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Parliament, Wednesday, 18 September 2019 – Gauteng's permanent delegates to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) have urged the Gauteng Provincial Government to maximise its support to municipalities to ensure their viability to carry out their constitutional mandate on a sustainable basis. Municipalities are central to the delivery of services to the people. Based on that, both national and provincial structures of government must provide the necessary support to the local government as per Section 154 of the constitution before they are deemed dysfunctional.

The Gauteng provincial delegation to the NCOP is on a week-long oversight visit to the province to assess the state of municipalities. “The delegation is in support of the Premier’s assertion that we should be less concerned about the layers of government, what is essential is a government that works for all the people at all levels,” said the Provincial Whip and the leader of the delegation, Ambassador Mohammed Dangor.

Regarding Emfuleni Local Municipality and West Rand District Municipality, the delegation is in support of the application of Section 139 (1)(b) and Section 135 (3)(b) of the Municipal Finance Management Act interventions respectively to ensure that those municipalities are resuscitated.

Furthermore, the delegation is in support of the idea of a collaborative effort to promote Gauteng municipalities as a single brand to investors and leverage their potential.

Regarding infrastructure development, the delegation has called for effective utilisation of various grants to enhance service delivery and to eradicate infrastructure backlogs especially in a province such as Gauteng which receives a high number of migrants, from within and outside South Africa. As the economic heartbeat of the country, the provincial infrastructure development must be constantly improved to keep up with the challenges of migration.

The delegation also added its voice in the condemnation of xenophobic violence that took place in the province recently. “Violence and criminality can never be an answer to socio-economic challenges, they should be condemned wherever they manifest themselves. Developmental migration must be encouraged at all times as it boosts economic growth and job creation,” Ambassador Dangor emphasised. The delegation also condemns all acts of gender-based violence and participated in the Joint Sitting of Parliament called by President Cyril Ramaphosa in support of all the actions aimed at curbing the acts of gender-based violence and femicide in South Africa.

The funding mechanism of district municipalities must also be discussed as the current funding mechanism leaves these municipalities in financial difficulties as they depend only on the equitable share.

The delegation is also in support of increased seats in the Gauteng Legislature as it is of the view that the current representation model is not representative of the growing inhabitants of the province.

The delegation will today visit service delivery sites in Tshwane Metropolitan Area focusing mainly on infrastructure and National Health Insurance pilot sites. The delegation will visit the Hammankraal Waste Water Treatment Plant, Babelegi Industrial Park and Kekana Gardens Clinic.

ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE GAUTENG PROVINCIAL WHIP

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