South Africa’s Deputy President David Mabuza chaired the inaugural meeting of the inter-ministerial committee on district level service delivery. Picture: GCIS

Cape Town - South Africa’s Deputy President David Mabuza on Tuesday, at Tuynhuys, Cape Town, chaired the inaugural meeting of the inter-ministerial committee (IMC) on district level service delivery.

The first meeting of the inter-ministerial committee took place against the background of sporadic incidents of violent protests, looting, burning of shops and trucks and other acts of criminality across the country, particularly in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and Mpumalanga, the presidency said in a statement.

President Cyril Ramaphosa established the IMC to provide political oversight of service delivery at district level following the directive to implement a district-based approach to fast track service delivery and to ensure that municipalities were adequately supported and resourced. 

Among other key responsibilities, the committee will ensure the alignment of infrastructure development plans and operations with national, provincial and district plans.

It is also expected to intensify the implementation of pipeline infrastructure projects in identified priority districts and metros, policy coherence and unlock bottlenecks to fast-track service delivery and safety and security assessment.

These will then ensure the provision of early warning and quick response mechanisms to areas where there are service delivery problems, the statement said.

The committee includes the ministers of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Basic Education, Employment and Labour, Health, Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation, Police, Small Business Development, State Security, as well as Transport.

In this regard, the IMC had the opportunity to evaluate the state of readiness for the official launch of the service delivery model at district level that is planned to take place this month in the Eastern Cape, the office said.  

The meeting received a presentation from the Statistician-General, Risenga Maluleke on the state of service delivery at district level, which analyses the magnitude of service delivery challenges on the provision of safe and reliable water, adequate electricity supply, adequate sanitation and decent housing.

The committee will convene monthly to access progress and will work tirelessly to unblock service delivery challenges mostly in depressed municipalities.

Mabuza lauded the committee for the critical leadership it is providing to shape, co-ordinate and implement targeted interventions towards improving the quality of service delivery. 

However, he raised concerns about the increasing destruction of public and private property in recent days. 

“Our state cannot be tested to that extreme. All organs of the state and spheres of government must work together to provide collaborative solutions”, he said.

The deputy president also strongly condemned acts of violence, destruction of property and targeting of foreign nationals in Gauteng and the burning of trucks in KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga.  

“We are a nation founded on the values of Ubuntu as espoused by our founding father, President Nelson Mandela, who taught us the virtue of our common humanity and that we should always resist the temptation of being overwhelmed by hatred,” Mabuza said.

African News Agency (ANA)