Strategy to monitor service delivery

GOVERNMENT is setting up a national command centre that will house a local government intelligence wing to monitor service delivery execution at local level.

Gauteng mayors and municipal managers were the first to be briefed on the turnaround strategy and how the command centre will work to ensure that they are in line with national plan for the local government turnaround strategy.

Deputy Director-General of Local Government and Traditional Affairs Yufus Patel said Gauteng was the economic hub of the country and if service delivery issues like road maintenance and clean water fail in this province, investment to the rest of the country will be affected.

The command centre will have a daily tracking unit that will ensure that all municipalities in the country are implementing the turnaround strategies that are needed to improve service delivery and "restore the confidence of the people in municipalities".

A rapid response team will be employed to swoop into municipalities where there is a breakdown in implementation of service delivery.

In addition, a ministerial advisory committee and civil society performance group will also be set up to keep track of developments.

"We need to cut the talk shops and have outcomes and target-based deliverables when we do these programmes," said Patel.

"We need an integrated and coordinated way to implement development strategies.

"Sometimes provinces and municipalities are bypassed when decisions are made."

He said indiscriminate hiring and firing at local government would be stemmed and transparency in the government dealings should be ensured.

He said that it did not make sense for municipalities to be loaded with corporate services officials whereas they lack capacity in technical services.

"The technical services is the core function of municipalities. You are not going to get investment coming in if we don't have the basics like clean water and maintained roads," said Patel.

"We need to proclaim informal settlement into townships so that we can get permanent infrastructure in those areas."