Anglo, Development Bank and Investment Climate Facility for Africa upskills municipalities

Anglo American, in partnership with the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) and the Investment Climate Facility for Africa (ICF), today launched a capacity building programme at eleven municipalities across five provinces in South Africa. The primary objective of this programme, which represents an investment of R120-million for the first three years, is to strengthen institutional capacity in the areas of personnel skills and administrative systems in order to promote municipal sustainability in the long term.

The programme’s key deliverables are to develop and implement plans and procedures to improve municipal billing systems and controls, and reduce electricity and water distribution losses at pilot municipal sites. The programme will also review municipal infrastructure plans, asset management and co-ordination of the sector policies that guide provision of municipal services and provide technical support to address any shortfalls in the infrastructure necessary for basic service delivery. The programme will also focus on attracting inward investment into the eleven municipalities.

“Institutional incapacity and severe skills gaps continue to hinder the prospects of many municipalities across the country,” said Khanyisile Kweyama, executive director for Anglo American in South Africa. “As a result, these municipalities struggle to generate enough revenue to maintain basic service delivery to their local communities. When municipal operations don’t live up to community expectations, service delivery protests frequently occur, weakening municipal operations and impacting businesses which operate in these areas.

“Although provision of municipal services is constitutionally the responsibility of the local authority, Anglo American’s efforts to building capacity in communities in and around our mining operations often extends to working in partnership with local authorities where necessary. We therefore identified the Municipality Capacity Development Programme as a very worthwhile investment, which is aligned to the National Development Plan’s (NDP) focus on developing partnerships with government to help strengthen our Country.

“Anglo American is proud to partner with stakeholders of the calibre of the ICF and DBSA to address the needs of local municipalities.”

The municipalities being supported are King Sabata Dalindyebo in the Eastern Cape; Ga-Sekgonyana, Gamagara, Joe Morolong and Tsantsabane local municipalities in the Northern Cape; Thabazimbi, Greater Tubatse and Mogalakwena local municipalities in Limpopo; Emalahleni local municipality in Mpumalanga; and the Moses Kotane and Rustenburg local municipalities in North West.

For the municipal capacity building programme, the ICF, along with Anglo American are providing funding, while the DBSA is the management partner and will provide governance and oversee procurement matters. This includes managing the service providers appointed to implement hands-on skills training at municipal level. The DBSA has highly regarded expertise in building the effectiveness of public institutions, while the ICF is well known for the work it does to improve the climate for investment in Africa by removing barriers to doing business.

ICF CEO William Asiko, commented: “ICF is pleased to be part of this important initiative that will help local municipalities in South Africa improve service delivery in their areas, and thereby improve the business environment of these municipalities. When services such as water, electricity, road maintenance, sanitation and waste management are provided in an efficient and reliable manner, businesses are attracted to invest, providing jobs and contributing to the local economy.

“The commitment of the Municipal Councils, through their financial contribution and their willingness to bring lasting change to their local communities, gives ICF assurance that the reforms being implemented will be sustainable.

“As partners, we anticipate that the stabilisation of the business climate at municipal level will also provide a foundation for entrepreneurship and new businesses, which could help achieve higher levels of local employment and local procurement.”

DBSA CEO Patrick Dlamini added: “The ability of many municipalities to render services to their communities, including access to financial resources for infrastructure programmes, is under increasing pressure. Support to municipalities as key delivery agents for social services remains an important focus area for DBSA”.

Other stakeholders involved in the programme are the provincial Departments of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, the South African Local Government Association and Treasury Departments in the Northern Cape, Limpopo, North West and Mpumalanga.

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