I said then that we need "municipalities that serve all our people and have the requisite capacity to provide regular and reliable services to citizens as well as being at the forefront of the reconstruction and development of our country.“
"We need efficient and effective municipalities so as to deliver these better services to ensure that poor households have access to basic infrastructure and the poor are provided with free basic services. “
"Further, as we accelerate the implementation of our expanded public works programme, we need strong municipalities to work in partnership with other spheres of government, similarly, the Municipal Infrastructure Grant will not make the required impact if our municipalities are weak. “
"As we know, there are serious delivery backlogs which have denied millions of our people the possibility of a better life. We are aware of municipalities with large communities that have no access to clean water, sanitation and electricity.
"To respond to this lack of capacity, in May of this year, Cabinet took a decision to develop a support initiative for local government structures, called Project Consolidate, and constituted an inter-Ministerial Committee for this programme."
Chairperson, I am pleased to report to the National Council that in the period since I made this statement, a year ago, Project Consolidate has made the impact we sought, opening the road towards the empowerment of our system of local government properly to discharge it responsibilities.
As the Honourable Members are aware, both the President and the Deputy President of the Republic, as well as our Ministers, are engaged in an Imbizo process that involves visits to municipalities. This process differs in some important respect from the Provincial Izimbizo that we convened in the past.