampho Modise, a postgraduate researcher at the University of Pretoria.

This article first appeared on News24, see here