Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Minister Zweli Mkhize on Monday announced the appointment, by his department, of 81 engineers and town planners to assist with infrastructure delivery in 55 struggling municipalities across South Africa.
Through Cogta’s implementing agent, the Municipal Infrastructure Support Agent (Misa), the appointed staff members include nine provincial managers; 36 civil engineers; 14 electrical engineers; 16 town and regional planners; and seven candidate experienced civil engineers, who are in the process of completing their professional registration.
This technical support programme, to help municipalities spend their infrastructure allocations wisely, will run until the end of April 2021.
The programme forms part of Mkhize’s three-pronged intervention programme to shape up municipalities in terms of governance and administration, financial management and service delivery, which entails the infrastructure development arm of Cogta’s intervention programme.
Earlier this year, the Minister indicated that only 7% of the country’s municipalities are classified as well-functioning; 31% as reasonably functional; 31% as almost dysfunctional; and the remaining 31% as dysfunctional.
During an event hosted by Cogta on Monday, Mkhize said the technical experts will work with the governance and financial management experts that will be appointed by the department.
The teams are expected to build permanent capacity in municipalities beyond project implementation.
To improve monitoring, Cogta will acquire information and communication technology to assist with the detection of issues and the solving of problems arising from infrastructure and service delivery.
“We want to build functional municipalities. Functional municipalities are well-managed and deliver the basic services, including healthy, potable and high-quality drinking water, good roads, a clean environment, working street lights and an efficiently-run administration with good governance and no corruption.
“We are determined to build such municipalities,” Mkhize affirmed.
MISA STRATEGIC PROJECTS
Misa’s first focus in the Eastern Cape includes the installation of boreholes; the construction of Mpame bridge; the provision of water reticulation at Nkantolo village, in Mbizana municipality; the rehabilitation of roads in the Makana municipality; the rehabilitation of the R63 in Amahlathi municipality; the upgrading of roads in the Matatiele municipality; and the implementation of a comprehensive infrastructure electric master plan in Makana.
In KwaZulu-Natal, Misa will first target drought boreholes in Newcastle, as well as the construction of 24 boreholes in Ward 1 and Ward 21, the Enyathi Bhokwe water project and Bhokwe sewer reticulation.
In Free State, Misa will refurbish a borehole in Kopanong, build a landfill site and cemetery for Mafube municipality and do a conditions assessment on Matjhabeng.
Further, it will rehabilitate the Dullstroom sewer pump station in Mpumalanga, and install boreholes in various municipalities.
For Limpopo, there are pipe and pump replacements planned in Kampelsrus and Sedawa, as well as Elias Motsoaledi’s energy master plan. In Thabazimbi, the Northam Ext 20 establishment will be planned. There is also a planned integrated waste management plan implementation in store for Fetakgomo-Tubatse.
Various boreholes will be refurbished and equipped in North West, including in the Ditsobotla and Kagisano municipalities. The Madibeng electricity master plan will also be implemented.
Boreholes are planned for the Northern Cape in Richtersveld, Kamiesberg, Khai Ma, Hantam, Siyathemba and Ubuntu.