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Municipalities should be drivers of economic development: Ramaphosa

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa says municipalities should be the drivers of local economic development in order to create jobs.

He was addressing professionals and senior civil servants working in local government at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban.

The event was also attended by Cosatu President Sdumo Dlamini, ANC NEC member Tony Yengeni, KwaZulu-Natal ANC Provincial Chairperson Sihle Zikalala and Communications Minister Faith Muthambi.

Ramaphosa also stressed the importance of local government as the only sphere of government closer to people and where development takes place.

ANC members mainly who are senior employees in municipal level sang their heart out welcoming the Deputy President.

Speaking to professionals and senior municipal employees, Ramaphosa said the next term of municipal government will be a game changer. He says all municipalities will be required to have a strategic plan as to how their local economic development plans will respond to job creation.

“Our vision for local government extends far beyond the efficient delivery of basic services. It extends beyond building of houses and our vision for local government and requires determination to rapidly sustainable and inclusive communities at the economic level. We seek the municipalities in metros and in our cities and in rural areas whose central purpose will be to change the economic trajectory. They should focus on economic development and job creation.”

Ramaphosa also stressed the importance of municipalities as being a sphere of government where day to day development and service delivery takes place. According to Ramaphosa communities should not just be the spectators to what is happening in municipalities but should partners with their municipalities to ensure that service delivery is accelerated.

Our local Councillors are going to be signing performance contracts with their party

“Local government is a sphere of government in which communities have direct contact with government, therefore our communities must have a say in who leads them, how they are led and what development must take place in their areas. This exercise of people’s power must happen in a respectful, peaceful democratic manner. We encourage all people to be actively involved in the affairs of the country and where they all have access to basic services.”

For the first time ANC councillors will sign a performance contract with the ruling party.

According to Ramaphosa this performance agreement will be used to measure the performance of its deployees in municipal councils to ensure that they deliver according to the expectations of the ruling party and that of the people who elected them.

“Our local councillors are going to be signing contracts performance contracts with their party. Anyone will sign performance contracts setting out precisely what they are going to do, achieve and they are going to be measured, precisely on what they have said and our communities that are going to check the activities of our local counsellor.”

Ramaphosa says while there still some challenges, but great strides have been achieved through the provision of services such electricity to about 90% of the population, while he said four million RDP houses have been built giving shelter to the needy.

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