NEWS & ANALYSIS

NDZ confirms that District Model will be implemented – Cilliers Brink

DA MP says minister not willing to release results of pilot phase

NDZ confirms that District Model will be implemented - whether it works or not

11 September 2020

Yesterday the Democratic Alliance (DA) was told that the government is not willing to release information on the successes and failures of the District Development Model.

The Model was meant to be piloted in three municipalities since last year, including the Waterberg and OR Tambo District Municipalities.

But with the result of the "pilot project" still outstanding, the Department of Cooperative Governance (CoGTA) has decided that the District Model will be rolled out across the country.

CoGTA’s 2020 strategic plan includes the adoption of so-called One Plans in all of the country’s 44 "districts" and eight metros. Six District Hubs are also be established.

Yesterday the DA received Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s reply to a parliamentary question about the lessons that government had learnt during the pilot phase of the District Model.

The Minister’s reply is that it would be premature to identify successes and failures in the District pilot sites.

The DA thinks it would be far more premature to implement yet another grand ministerial scheme to fix local government without any evidence that it will work.

In August the DA cornered the Minister at a CoGTA portfolio committee, and she said she would give the portfolio committee the information supporting the decision to adopt the District Model beyond its pilot phase.

Now it seems that this information doesn’t exist, and that the District Model was going to be implemented regardless of the information that came from pilot sites.

In the meantime the Minister has been silent on pressing issues in local government, including the electricity crisis in municipalities that are defaulting on their Eskom debt.

A bill aimed at improving the intervention of provincial and national government in dysfunctional municipalities has also been languishing in the minister’s department.

Issued by Cilliers Brink, DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Cooperative Governance & Traditional Affairs, 11 September 2020