Africa-Press – South-Africa. Cape Town – The Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) is deploying scores of experts to municipalities in its efforts to bolster their ability to perform their constitutional mandate.
This was revealed by Cogta Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma in responding in writing to parliamentary questions posed by DA MP Cilliers Brink.
Brink asked about the number of civil engineers and civil engineering technicians that have been made available to work in struggling municipalities for a period of longer than six months since November 2019, as the department was obligated by the Constitution to support and strengthen the capacity of municipalities to manage their own affairs.
He also asked to which municipalities the engineers and technicians had been deployed.
In her written response, Dlamini Zuma stated that the department had assigned the Municipal Infrastructure Support Agent (MISA) to provide infrastructure technical support to municipalities in line with Section 154 of the Constitution.
“MISA technical support to municipalities is mainly targeted at low and medium-capacity municipalities and, because of the increase in the number of struggling municipalities over the years, MISA has resorted to deploying district teams instead of confining the scarce resources to individual municipalities.
“In the deployment of resources, priority is given to civil engineers, electrical engineers, and town and regional planners, given the type of infrastructure services mostly provided by municipalities,” she said.
The minister stated that MISA assessed the performance of municipalities at the commencement of each financial year and then entered into a memorandum of agreement with identified low-capacity municipalities and those that had specific technical requirements and deployed engineers and town planning experts to provide and enhance technical support in those municipalities.
“Some of the deployed resources to municipalities assume a responsibility of being assigned to more than one district.”
Dlamini Zuma also said the department had, through MISA, made available a total of 50 civil engineers, 15 electrical engineers and 15 town planners since November 2019 to support struggling municipalities for a period of longer than six months.