A partnership between South Africa’s Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) and the United Nations in South Africa (UN-SA) was launched on April 6 in support of the implementation of the District Development Model (DDM) in the OR Tambo District of the Eastern Cape.
The Cogta-UN partnership will initially focus on three DDM pilot districts - OR Tambo; Waterberg, in Limpopo; and eThekwini, in KwaZulu-Natal.
The agreement was signed by Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and UN-SA head and resident coordinator Nardos Bekele-Thomas. They were joined by Eastern Cape Cogta MEC Xolile Nqata and OR Tambo District Mayor Thokozile Sokanyile.
The DDM model is aimed at fostering a so-called “one plan” approach to local development that seeks to incorporate public, private and civil society participation and investment in a joint effort to provide service delivery, localise procurement and create jobs, according to government.
The Cogta-UN partnership will give practical expression to the DDM principles which are based on cooperation and collaboration among stakeholders.
The launch of the partnership signifies the results of extensive and joint Cogta-UN consultations in the three pilot districts to understand their development priorities, states Cogta.
The partnership has identified specific areas of support that the UN can provide to the districts, building on existing work and addressing specific gaps by establishing business solution centres and strengthening the Thuthuzela Care Centres and the Thusong Centres to improve service delivery.
The partnership has developed district-specific implementation plans based on three interrelated pillars. These include the unlocking economic value chains pillar – which will provide opportunities for inclusive and sustainable growth.
The social transformation pillar is intended to result in increased stakeholder commitment and advocacy in gender-based violence and femicide.
The third pillar – service delivery enhancement – will focus on resuscitating and restructuring entities such as the Thusong Centres, which for decades have been strengthening platforms to give citizens access to public service and information.