DURBAN - THE KwaZulu-Natal Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) has partnered with the University of KwaZulu-Natal in its efforts to improve the governance of municipalities in the province.
The two parties have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The official ceremony marking this milestone will be held on the university’s Pietermaritzburg Campus tomorrow at 2pm.
The duration of the agreement is until March 31, 2024.
The MOU is centred around the sharing of information and skills where both are expecting to learn from each other.
The MOU comes at a time when several municipalities are on the brink of collapse due to allegations of infighting and mismanagement.
Currently, several municipalities are under administration.
In a statement, Cogta said: “One of the key objectives for Cogta, under the Municipal Local Economic Development Support Chief Directorate is the formulation of strategic partnerships between the public and private sector, with the purpose of creating job opportunities, stimulating economic growth, improving evidence-based service delivery, skills transfer, knowledge sharing and capacity development within local government.
“The overarching aim of the MOU is to improve the service that Cogta delivers to its client – Local Government – by conducting research, determining best practices and ensuring collaboration on key issues affecting local government,” it said.
It said the agreement provides for both parties to share information, and contribute to and provide research and policy expertise on a variety of key areas such as climate change resilience, eco-tourism, food security, water security, drought, disaster early warning systems, evaluation, local governance; and any other areas of mutual interest among others.
Cogta head of department, Thando Tubane, believes that the signing of the MOU marks a turning point in the department's efforts to support the local economic development mandate of municipalities.
“Through this partnership, we are sharpening our ability to provide specialised support to our municipalities through improved capacity which will assist to find practical solutions in the quest to grow the economy of our municipalities,” said Tubane.