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National Conference Declaration
We, the delegates gathered at this Fourth National Conference of the South African Local Government Association, representing 254 member municipalities in the Republic of South Africa, at the International Convention Centre, will strive to continue serving all our people and build Municipal and Social Cohesion for quality and sustainable services in 2011 and beyond.
INSPIRED by the presence and participation of the Cabinet Ministers, MEC’s, senior government managers, a variaty of civil society organisatins at this SALGA National Conference.
ACKNOWLEDGE the support and participation of other Organised Local Government bodies in this Conference.
RECOGNISING the achievements made by SALGA and its member municipalities since the 2007 National Conference, namely -
1. Has successfully lobbied for the introduction of minimum competencies, skills and qualifications for senior municipal officials;
2. Has successfully lobbied for the recognition that a differentiated approach to supervision, monitoring and oversight be the cornerstone of the LGTAS;
3. Has developed a gender policy framework that has led to greater gender mainstreaming in Local Government;
4. Has co-hosted a green economy summit thereby raising the role of local government in managing climate change; and
5. Has actively lobbied for the replacement of RSC levies with a proposal on a local business tax to the budget forum.
APPRECIATING the achievements on the commitments made by National and Provincial Government since the 2007 SALGA National Conference, namely -
1. Increased financial allocation (intergovernmental transfers) to enhance service delivery in municipalities,
2. Developed a national framework to assess the credibility of our IDPs and to continuously ensure their alignment with the Provincial Growth and Development Strategies and the National Spatial Development Programme;
3. Deployment of Community Development Workers (CDW’s) to work with councillors in a complementary manner;
4. SALGA adopted the Local Government Turnaround Strategy (LGTAS), informed by the national targets set for service delivery and economic growth;
5. Outlining a plan to facilitate an integrated public service to harmonise human resource systems, conditions of service and norms in the public service at National, Provincial and Local Government level.
1. About the increased violent tendencies by some striking workers;
2. That seventeen years into our democracy, apartheid spatial patterns continue to persist and the poor and marginalised continue to be accommodated in the spatial periphery of society;
3. About the debilitating effects of corruption on the functionality and performance of municipalities;
4. That national policies are increasingly leading to unintended negative consequences on the functionality and performance of municipalities;
5. About the unwarranted and senseless attacks on the person and properties of councillors;
6. That national and provincial government policies and actions are enchroaching on the role of local government and stifling its ability to innovatively perform its functions.
1. The particular vulnerability of South African communities and municipalities, including coastal and inland urban and rural areas, to the impacts of climate change, as per the outcomes of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment reports, local and international research and on-the-ground experience;
2. Underfunding of local government continues to bedevil service delivery;
3. Lack of meaningful participation of national and provincial government departments in what is supposed to be integrated development planning delivery at local level undermines service delivery;
4. That the refurbishment of new infrastructure before the end of its design life due to poor maintenance is unsustainable and imposes an avoidable cost to municipalities;
5. The rapidly decaying state of municipal infrastructure in communities where resources are stretched to the extreme;
6. The negative perception of councillors by communities and others continue to undermine the legitimacy of the local government system;
7. The less-than-satisfactory policy framework that underpins councillor support and wellness;
8. The need for SALGA to be a credible, effective and sustainable force within the IGR arena;
9. The lack of effective communication between SALGA and its members, and SALGA and the broader public has fueled perceptions that the organisation does not play its role effectively;
10. There is a need to strengthen public participation and turn around the weak relationships with organised community stakeholders;
11. Job creation and the development of the youth is key to sustaining our young democracy;
12. The local government system has evolved to such an extent that the one-size fits all approach is not appropriate and the other spheres of government must adjust their approach to local government accordingly;
13. Almost 60% of the current councillors are new and may not be familiar with the overly complex system of local government; and
14. The suffering of people in countries such as Somalia, Ethiopia and elsewhere in the world due to natural and man-made disasters and therfore express our solidarity with their plights.
15. The increasing migration and urbanisation rate which places pressure on service delivery, particularly in receiving municipalities.
We therefore DECLARE our commitment to:
1. Create awareness in our communities about climate change, integrate climate change responses into our development plans, and hosting a local government climate change summit in preparation for COP 17;
2. To lead the fight against corruption in our municipalities;
3. Assert the need for local government to be funded appropriately to enable it to perform its functions;
4. Continue to forcefully raise the importance of participation of national and provincial government departments in integrated development planning at local level in order to ensure coherence in service delivery;
5. Promote investment in infrastructure maintenance;
6. Profile the roles played by councillors in governance and development;
7. Defend the interests of councillors who are vulnerable to attack by residents;
8. Lobby strongly on the need to remunerate councillors appropriately;
9. Strengthening the role, mandate, funding and powers of SALGA;
10. Ensure that SALGA asserts itself to defend and advance the cause of local government;
11. The development of partnerships between local government and community organisations;
12. Prioritise youth development within the context of job creation;
13. Guard against unintended consequences of national policies on local government;
14. Promote the differentiated approach to supporting and managing local government which acknowledges the role and needs of cities and rural municipalities;
15. Defend the constitutionally mandated role of SALGA and local government from intrusion by National and Provincial government through over-regulation;
16. Balance the rights of workers to strike and the maintenance of law and order;
17. Formally address the spatial inequalities;
18. Building the capacity of councillors;
19. Pledge human solidarity to the people of the continent.
20. Promote effective management of migration and urbanisation.
Further noting that the progress that has been achieved in SALGA would not have been possible without a unity of purpose to strengthen our organisation to be more responsive and accountable.
In Conclusion, this declaration is supported by the Resolutions of the National Conference, which shall form the basis of SALGA’s Programme of Action.