2021 LOCAL GOVERNMENT ELECTIONS
STOP THE DECAY
Message from the leader
When we look around us, the decay of our towns and cities is clearly visible. Residents are overtaxed and underwhelmed. We do not receive value for our rates and taxes.
The decay of municipalities hinders economic growth and job creation. No business can thrive while there is inadequate infrastructure and service delivery.
The ANC has proved that it cannot govern. It has also been proven that where a political party rules alone and has too much power, it leads to abuse of power, politics, corruption and wrong priorities.
The cause of corruption, mismanagement, load shedding, pollution and poor service deliv- ery is ANC policy.
The FF Plus stands up against these policies and offers hope for a better future with equal opportunities for all.
The FF Plus’s team of parliamentarians, provincial legislators, mu- nicipal councilors, staff, activists and volunteers has proven that we serve the community, provide effective opposition, solve problems and can also govern where we are currently part of multi-party governments. We stand up against the decay and for a better fu- ture.
The FF Plus’s team is future driven and knowledgeable. We offer solutions and want to build a better future.
Become part of this team if you are serious about your and your children’s future.
Entrust us with your vote - we will not dis- appoint. Every vote for the FF Plus and our candidates is a vote that builds a better fu- ture.
See you on 1 November at the polling station.
Most of South Africa’s municipalities are in total chaos. Service delivery is poor, infrastructure is not maintained and a large number of municipalities are bankrupt.
The Freedom Front Plus joined the election with the slogan: ”stand up, stand together, stand strong and stop the decay”. Every voter must understand the future is in their hands and a very strong message must be sent that the decay will no longer be tolerated.
This manifesto contains information in terms of municipal issues and problems, the cause of these problems and offers a ten point plan to address these problems.
The state of municipalities is the biggest failure of the ANC government
Service delivery failed and most municipalities are on the brink of bankruptcy and unsustainability. Towns have been joined to form large municipalities or metro councils, with the only improvement the salaries of councillors and top officials.
The following summarise the dire situation in local governance:
- While some municipalities are practically bankrupt, they spend almost R90 billion on salaries. That is almost 46% of monies available to municipalities (own income and the division of revenue received from the national treasury). This is in contrast to the expenditure of municipalities for infrastructure maintenance, which is on average 2% of their budget1.
- According to the Department of Co-operative Governance only 16 municipalities are considered to be stable2. In effect this means that only 16 municipalities out of 257 have fully funded budgets, functional councils and can react timeously to service delivery complaints.
- According to the Department of Water and Sanitation 56% of the 1150 sanitation purification plants are in a ramshackle condition. Millions of litres of sewerage are pumped daily into rivers and the sea3.
- There is a dire shortage of engineers at local government level. The government’s solution is to import engineers from Cuba. The latest effort involves importing 24 Cuban engineers at a cost of R64 million. The qualifications of these engineers do not comply with the accreditation of the South African Council of Engineering4.
- There is a shortage of officials with the required skills and qualifications. More than 43% of municipal officials do not comply with the required minimum skill set and 48% of Chief Financial Officers of municipalities are not sufficiently qualified. There are many key positions not filled5. Whilst, R4.5 billion has been spent on salaries for officials in financial directorates, an additional R1 billion has been spent on consultants to do the work for which officials are being paid6.
- Municipalities have an exceptional number of positions (16%) vacant in water management directorates. Municipalities labouring under water shortages currently are the ones with the most vacant positions in this directorate. In water waste management 20% of available positions are vacant, while sewerage pollution is an enormous problem7.
- Infrastructure is not being maintained or upgraded. This leads to major water loss due to water leakage which is an estimated 37% of all clean water8. This is however a conservative estimate as there is a dirge of accurate data in relation to water loss. Data made available to Statistics SA indicates Tshwane Metro suffered an 81% water loss during 2014/20159. This while South Africa is the thirtieth driest country in the world.
- More than 1.7 million households do not have access to tap water10 .
- Some towns have been experiencing constant water shortages for more than five years running.
- Only 44% of municipalities have infrastructure maintenance plans, of which only 12 of them implemented them fully11.
- Out of 257 municipalities, only six spent the adequate amount on repairs and maintenance as a percentage (8%) of their property, plant and equipment12.
- Ten million poor households receive free electricity from the national budget, however only 2 million are actually receiving it. This indicates that municipalities are using the allotted R8.992 billion somewhere else and are failing these households13.
- Country wide only two municipalities applied for waste management licences as per national legislation14.
- The lack of financial management in municipalities are cause for great concern. According to the Department of Co-operative Governance, 63% of municipalities are in dire financial straits and a quarter of them are deemed to be bankrupt. In violation of the Municipal Finance Management Act 108 municipalities approved unfunded budgets15.
- Irregular expenditure totals more than R26 billion and fruitless and wasteful expenditure R3.47 billion. Only 27 municipalities received clean audits16.
- Approximately 74% of local municipalities do not have nearly enough cash or investment to cover their current liabilities. In six Metros and 16 secondary cities debt exceeds their available cash and investments17.
- The debt municipalities owes Eskom in total exceeds R31 billion (2016: R4.3 billion). The total creditors of municipalities are R73.7 billion (2016: R26.3 billion). Over 90 day creditors are increasing annually. This indicates that municipalities are not liquid and experience a total lack of cash flow18.
- Some municipalities are implementing their own load shedding in addition to Eskom as a result of exceeding their notified maximum demand (NMD) and due to their debt Eskom refuses to increase the allotted capacity.
- Some municipalities regularly fail to pay salaries to their employees. To add insult to injury they fail to pay over third party deductions to pension funds, medical aids and taxes. These funds are being used illegally to facilitate operational activities, due to a lack of cash flow. SARS is owed more than R655 million (2016: R305 million) from PAYE deductions not paid over and R804 million (2016: R343 million) to pension funds19.
- The State’s unpaid debt to municipalities is R16.7 billion (2016: R6.1 billion). This means that municipal accounts for schools, hospitals and other state owned buildings in many instances are not being paid. R14 billion of State debt exceeds 90 days20.
- The total debt to municipalities (debtors) amounts to R233 billion (2016: R108.6 billion). Of the total debtors owed only R36 billion (15%) are deemed to be collectable as the balance of about 85% are 90 days plus outstanding21. This situation continues despite the fact that municipalities annually write-off millions as impaired.
- The figures quoted above regarding the financial position of municipalities clearly indicates a drastic decline since the last municipal election in 2016.
- Most municipalities use consultants as a result of lack of internal capacity. Billions are being spent on consultants but the Auditor General reports a serious lack of management and supervision of these consultants22. They deliver sub standard work, fleece municipalities and are not held accountable.
- Due to the neglect of, and poor service delivery in rural areas, major business entities are withdrawing from these areas which leads to job losses and further impoverishment of local municipalities. A recent example hereof is the decision by Clover to move their factory in Lichtenburg, North West to Durban. This resulted in 330 job losses23.
Change is needed
To answer to the question if South Africans want change is rhetoric as 31% of South Africans has no confidence in their local government and only 12% has full confidence24.
Since 2013 there was an average of 2.26 service delivery protests daily25. From 1 August 2020 to 31 January 2021 there were 909 protests26. This averages 29 protests per day. Although political faction fighting also induces protests, there is a clear indication of the increasing decline and the total deficiency of basic service delivery.
However, to just change the ruling party of a municipality will not solve the systemic problems. It is the current policy and the model of local government that will have to change.
Not only change, but improvement
South Africans deserves a new dispensation to the benefit of all communities
The ANC is looking for a scapegoat for everything wrong in South Africa, for all their failures and for the total decay of cities and towns. They are using Whites as the culprits and tries to retain their voters by giving the Whites and Apartheid the blame for all their shortcomings. Racial polarity is being used for short term political gain.
The origin of the decay lies in policy which creates a fertile climate for mismanagement, corruption and fraud.
There is hope, decay can be stopped
The people of South Africa can unite around a new vision for the future. A vision where you can take control over your own future and that of your progeny, based on the values of integrity, honesty, labour loving, mutual respect and neighbourliness. Values, which in the past, formed a firm foundation for the development of a future of peace, safety and prosperity.
The Freedom Front Plus’s 2021 manifesto contains concerted solutions which creates hope to build a better future and to stop the decay. It is centred around the appointment of Municipal officials based on merit, effective financial management and sustainable local economic development.
Core problems and causes
Water shortages, dirty water, potholes in roads, streetlamps out of commission or on all day, traffic lights not functioning and sewage running in the streets are fast becoming an everyday occurrence in South African municipalities.
South Africa is a water deficient country suffering from droughts. However, this natural occurrence is not solely to blame for the water shortages.
Infrastructure such as pipelines, dams, water purification plants and water pumps not maintained adds to the core problem. An enormous amount of water goes to waste due to water leakage and poor infrastructure. There is no expertise available in water management.
Available funds are misappropriated due to a lack of expertise and infrastructure allocations received from the national treasury are under utilised.
For this reason there is a lack of maintenance and general crumbling of infrastructure. The compulsory expenditure of at least 8% of the book value of property, plant and equipment on maintenance is not adhered to.
New roads deteriorate due to incompetent contractors and a lack of maintenance.
Infrastructure project tenders are allocated to companies, who in many instances exploit the government and render sub standard work. The work of these companies are not checked for value for money. Some contractors are paid in advance but do not complete the projects. In other instances companies are not paid which results in unfinished projects.
These companies are selected on the basis of Black Economic Empowerment criteria. Value for money, ability to complete the project and proven expertise are not taken into account.
There is a total lack of engineers at municipal level, which causes poor planning, monitoring, implementation and conducting of infrastructure projects. As a result of Affirmative Action vacancies are only filled when a candidate of the preferred race applies, otherwise the post is left vacant.
The current government’s solution to the shortage of engineers is to contract engineers from Cuba. It costs hundreds of millions per annum to fund their salaries, accommodation, regular return flights and other benefits. These engineers however, may not practice in South Africa, sign off on plans or installations as their qualifications are not accredited with the South African Council of Engineers. The only reason for this import is the historical loyalty of the ANC to Cuba.
Poor service delivery
Most municipalities are incapable of rendering sufficient services to their entire service area. Refuse removal, sewerage, water and electricity supply and correct municipal accounts are inadequate.
The service areas of municipalities are unrealistic in size. In 1994 there were 1262 local municipalities 27 as opposed to the current 213.
The function of service delivery is centred incorrectly. This results in the government being far away from communities and service delivery cannot be performed adequately.
There is also a dirge of committed and able municipal officials. Affirmative action placements created an environment of low morale, poor dedication and incompetence. A great many positions are left vacant due to the fact that the prescribed Affirmative Action application has not been received.
Municipal unions are allowed too much influence to make unfair demands and organise regular strikes. These regular strikes of municipal workers further contributes to poor service delivery.
Vandalism and theft of municipal property results in inadequate service delivery and the poor financial state of municipalities. This is mainly due to insufficient security and law enforcement.
Destruction of the environment
South Africa boasts breath taking natural scenery. Our natural resources and environment are being destroyed by an incompetent government with incorrect priorities.
Our towns and cities are dirty. Landfills are illegal, sewage runs into rivers and the sea and municipal by-laws which are supposed to prevent pollution does not exist or it is not implemented.
Sewage runs freely into water resources, in streets and in between homes as a result of derelict Infrastructure and inadequate sewerage purifying plants.
In many towns and cities rubbish removal does not happen for months on end and recycling is not practised.
South Africa is currently in an economic recession with exceptional high unemployment and a junk status credit grading. This crisis leads to diminishing state income while needs and expenditure rises.
The equitable share of municipalities from the national treasury therefore also decrease in relation to the needs of infrastructure development and service delivery.
As the income sources for municipalities (tariffs and taxes) also decrease due to residents becoming impoverished and businesses closing their doors, municipalities are facing a very serious financial crisis.
A vicious circle forms where municipalities deliver inadequate services, raise tariffs which leads to the lesser development and growth of the private sector. This results in an impoverished population and unemployment which reduces the income streams of municipalities even further.
The blame for this financial crisis cannot be laid solely at the feet of the global economy and the COVID-19 pandemic. The reason is rather years of financial mismanagement, corruption, self- enrichment, waste and incorrect priorities.
There is a total lack of fiscal discipline at local government level – exceptionally high salaries are being paid and luxuries for mayors, municipal managers and others are an everyday occurrence.
Under spending of conditional grants for infrastructure development are still happening. In other instances grants are utilized for salaries and other operational expenditure.
As a result of the enormous unemployment crisis and poverty in South Africa there is tremendous pressure on municipalities due to residents not able to pay for water, sanitation, waste removal and electricity supply. However, municipalities failed to update indigent registers. This lead to residents who according to their income should be classified as indigent, not receiving free services as they are not on the register. These residents were erroneously classified as paying clients for decades, and it led to irrecoverable debts. This caused very high outstanding and defaulting debtors. On the other hand some residents have been placed on the indigent register who did not qualify in terms of their income.
The result of this financial state of affairs is municipalities who cannot pay creditors like Eskom, and cannot effectively render services or maintain infrastructure.
Municipalities consider excessive increase in property rates and taxes as the solution for financial deficit. Property taxes and tariffs are raised annually with a larger percentage than the inflation rate. This has the opposite effect as these increases causes greater impoverishment of residents and creates more non-payers which is to the detriment of municipalities. Small and medium sized businesses close due to these unaffordable increases, which causes unemployment and further impoverishment of the municipality in total.
Eskom and water boards increase tariffs beyond inflation. Nersa approves exorbitant electricity tariff increases.
In many instances the municipal managers, chief financial officers and other senior officials are not employed on the basis of merit and do not have the necessary skills, experience and knowledge.
Affirmative Action appointments lead to the focus being moved from merit to other grounds like skin colour, political affiliation and political party factions. These placements and cadre deployment resulted in serious mismanagement.
The large number of irregular, fruitless and wasteful and unauthorised expenses due to mismanagement adds heavily to the financial and service delivery crisis.
Poor leadership, inclusive of non-functioning councils and management structures adds to poor fiscal discipline and financial mismanagement. There is enormous instability in municipal leadership both political and administrative.
The failure of management causes the total collapse of municipalities. In many instances decisions are made on the grounds of political reasons and not in the interest of good management. Therefore there is little to no consequences for officials who transgress the law. There is also no consequences for councillors who approve unlawful practises, such as unfunded budgets.
POLICY AND SOLUTIONS
A fresh and fair dispensation
It is the objects of local government to provide an accountable government for local communities, to ensure services provision in a sustainable manner, to promote social and economic development, to promote a safe and healthy environment, and to encourage the involvement of communities and community organisations in local government matters.28
The FF Plus is bound to a fair dispensation for everybody. This does not only apply to the majority but also to minorities. Therefore the party condemns measures which practices post apartheid discrimination against persons on the grounds of race, such as Affirmative Action and Black Economic Empowerment.
The FF Plus is convinced that one of the key reasons for poor service delivery is the unrestrained practice of Affirmative Action, through which experienced managers and professionals were pushed out of municipalities and replaced with ANC cadres. In this manner persons with limited or no skills to serve the public, as required by municipal legislation, took control over essential and basic services, which are imploding country wide.
The FF Plus's support of subsidiarity can be achieved with great difficulty as long as municipal councils are the most inept level of government. The problem is not too much power at local level, but too little.
Poor government and inner circle fighting, notable of ANC led municipal government, must be destroyed. FF Plus representatives in each municipal council will work towards either destabilising the ANC through forming a coalition or to affect an effective watch dog function.
The FF Plus says:
- Establish an accountable municipal council who will keep a watchful eye over municipal officials and ensure accountability towards residents and their basic rights.
- Municipal officials must act in the interests of the community and party political factions must not play any role in the execution of their duties.
- Affirmation action should come to an end. The FF Plus therefore will work towards employing experienced and qualified officials on merit and keep them employed. The chaos at municipalities in terms of service delivery and management can only be solved through employing the most experienced persons. Nepotism and other forms of favouritism, such as political affiliation must be eradicated.
- The FF Plus demands the abolishment of Affirmative Action, especially for scarce skills and where a vacancy existed for more than 90 days and has not been filled.
- The tender process at municipalities must be revised to ensure transparency. All contracts approved by council should be available for public scrutiny.
- Only contractors and consultants who has the experience and a proven record to do the job must be appointed.
- Historical loyalties should not be considered in any appointments.
- South African engineers must be appointed irrespective of their skin colour and the import of Cuban engineers must cease immediately.
- The FF Plus is against racial discrimination and encourage equal opportunities for all.
Local government must be local
The FF Plus believes in subsidiarity. This means that all authority must be practised on the lowest possible level.
The key issue of the FF Plus's policy is that communities are the basic unit. In effect this means that the model of local government must be revised. The basic governance level must be the local community.
The FF Plus will encourage a dispensation which makes sustainable and independent communities possible. Such local communities must serve as building blocks to enable a larger society to provide for themselves.
The principle of governance as close as possible to the community must be encouraged. The trend world wide is for decisions and services to be made as close as possible to the community affected by it. Switzerland is a good example of the success of this principle. They have roughly 8.5 million inhabitants and a surface area of 41 285 km2 which is served by 2 212 municipal councils. South Africa with 59 million inhabitants and a surface area of 1 219 090 km2 has only 213 municipalities.
Municipal areas are so large it is no longer governance on local level. In addition the ANC uses municipalities as a feeding ground for the deployment of cadres.
Local municipalities must consist of one town only. There is no evidence that the system of merged municipalities implemented since 2000 is in any way beneficial, except for the small elite of councillors and top officials.
Therefore the current system of mega cities and amalgamated local municipalities consisting of various towns, should be changed to bring local government back to local communities. As a result taxes from the local communities must be used in that community.
Public participation must be encouraged and their opinion must be soundly considered when changes are made to the integrated development plan, spatial development plan and the budget.
It must be welcomed when communities take action to ensure for instance their own safety.
The FF Plus work towards the devolving and decentralisation of power and support the cause of the Cape independence (CapeXit).
The FF Plus says:
The only way to manage crime is to ensure the various role players, like the police, community policing forums, neighbourhood watches, rural safeguarding, metro/municipal police and private security firms work together and not in isolation.
The role of the FF Plus will be to facilitate and ensure co-operation. It is very important to involve the community in crime prevention. Communities must be encouraged to report crimes.
Municipal law enforcement is currently lacking. This encourages a lawless society. It is very important for municipal by-laws to be implemented consequently and policed. However, there must first be a process whereby by-laws are reviewed to ensure it is in line with current realities and our modern society.
A safe environment must be created to prevent circumstances favourable to criminals. This includes functioning streetlights, safety cameras and the prevention of abondoned municipal property.
Municipal property must be protected against vandalism. Millions are being spent currently on security contractors to protect municipal buildings and other property. These contracts must be reviewed for effectiveness and value for money. Security cameras should rather be used to protect municipal assets.
The FF Plus says:
A healthy environment with disaster management
The environment should be protected through effective policing in the case of pollution and the contravention of applicable laws.
Municipalities are currently the worst offenders in the most drastic pollution of water sources.
Where a municipality is responsible for pollution and the contravention of environmental laws the responsible official should be prosecuted.
The upgrade and maintenance of sewerage plants must be prioritised. Infrastructure allocations must be used to upgrade existing sewerage infrastructure.
Practical solutions must be investigated to prevent rubbish pollution of rivers, dams and the sea. Drainage nets are one example. Nets should be affixed at storm water drains to prevent plastic rubbish from entering water sources.
The loss of water should be restricted through modernising of water management, investing in existing infrastructure and the identifying of water leaks. Firstly, there should be good record keeping of water purchases, distribution and sales. In this manner the amount of non-revenue generating water can be accurately reported and water loss can be determined. It is very important to firstly upgrade the existing water infrastructure before any investment is made in new infrastructure.
Upgrading of landfill sites must be prioritised. Attention must be given to the security of these sites and the enforcement of applicable legislation. Each municipality must encourage a culture of recycling and initiate projects which involves the unemployed in orderly recycling of rubbish to the benefit of the community and the environment.
Municipalities should create a favourable environment for residents to switch to renewable energy. This should involve inter alia, rebates on taxes for residents who switch to renewable energy sources.
Municipalities should encourage the private excitation of electricity and should themselves initiate projects for affordable and sustainable alternative electricity.
Although the development of cities and towns are important for progress, parks and green areas should be retained, developed and form part of a spatial development plan.
Planting of trees and other plants on sidewalks and traffic islands are important to create a sustainable environment for the future and to counteract the effect of air pollution.
District municipalities must prioritise disaster management and spend the allocated grants to ensure functional firefighting equipment in local municipalities. Firefighting equipment and vehicles must be available in all towns of a municipality. Firefighting equipment adapted for veldfires in rural areas should be available.
The FF Plus says:
Municipalities should invest in preventative controls to ensure compliance and prevent financial losses, fraud, corruption, mismanagement of public sources and service delivery deficiencies.
To improve financial management transactions should be monitored, reviewed and supervised. The lack of proper record keeping of transactions prevents transparency.
There is an armoury of local government legislation, regulation and behavioural codes which manages the performance of municipal administrators and council persons. Council persons and officials transgress these stipulations and is not held accountable. This must change. There must be compliance with legislation and regulations.
It is important for municipalities to budget and plan realistically. This needs urgent attention as the budgets of most municipalities are either unfunded or unrealistic. The lack of proper planning orchestrates an environment where there is only crisis management.
Debt collection must be prioritised. However, it is important for systems to ensure accurate service accounts.
The professionalism of municipal management is vital and therefore knowledgeable officials with the necessary skills and qualifications must be appointed. While municipal managers, chief financial officers and senior management are not qualified to do the job for which they were appointed, financial mismanagement will reign.
It is important for municipal public accounts committees to function and the necessary oversight and investigation to be done. It does not help if all irregular and fruitless expenses are condoned and passed over without punishment. There must be consequences for officials who are responsible for the waste of public funding and who transgress laws and regulations.
There must be stability in political and administrative leadership. Municipal councils must be functional and offer effective oversight.
Outstanding debt of government departments should be recovered effectively.
The FF Plus says:
Fair rates and taxes and accurate service accounts
The payment of rates, taxes and tariffs is essential for the maintenance of municipalities and service delivery.
The principle of basic services for everybody, to give the poor access to services is important and is acknowledged.
However, it is not fair to saddle regular payers of services, who developed a regular and faithful tax and service payment culture, with subsidising non-payers. The culture of non-payment should be addressed as there are many non-payers who can afford to pay for services.
It is also not fair to resident who pays faithfully for services not rendered. Municipalities must earn taxes and tariffs and not only collect it. There must be value for tax and tariff payments.
Municipalities must do everything in their power to prevent the increase of taxes and tariffs through decreasing unnecessary expenditure. Negligible income such as trade permit fees must be deferred to afford needed relief to businesses in times of poor economic circumstances.
As taxpayers are increasingly unable to fund unproductive municipal expenses, every cent should be spent judiciously and there must be total transparency in relation to spending. Municipalities should be sensitive to the precarious economic circumstances of residents and must act wisely and frugally.
Accurate and regular service accounts is important. Municipalities must upgrade their accounting systems and invest in modern technology to integrate systems effectively. Cell phone applications must be considered to allow residents to speedily check and pay their accounts
The reading of meters must be modernised and estimated readings must be prevented. It has become practice to estimate readings instead of actual readings.
The FF Plus says:
Job creation, economic development and empowerment
Unemployment is a huge crisis in South Africa. The large unemployment rate encourages urbanisation, more dependency on free services and the total impoverishment of municipalities.
Unemployment must be addressed concertedly. No government can create employment sustainably. Therefore the FF Plus is convinced that unemployment can only be bested when a favourable environment is created for job creation and investment can be obtained.
Economic empowerment in South Africa should not focus on the enrichment of individuals but on the real empowerment of whole communities. As the FF Plus believes skin colour should not be used as a generalisation of under privilege it should not be used as a requirement for empowerment. Socio-economic circumstances, like poverty, unemployment and a lack of access to quality education must be the basis on which empowerment is assessed.
Poverty is a national problem which affects a large portion of society from all communities. Prevention of poverty in communities has been proven over time to be the most effective form of poverty relief. Therefore the FF Plus will work towards the promotion of community focused social services.
Growth and development are the only sustainable empowerment method. To encourage economic growth municipalities must create a favourable environment through reliable service delivery, infrastructure development and maintenance and fair taxes and tariffs.
To develop a local economy there must be trust in municipal management and councils. Trust develops investment security for the private sector to invest and develop. Trust is encouraged through transparent and reliable management where public funds are being spent judiciously, a safe environment is created and the interests of the community are being safeguarded.
The delays in issuing trade permits and dealing with rezoning for business purposes applications must be addressed. Municipalities should make it easy to start and operate a business.
The FF Plus says:
Co-operation with other parties and multiparty governments
The FF Plus will after the election, without comprising its independent identity of values, work with other parties and organisations if the party is convinced that such co-operation will enhance the aims of the communities and will promote this manifesto, especially to remove the ANC management of municipal governance.
Research and opinion polls revealed that in the coming election at various municipalities no party will have a majority of 51%.
Multiparty or coalition governments will enable opposition parties to play a major part after the election in certain metro and local municipalities. Parties, like the DA and the FF Plus will need each other after the election, in all of the coalitions to govern with opposition parties and beat the ANC and keep the EFF out of the loop.
The advantage of multiparty governments is that it minimises the misuse of power and the values and thought processes of the larger community, including minority groups are represented.
The FF Plus says:
Effective oversight, a watch dog function and collective division of power
The lack of oversight of municipal officials and management as a result of defective political will, causes irregularities and the absence of accountability.
It is important for municipal councils to manage their supervisory role over municipal management and exercise their executive power. This includes the functioning of supervisory committees, thorough investigation of all unauthorised, irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenses, and to hold officials accountable for transgressions.
A municipal council must carry the interests of the community and govern the municipality with accountability. It is important for councillors to use their supervisory powers to ensure the municipality complies with legislation and functions effectively.
The majority of local municipalities and all the metro councils who may choose between a collective executive system and an executive mayoral system, chose the latter. The collective executive system allows the executive committee to be appointed proportionally from the representative parties in the council. The executive power is vested in the collective. An executive mayoral system allows for the mayor to be chosen by the council and the executive power is vested in the mayor.
In an executive mayoral system a mayoral committee supports the mayor, but these office bearers are appointed by the mayor and reports to the mayor. In a collective system the executive committee consists of members of political parties represented in the council and they are proportionally appointed. The mayor is chosen from this committee. Members of the executive committee reports to the council and not the mayor.
The FF Plus is of the opinion that the collective executive system affords a better balance of power, transparency and accountability, than in the system where all the power is settled in one official.
When the FF Plus obtains opposition representation in a municipal council, the party will carefully fulfil an opposition and watchdog function.
The FF Plus says:
The FF Plus considers diversity as an asset for South Africa. Diversity should therefore be acknowledged on all levels of government and be treasured. This includes respect for all communities' symbols, historical names and legacy.
The FF Plus's constant political battles over the unnecessary changes of place and street names, proves this.
The FF Plus says:
- It is vital that community libraries represent the values of that community.
The FF Plus strives toward a political system where Christian values are practiced and noted for the principles of justice, truth, neighbourliness, respect for life, loyalty and a peaceful co- existence. The FF Plus will promote moral values in line with these principles.
SUMMARY OF SOLUTIONS
- Appoint knowledgeable and qualified officials
- Professionalise the management of municipalities
- Effective oversight and stable leadership
- Effective and functional municipal councils
- Collective executive committee system rather than executive mayors
- Spend infrastructure grants (conditional grants) in full
- Plan infrastructure projects thoroughly
- Prioritise maintenance of current infrastructure as opposed to new infrastructure projects
- Funding and conditional grants must be spent on critical infrastructure – sewerage, water, electricity and roads, before it is spent on the building of new sport stadiums, as an example
- There must be effective oversight over infrastructure projects and contractors must be appointed with care according to the best value for money. Contractors must be monitored regularly for progress with projects.
- South African engineers must be appointed irrespective of the skin colour and the import of Cuban engineers must be ceased forthwith
- Modernised water management must be implemented and record keeping must be accurate and water leakage must be detected and repaired.
- Controls must be implemented to prevent irregularities, misappropriation of funds, fraud and corruption
- Tender processes at municipalities must be reviewed to ensure transparency
- Plan and budget realistically
- Zero-based budget planning
- Fair rates and taxes
- Effective collection of service fees and accurate municipal accounts
- A uniform taxation system and a uniform service tariff for the same category consumer must be implemented
- Municipal councils and committees must practice effective oversight, investigate and implement consequences for transgressions
- Cut unnecessary expenditure
- Appoint knowledgeable and qualified staff in financial departments
- Quality service delivery and effective government must be promoted through thorough oversight to ensure transparency with regards expenditure
- Huge salaries paid to officials not able to deliver service must be stopped
TEN POINT PLAN
The FF Plus's solid ten point plan for the improvement of municipal management and service delivery can be summarised as follows:
1. Stop the appointment of officials who are not on merit and appoint the best person for the job, irrespective of skin colour. Stop racial discrimination and focus on a better future for all
2. Decentralise local government and devolve power to as near as possible to the community through sub-councils and smaller municipalities
3. Raise fair rates and taxes and stop unfair increases.
4. Create a favourable environment for the private sector to stimulate economic growth and create sustainable job creation.
5. Act as power balance within multiparty governments and fight for the rights of FF Plus voters in these governments.
6. Act as an effective watchdog against mismanagement, corruption and incompetence and fulfil a dynamic, structured opposition role
7. Prioritise infrastructure maintenance, comply with relevant legislation and effective policing and promote a culture of recycling.
8. Stop the loss of water due to burst pipes and leakages.
9. Protect heritage and respect diversity. Stop the unnecessary changes to place and street names and promote multilingualism.
10. Create a healthy and safe environment and promote good values.
Stop the decay – vote FF Plus!
1 Auditor General. Consolidated general report on the local government audit outcomes 2019/20. 2021
2 Department of Cooperative Governance. State of Local Government Support and Interventions Package. 2021
3 Steve Kretzmann et al. South Africa’s rivers of sewage: More than half of SA’s treatment works are failing. Daily Maverick. 26 April 2021
4 Lindile Sifile, Pricey Cuban engineers need local supervision, Sowetan 30 April 2021
5 Parliamentary question (NA) to the Minister in the Presidency. Question 501. 26 February 2021
6 Auditor General. Local Government Audit Outcomes. 2021
7 Statistics SA. Non-financial census of municipalities for the year ended 30 June 2019. 2021
8 Ferrial Adam. Government must urgently deal with South Africa’s deepening water crisis. Daily Maverick. 29 April 2021
10 Statistics SA. Community Survey. 2016
11 Parliamentary question to the Minister of Cooperative Governance. Question 11. 11 February 2021.
12 National Treasury. The state of local government finances and financial management as at 30 June 2020. 2020 13 Tracy Ledger. Broken Promises. Electricity access for low-income households. Public Affairs Research Institute. 2021
14 Parliamentary question to the Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Environmental Affairs. Question 1964. 27 August 2021
15 Department of Cooperative Governance. State of Local Government. 2021
16 Auditor General. Local Government Audit Outcomes. 2021
17 National Treasury. The state of local government finances. 2020
18 National Treasury. Local Government Revenue and Expenditure: Fourth Quarter Section 71 Report. 2021
22 Auditor General. Local Government Audit Outcomes. 2021
23 Johan Eybers. Clover sluit fabriek; honderde werkloos. Rapport. 6 June 2021
24 Afrobarometer. South Africa Round 6 Survey Findings. 2016
26 Parliamentary (NCOP) question to the Minister of Police. Question 59. 19 February 2021