The ANC has made tremendous progress in local government and in creating better and more prosperous communities.

The past 15 years has been characterised by the pursuit of development and prosperity, synonymous with human aspirations for a better life.

The ruling party does indeed have A Good Story to Tell: these are stories of growth, progress and active citizenship.

“As the ANC, we set out to deliver on key objectives as set out in the Local Government Manifesto of 2011. Through the collective power of collaboration, we have achieved on key mandates such as putting people first; ensuring delivery of basic services; good governance; sound financial management; and building strong institutions,” says ANC spokesperson, Zizi Kodwa.

He explains that progress has been made in establishing municipal systems and processes, and in strengthening their overall institutional capability.

Significant achievements have been made in the delivery of basic services such as water, refuse removal, electricity and sanitation. To date, the total share of households accessing basic services has increased from 77% to 86% in the case of electricity while water infrastructure has seen an upward growth of 6%, from 80% to 86% which exceeded RDP standards and the MDG target. The proportion of households accessing sanitation went up from 62% to 80%, also exceeding the MDG target. According to the General Household Survey 2014, the percentage of households with access to waste collection services is 74,6%.

“These figures represent only a fraction of our collective efforts towards social development. When examining the census results for 2001 and 2011, it is evident that significant progress has been made in addressing the backlogs in basic services.”

The numbers continue to also reinforce the party’s positive growth trajectory with the implementation of programmes set out in the 2011 and 2014 Manifestos. Of significance, strengthening the functionality of ward committees has seen a total of 4277 ward committees being established as at 31 March 2015. Municipalities have also received support towards the development of ward level service improvement plans with reports of over 4 264 (99.9%) ward operational plans developed out of 4 277 wards across the country to date.

Kodwa continues, “Our people remain the backbone of all our efforts, which is why we continue to ensure that the voice of communities is heard in local government. We have made great strides in implementing complaints systems such as the Batho Pele Standards Framework, to promote the quality of service delivery and improve turn-around time in resolving citizens’ complaints.”

Another key activity which the party has done well is the empowerment of metros and cities, enabling them to play a bigger role in the housing, built environment and transport network. Of significance is the substantial chunk of government’s 2015/2016 housing budget, R33,39 billion which has been allocated to upgrade informal settlements. Resources have also been made available to empower metros and cities, in areas such as setting up integrated road-based public transport networks. Over R4.2 billion of the Public Transport Network Grant was spent by 12 metros and secondary cities during 2014/15.

All these accomplishments have been achieved through collaboration and the collective participation of the South African people. “We recognise that moving forward, we will continue to face a tough and complex set of pressures in our efforts to put the people first, to deliver services across all provinces, drive good governance all the while building institutional capabilities.”

The role of local government in promoting economic growth, job creation and alleviation of poverty has poignantly been expressed in an array of policy frameworks formulated by the government. This has clearly positioned the sphere of local government to become developmental both in form and content.

“The ANC is determined to move forward, to mobilise and take greater steps towards building a progressive and prosperous South Africa for us all. All this will be achieved primarily through the intensification of the Back to Basic programme with an accelerated approach to the implementation and enforcement thereof,” concludes Kodwa.

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