DEPARTMENT OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT Provincial Comments on the Draft National Framework for the Implementation of Funding Models for Wards Presentation to Premier’s Co-ordinating Forum 17 March 2010
Draft Framework for Ward Funding The Department of Local Government & Housing has considered the Draft Framework for Ward Funding The Department facilitated ward summits in four districts in the past year, and these were attended by ward councillors, committee members and relevant municipal officials. The comments below are based upon the discussions during the summits and comments from Municipal Managers at the PAFTECH held on 2 June 2009
General Comments on Draft Framework • It is imperative for municipalities to ensure that ward committees are adequately supported. • Ward committees are important in that they encourage community involvement in issues of governance and decision making. • Ward committees provide a mechanism not only for broader community participation but also for civil society participation • Ward committees can provide inputs to municipal planning if they are fully supported. • The Department has been providing support to four district municipalities and some sub-councils in the City in community-based planning.
Comments: Funding Framework Municipalities must ensure that the out-of-pocket expenses incurred by ward committee members are reimbursed e.g. transport, communication costs The manner in which municipalities reimburse for out-of-pocket expenses should be left to municipalities rather than to be prescribed It is important to ensure that the ward committee system is underpinned by a spirit of voluntarism rather than guaranteed allowances that can lead to unnecessary contestation of ward committee membership of all residents. The approach chosen by a municipality (to reimbursing out-of-pocket expenses) must be supported by its financial means
Process going forward A comprehensive set of ward committee functionality indicators will be finalised The Department will consult with all municipalities, organised local government and civil society in the development of a Provincial Framework The Department will continue providing support to municipalities in community-based planning