Provincial and local government Policy Proposals

//Provincial and local government Policy Proposals

Provincial and local government Policy Proposals

1. Introduction

The UDM proposes the rapid expansion of the role of Local Government, as the sphere of government that is closest to the people. The equitable share of revenue that is allocated to Local Government must be increased to ensure that development and delivery at community level becomes a reality.

The role of Provincial Government should be focussed upon coordinating development, building capacity and skills within Local Government, and assisting Local Governments in crisis and disaster management.

The activities of Provincial Government must occur within the framework of the Presidential Council on Planned Sustainable Development, as set out in UDM Economic and Public Works policy. The Council will provide a forum for all sectors of society to express their developmental needs, and coordinate infrastructure development aimed at job creation and socio-economic upliftment.

While the Constitution provides for the existence of Provinces, the reason for this can be found in the history of negotiations to establish democracy in South Africa. The existence of Provinces is based on a political settlement. Provinces have become a political football; furthermore the system of Provinces may prove to be more costly and more problematic than the homeland system. Improving the provincial system seems difficult and therefore the UDM is in favour of a complete review of the system in its entirety.

The UDM is in favour of phasing out Provinces and strengthening Local Government. This should be coupled with the transfer of most provincial duties, as well as human resource capacity, from Provinces to Local Government. Provinces can retain their legislative function, but the rest of the provincial bureaucracy must be reduced in order to strengthen Local Government.

Provincial and Local Governments must exercise their duties with due regard to the disparities and differences that exist between rural and urban communities. Due to historic reasons, huge developmental backlogs exist in rural areas. A framework for distinguishing between rural and urban areas is proposed in UDM Economic Policy (page 15 and 16).

Recognising that Local Government can play an immense role in service-delivery the UDM proposes, within the above framework, the immediate implementation of a National Rescue Plan for Service Delivery and Development, based on:
• Viable, sustainable and cost effective service delivery.
• The immediate introduction of a 3-year nationally driven programme to provide Local Government bureaucrats with capacity.
• Transforming Local Governments (Government, Civil Society and Business) into real agents for job creation and growth, as the underlying reason for unsustainability of current Local Governments is directly related to the inability of unemployed and poor people to pay for services.

Under the ANC Government the issue of Traditional Leadership has been made the responsibility of Provincial and Local Government, where it has been ignored, despite the fact that millions of South Africans continue to support this institution. The UDM recognises that the institution can play a vital role in development, and will therefore seek to fully recognise and incorporate Traditional Leaders in the governance of South Africa.

2. Mission statement

To establish fully legitimate, democratic, functional, accountable and community driven Local Government through co-operative governance, ensuring optimal utilization of resources in order to improve the quality of life of all residents, stakeholders and communities. This will be achieved, with the assistance of Provincial Government, through optimal consultation and co-operation with all stakeholders without bias to either the rural or the urban areas and in consultation with Traditional Leaders where they exist.

3. Objectives

A UDM Government will strive to create an effective system of Local Government through:
3.1. A Culture of non-partisanship and political tolerance.
3.2. The optimal utilization of resources managed in a cost effective way.
3.3. Efficient and cost-effective service delivery.
3.4. A commitment to eliminate Apartheid era community racial boundaries and the integration of all residential areas.
3.5. The establishment of transformation linkages between various residential areas and business centres in order to encourage business enterprise development in poor communities.
3.6. A commitment to the safety and security of all South Africans.
3.7. The promotion of enterprise development as a key to the elimination of unemployment
3.8. Fighting corruption.
3.9. Rural and Urban renewal strategies for infrastructural development and opportunity creation.
3.10. Environmental awareness and education.
3.11. The promotion of a culture of ownership.
3.12. Strengthening multiparty democracy and enhancing democratic values in democratically elected municipal district councils as well as in Traditional Authorities.
3.13. Promoting nation-building schemes at local level through constructive co-operation between local communities.
3.14. Supporting social upliftment and transformation programmes to help developing communities to help themselves.
3.15. Coordinating and implementing reconstruction and development schemes to ensure integration of all relevant elements.
3.16. Exercising municipal regulatory functions and administration in a creative and responsive way to establish a climate which will attract investment and in which the private sector can stimulate economic growth and create employment opportunities.
3.17. Supporting budgeting and expenditure which give priority to redressing imbalances and backlogs in providing services to all communities and simultaneously create conditions for economic growth and social development.
3.18. Sound financial management.
3.19. Improving the relationship between elected representatives and Traditional Leaders; the UDM will, in consultation with both groups and their communities, clearly define a constructive role for Traditional Leaders.
3.20. Effective structures and procedures, established to facilitate and regulate relations and inter-active cooperation between elective local government bodies and traditional authority structures to promote economic and social development in rural areas. Equitable compromises must be sought between the obligations of democratically elected councillors and those of leaders of traditional authorities.

4. The role of local government in urban renewal

Levels of urbanisation in South Africa indicate that the urbanisation process has not yet been completed. This means that we are in urgent need of an urbanisation strategy for the country. Such a strategy must include at least the following aspects:
4.1. Identify urban geographical areas where new communities can be established.
4.2. Determine where and how existing urban areas can be improved and expanded.
4.3. Find ways to maintain and protect existing urban infrastructure and build new infrastructure.
4.4. Determine a new urban housing policy, including aspects such as density, land tenure, property rights, permanency of a job, etc.
4.5. Develop innovative new mass urban transit systems.
4.6. Protect surrounding rural areas (farmland, forests, etc.) from urban sprawl.
4.7. Provide in the needs of urban populations, e.g. Water, power, sewerage, schools, health care and open spaces.

5. The role of local government in rural revitalisation

The UDM will pay particular attention to rural revitalisation, against the background of an accelerated urbanisation strategy. Many rural areas are experiencing a crisis with regard to resources and service delivery. Visible strategies will be established especially to assist emerging farmers by focussing on access to resources including capital, land, infrastructure and training. The Government’s role will be restructured to creating an environment conducive to entrepreneurial and agricultural development. The UDM believes in the introduction of government programmes that employ and train the unemployed in agricultural, tourism and community development projects. These programmes will be transformed into self-sustaining, privately owned businesses that have the potential to grow, accumulate assets, and create employment.

6. Tariffs, rates and levies

A UDM Government will ensure that:
6.1. Tariffs and levies are reasonable and market related.
6.2. Tariffs and levies are competitive with other local councils
6.3. Tariffs and levies take the general income of the municipality’s inhabitants into account.
6.4. In cooperation with National Government, Local Government will have an indigent policy and make provision for a Basic Service Subsidy to those who can truly not afford services.
6.5. The business community is consulted.
6.6. Incentives will be introduced to attract investment.
6.7. Residents pay for the quality of service rendered and in relation to the level of infrastructure provided; as opposed to unilateral universal rates.

7. Housing

The provision of housing should occur within the framework of UDM Housing and Land policy. It is vital that tenure and ownership underpin the process. Housing development will provide houses to communities where there are jobs, schools and infrastructure. This includes economical, sub economical, low cost and subsidised housing, rental housing, as well as serviced plots for residents to build their own houses on. The UDM’s policy is that city/town development be done on an integrated basis to establish a total village where each citizen can play an active role in its economic development

The management of housing at Local Government level must be underpinned by the following principles:
7.1. To provide affordable housing as well as low cost housing options on a significant scale.
7.2. To assist the transfer of houses to ensure full-title to communities.
7.3. To manage and administer informal settlements as well as the various other housing schemes.
7.4. To manage and administer accommodation for the aged
7.5. To manage and administer hostels.
7.6. Screening of potential beneficiaries for the rapid land development programs.
7.7. These functions should not be unfunded mandates.

8. Health care services

The UDM is committed to health care services that will ensure that all citizens have access to basic health services on a cost-effective basis.

The UDM’s policy is to ensure access to primary health care to every citizen and to deliver this service on a cost-effective base. It is also the policy that primary health care should be focused on preventative health care.

Health care facilities must be maintained and enhanced, with full private sector participation to ensure a health care service of excellence that will promote the health of the community.

9. Environmental planning and management

The UDM’s policy is that every citizen has access to open spaces and conservation areas, that are user friendly and environmentally acceptable. It also provides for the facilitating and development of legislation to curb all forms of pollution and to ensure the saving of our heritage and making our cities environmentally and aesthetically acceptable. It is also the policy that a full impact study is imperative for any local government development.

10. The local economic environment

10.1. Local stock exchange
The creation of an open market environment where small and medium businesspersons can make shares in their companies available to the general public.

The UDM’s policy is that every city should establish a local stock exchange where small and medium business could take part in the general upliftment of the city.

10.2. Micro business
Those entrepreneurs that make or design from their own initiative certain products for the sole purpose of marketing it for tourism.

The UDM’s policy is to support the micro businessperson by facilitating, developing and building it as an economic power inside the Local Government as a tourist attraction in view of the economic empowerment of the local communities.

10.3. Hawkers
Those merchants that make mainly use of sidewalks and parks. They can be distinguished from the micro businessperson:

The UDM’s policy is that Local Government shall organize hawkers to operate their business in facilities provided by the Local Government to ensure an organized community.

10.4. Industrial and economic development
The UDM supports the development of a system of economic prosperity and job creation in our cities by attracting major industries.

The UDM’s policy is that industrial economic development must be attracted to ensure economic prosperity and job creation.

10.5. Tourism
The UDM supports the concept that Local Government must participate in the provision and management of tourism in general to increase the marketability of local attractions.

The UDM’s policy is to support the facilitative role that Local Government should play in creating opportunities with the private sector to provide and manage tourism attractions.

10.6. Sister city agreement
The UDM supports those agreements that occur between two cities with the view to expand knowledge and mutual support.

The UDM’s policy is that sister city agreements be actively promoted with a view to international communication and relationships to empower Local Governments to share in the knowledge of other cities.

11. Physical infrastructure

11.1. Water supply
The UDM’s policy is to ensure that every citizen has access to clean drinkable water. It provides for properly informing citizens on the use and cost of water supply. The policy also aims to provide for the full payment of the services rendered.

11.2. Transport
The positioning of infrastructure for private and public convenience and the enhancement of public passenger transport:

The UDM’s policy is to plan and provide infrastructure for private and public convenience in a manner that is economically sustainable.

The UDM supports an integrated transport plan which includes all forms of transport integrated with a view to the effective transportation of communities to and from their places of work and visitors to places of interest.

The management of traffic in local government forms an integral part in the quality of life of the citizen and that is why the effective management of traffic is a necessity.

The UDM’s policy is that bigger emphasis has to be placed on traffic management as an active cost effective unit. The outcome from traffic fines and parking tariffs are to be used to finance the cost of this unit.

11.3. Electricity
The UDM is committed to the distribution of electricity to all households on a safe, affordable, user-friendly and consistent basis. Furthermore the effective management of the network will be ensured and a system that is geared to the demands of the future will be developed.

12. Refuse removal
The UDM supports a planning and budgeting process that takes account of the community’s needs in the physical, economical, social and institutional environments.

The UDM’s policy is to provide a spatial composition to the inhabitants of the city that is economically sustainable while considering the physical and psychological well being of the citizens.

13. Volunteer/reserve force
The UDM is in favour of a specific group of people who are willing to give up their spare time for service in the community to ensure a cost effective emergency or part-time force.

The UDM’s policy is to encourage a volunteer or reserve force for the community to enhance a cost effective emergency service.

14. Refuse removal
The UDM’s policy is that refuse removal is managed in such a way that recycling and reusing/recirculating of natural or other resources be encouraged. It is also the policy that a differentiated waste tariff structures is implemented to encourage users to recycle.

15. City police
It is important that Local Government ensures the safety of its citizens by the management of an effective safety system/service:

The UDM’s policy is that Local Government, where it is necessary and financially viable, shall provide and operate a city police service where the primary responsibility will be to ensure the safety and security of the citizens and visitors to the municipality.

16. Traditional leaders
The UDM believes that the institution of Traditional Leaders cannot simply be wished away. It is important to take into account that millions of South Africans continue to support the institution of Traditional Leadership, and that they are seen as the custodians of traditions and culture.

A UDM Government will embark on a campaign to give Traditional Leaders’ recognition, and in consultation with them and their communities, properly define a constructive role for them to play. During this process the interaction between Traditional Leaders and elected representatives will also be clarified.

The UDM believes that Traditional Leaders and their staff require further training to provide them with the necessary skills to cope with the demands of their communities in the new millennium.

The UDM believes that Traditional Leaders can play a significant role in moral regeneration programmes as well as rural revitalisation. For these reasons it is vital that Traditional Leaders are encouraged to participate in the transformation of land policy (i.e. land tenure) and that they are given proper representation on all forums involved in development.

In line with the justice system, under a UDM Government, Traditional Leaders’ courts will be equipped with trained staff to ensure uniformity and professionalism, recognising that their courts’ decisions are subject to review by higher courts.

2016-10-26T08:39:19+00:00 April 9th, 2014|Policy Positions|Comments Off on Provincial and local government Policy Proposals