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DBSA set to help with service delivery

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“This will guide the development of an implementable programme of action aimed at turning around the state of our municipalities.”

A MEMORANDUM of Agreement has been concluded with the Development Bank of South Africa with the aim of accelerating service delivery by supporting under-resourced municipalities in the Northern Cape.

Premier, Dr Zamani Saul, said in his State of the Province Address that through the MoU, the DBSA would, over the next five years, provide non-lending technical assistance for the acceleration of infrastructure planning, financing and project implementation, revenue enhancement, township establishment, water service delivery models in identified municipalities.

“Two aspects that will receive immediate attention are water losses in the reticulation network and enhancement of the revenue-generating infrastructure.”

He added that the Sol Plaatje Municipality had been earmarked to be the first beneficiary of development support to attend to bulk infrastructure challenges.

Saul stated further that the Local Government Summit planned for this year would further unpack the challenges and constraints hampering service delivery.

“This will guide the development of an implementable programme of action aimed at turning around the state of our municipalities.”

The entire Northern Cape has also been declared a Priority Human Settlements Development Area.

The Province is vast, extremely arid and drought-stricken and also presents a unique opportunity for spatial transformation.

He pointed out that the Minister for Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation had agreed while the population of the Province was small as a proportion of the national population, the housing needs of the people of the Northern Cape warranted a national focus.

“In the next five years we will implement multiple-programmes in line with the District Development Model to build integrated settlements and realise spatial transformation.”

Ten percent of the annual human settlements budget of the Province will also be used to rectify all defective houses in the Province.

“We will further ensure that over the medium to long term, there are no informal settlements, but rather planned smart settlements, while mining companies and other partners will be mobilised to join government in investing in the development of critical and much needed infrastructure.

“In this way, the Northern Cape will be first in line to be the national site to building integrated, functional and inclusive settlements in partnership with communities, municipalities, mining companies and all our social partners,” Saul said.

He added that an Inter-Governmental Steering Committee was already at an advanced stage in preparing a province-wide integrated human settlements development plan.

“The Steering Committee is led by the National Department of Human Settlements and includes key sector departments and national agencies and will work with municipalities to improve human settlements development in line with the spatial transformation objectives. Ultimately, the main goal of such a plan is to eliminate housing shortage across all income levels through building settlements that embrace innovation.”