Mbeki highlights benefits of cooperation

It is important to address challenges in relationships between the tiers of district and local municipalities to ensure better service delivery, President Thabo Mbeki said on Friday.

Mbeki was speaking in Parys in the Free State at a sitting of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP).

“It is critically important that our system of cooperative governance must continually operate in ways that result in better coordinated and integrated planning, budgeting and service delivery within and across spheres of government,” Mbeki said.

Focusing on consolidating cooperative governance, Mbeki said: “If we work as we should, jointly and in an integrated way, we will avoid the risk of schools being built without water provision and sanitation, without access roads or without electricity.

“We will avoid clinics being built without medicines or health workers.”

Mbeki said efforts like Project Consolidate and Siyenza Manje and other programmes were actively assisting municipalities with the implementation of infrastructure programmes, “especially in outlying areas [where] it is difficult to recruit engineers, financial and project-management expertise”.

Mbeki said the NCOP was well placed to keep an eye on important development programmes and to work with the government and other role-players to find answers to many challenges.

The NCOP had met in the past week with various groups within the Ngwathe local municipality as part of its programme to meet people at grassroots level. - Sapa

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