STUDY TOUR FRANCE 29 APRIL – 9 MAY 2004
INDEX • TEAM • DO’S AND DONTS • FRENCH GOVERNMENT SYTEM • WHAT DID WE DO. • REPORT AT THE END • PLACES ATTENDED • COLLAGE OF SOME PICTURES
Always be on time. Be sure of the outcome of the tour Ask as much questions as possible. Make sure you understand the issues Enjoy the tour See this as a opportunity for marketing Don’t carry al your money with you. Be aware of pick pocketing Don’t buy one day rail tickets DO’S AND DON’TS
DAY 1 • There seems to be limited public participation when compared to South Africa. South Africa is much more involved and thorough in this regard. One benefit in the French Government is that they hold local referendums on important issues. • Special mention was made of qualification requirements, career development, training and capacity building for local government officials. It was also mentioned that cities compete to attract the best local government officials. • French government have negotiations between different levels of government to render services for infrastructure. Contractual agreements between different government spheres. This may be similar to service delivery agreements in South Africa. Integration of medium term planning strategy (3 to 5 years).
DAY 2 • VISIT - Sewerage Plant of Colombes managed by SIAAP • Seint - Normandie Water Agency • VISIT - ISTED
Visit to Sewerage Plant of Colombes managed by SIAAPSeint - Normandie Water Agency • Serve Population 1 Million • Cost € 450 million • operates at € 20 million per annum • operating costs (€ 0.22 per cubic meter) • disposes of 240 000 cubic meter per day • fully controls the quality of water outflows as well as of fume and odour emissions • An interdepartmental syndicate owns and runs the plant.
When the Municipalities did the planning for the plant, cost was not an issue but the expected lifespan of more than 100 years was taken in consideration. The drive was to comply with EU standards for environmental standards and sustainability. This practice highlights that when it comes to the planning of infrastructure of this magnitude, planners should look at the objective/outcome and not primarily at the cost. • The Plant was created mainly for water quality and tap water is said to be of a better quality than bottled water. • From discussions with representatives of the water Agency, it was mentioned that the plant will never be replicated in France again as a result of the cost being too high. • The roll that the agency plays is unique and is mainly focused on financial and technical support. • The principle applied is that water related infrastructure should be financed by water revenue, which indicates that the service is ringfenced.
The plant meets the highest environmental standards and is designed to cope with large excesses of rainwater run off.
The Agency is one of six catchment authorities or river basin agencies covering metropolitan France, but represents over a quarter of France in terms of population (18 million), municipalities (8 700 municipalities) and departments (25).
ISTED ISTED is a specialized data and research centre on roads, transport and urban development in developing countries. Legally a non-profit organisation with 60 members, 25 staff and a budget of €4,5 million, it is funded by public institutions, including the French Government, the EU and the World Bank.
World Congress of the United Cities and Local Government (UCLG)Palais des Congres
First Plenary Session: Human Rights in Our Cities • to tackle the key issues of poverty, hunger, and the lack of access to basic services in education and health by the year 2015 • that local government is the sphere of government closest to he needs of the population as more than 50% of the world population live in cities • Cities are burdened with a further evil: war and terrorism. What is the impact? And how should the plan to overcome these challenges?
Local Action for Environment • The world is becoming more and more urbanized, resulting in more pressure for the rendering of services on sanitation, water and electricity. • The handling of solid waste is directly linked to the quality of living standards (higher quality creates more solid waste) and the cost of managing waste can be recovered through selling of recycled goods. • Lessons from Rio de Janeiro how to curb erosion and mud slides through reforesting processes create jobs and enhance dignity of communities. • The preservation of the environment should start with programmes at school level. • Natural resources can be preserved by saving on the consumption of water and electricity.
Day Five - DEXIA Credit Local • formed in 1996 by the merging of two communal banks, viz. Credit Local de France, a bank formed in 1987 and Credit Communal de Belgique • financing of local authorities and other local sector bodies via direct loans signed commitments or purchases of securities issued by the customer • ; Project financing is mainly provided for, public transport, the environment and energy15
The need to encourage competition within local government lending market. • Propose securitisation and debt restructuring even credit enhancement to support the SA municipal debt market as feasible financial instruments. • Dexia indicated their willingness to arrange a workshop with their structured finance people to promote these concepts in SA through INCA
South African Embassy • welcomed by Deputy Ambassador Enrico Kemp and his staff responsible for international bilateral and multilateral relations • Embassy personnel indicated that they would welcome future study tour delegates
Day Six - Reunion Island • only French department and European region in the southern hemisphere • population of 760 000 (1 million in 2025) Reunion’s predominant feature is its ethnic diversity. • population is very young: 56% under the age of 30 years and population growth is expected to stabilize by the year 201
high unemployment rate which currently stands at approximately 30% • elect five representatives who sit in the French Parliament and three Senators who sit in the Higher Chamber • Prefect (French government highest ranking civil servant at provincial level) • Regional Council and 24 municipal councils.
The French first set foot on the island in 1649 • Until 1946 there was a mix of being a classic French colony and a department, with a brief English rule between 1804 to 1811 • From 1946 Reunion became a fully-fledged overseas French department just like any mainland department
State functions such as Public law and order, Defence, Employment, Environment, Transport, Airport, Hospitals, Elections, Implementation of policies and monitoring compliance thereof, Housing, Cultural and Sport. • Management of European structural funds earmarked for addressing backlogs – an amount of €3 billion in capital funds over the next 6 years • Proactive monitoring of budgets and ensuring legal compliance by municipalities
Each level decides on its own budget. 50% of GDP is transferred from the government to local government. 70% of income streams are from state grants, local taxes and the balance from loans. • A balanced budget approach is followed both in terms of operational expenditure and investment (capital expenditure). • The planning period is normally five years or more. • Elected officials are responsible for making decisions on which projects or works are included in the budget and medium-term plan. In certain cases consultations with the public and relevant stakeholders will take place but it is not a legal requirement. • Any operating surpluses go into investments (funding of additional capital expenditure). • Approximately 25% of the operating budget is allocated to debt servicing cost. • Property taxes are collected by state and then re-allocated to local authorities.
non payment level for municipal services is estimated at approximately 5%. • principle that everyone should pay for services consumed • social assistance program assists residents to pay for services • on a salary of €1 000 per month an employee will contribute €100 and employers €800 to the social security fund, which covers medical aid, family allowances, unemployment benefits and occupational injuries
The minimum wage is €1 000 per month and the general social security fund pays €500 per month to people who have not worked before in the form of a social grant. • two-envelope tender process followed, viz. the first envelope consists of technical competence, tax paying institutions and financial guarantees (first decision) and the second covers the pricing proposal of the tenderer.
Local taxes include land tax, residence tax, agricultural tax and a professional tax for companies • Income tax (one third of working people pay income and the maximum tax rate is 48%), company tax, oil tax, VAT. Two thirds of the state income is funded by VAT, and one percent of the VAT collected is transferred to fund EU programmes. Taxes are regulated by law and local authorities cannot create new taxes
SIDR: Social Housing Projects • SIDR is a social housing entity founded in 1949 as a public/private company • shareholders include AFD (54%), Regional Council/Department (43%) and Private Shareholders (3%) • SIDR has built 29 000 flats in collective and individual housing • SIDR construct on average 400 flats and houses for rent, 100 houses for sale in social housing and 50 flats in non-social housing
The rehabilitation of social housing units began in 1985. • The investment for 2004 amounts to €15 million and the average cost per unit is €36 000. SIDR aims to rehabilitate 5 400 flats by 2009. • Approximately 10% of population live in slumps (informal settlements) with one third dependent on social security benefits. The average household benefit is €762 per month (€500 for social benefit and €262 for family and housing allowances). • Rehabilitation cost is financed by state subsidies (22%), SIDR funds (60%) and bank loans (18%). • Tenants pay on average €230 per month for a 60m2 size flat and rentals increase on average by 10% after rehabilitation. Only 1.5% of people default on housing rental payments. • They use electrification as a control measure to register occupants • Shortage of land is becoming a problem with regard with their objective for housing • To build 10 000 houses/flat will take 20 years
Meeting with the Regional Council • budget allocations for the 2004 financial year amounting to €508 million • funded mainly by direct and indirect taxes (46%), grants from central government and the European Union (38%) and loans (13%). • the Regional Council is to focus more on the development of long-term policy • plays an important role in terms of decentralization
investment programme is informed by the projected population growth of approximately 33% over the next 20 years • giving priority to employment, developing solidarity, investing in the people of Reunion, widen the horizons of Reunion and the promotion of sustainable development.
Dèpartment: Water Catchment Project • Visit to bulk water facility used to provide water primarily for irrigation and industrial purposes • technology used to channel water through a tunnel system from the east of Reunion (which is water rich region due to the high rainfall which averages 5m pa to the west of the island which averages 1m rainfall per annum
in 1983 30kms of tunnel was built consisting of 8 tunnels to transport 50 000m3 water together with reservoirs and pump stations as part of phase 1 servicing 7150 ha of land • Total cost of phase 1; 526m euros • was financed through European Union, government subsidies and grants and the Department
St Pierre Municipality/DDE/CIVIS • Economies of scale can be achieved through the amalgamation of smaller Boroughs into larger administration units. • construction cost of water treatment is much higher than in South Africa • price of water includes all the cost of treatment and all other operating cost of the scheme is subsidised at 80% • The water treatment plant is maintained by the utility company • utility company bill the consumer and is responsible for the collection of debt
There are currently remote areas which are not connected to the system due to the costs associated with the service • apply technical solutions in the pre-treatment of waste, to remove grease and sand in order to extend the capacity and lifespan of the plant • Control over the project is achieved through regular reporting from the utility to the Municipality • purified water is channelled into the see once it has been purified
Management of Solid Waste • Solid waste is collected from five (5) areas on the Island, covering 50 500 square meters and servicing 145 000 inhabitants • The Island has progressed far in the recycling processes and recycling of plastic, glass and paper are separated and compacted for re-processing • Waste is exported to various countries and it includes South Africa, where Glass and paper are exported to Consul Glassand Sappi Paper respectively
Le Port Municipality Reunion • multi media center were the delegation was introduced to the different aspects that the Municipality is followed to educate and inform as well as to entertain the local community. • The center consists off a computer room which give full access to the internet • section for children where stories are read once a week on Wednesdays • has a full musical area were users can take CD’s home for listening