South Africa: Acting Premier of the Free State, Ketso “Premier’s Coordinating Forum (PCF) at OR Tambo House in Bloemfontein.
PCF sits just two days before the Free State hosts the highly anticipated National Youth Day Commemoration at Dr Petrus Rantlai Molemela stadium in Mangaung, Bloemfontein.
PCF is an intergovernmental structure led by the Premier, and it comprises members of the executive councils, heads of departments, mayors and municipal managers. Its primary task and focus are to strengthen intergovernmental relations, pursue the province’s developmental programme, oversee the implementation of government policies and legislation and thoroughly assess service delivery implementation.
In his input, Acting Premier Makume emphasized the government’s constitutional obligation to provide water to communities, a fundamental human right and principal resource in the preservation of life.
“There’s no alternative to water. Therefore, we have a fundamental responsibility to ensure that our communities have access to water. Addressing water challenges requires our collective efforts, which must be undertaken with absolute urgency and diligence. Water is not a Free State problem but a national problem. Working together through the District Development Model (DDM), we need to be cohesive and focused in our approach to arrest with speed all service delivery challenges,” Acting Premier Toto Makume.
Yesterday’s meeting robustly discussed prevailing water provision challenges, the need to build capacity within municipalities, the impact of corruption and maladministration on service delivery, wastage and consequence management and broad service delivery issues.
PCF received reports on ongoing water shortage mitigation measures undertaken by each municipality and deliberated on the urgent need to halt leakages and accelerate the process of facilitating a discussion that will ultimately see the exempting of water treatment plants during load-shedding.
Water leakages were identified as a thorny issue and a significant source of loss of water and increased expenditure on water provision costs which also have financial implications for the end-users who are our communities. The provincial Treasury reflected on the recent municipal audit outcomes and proposed systems to empower municipalities to arrive at improved audit findings.
The meeting also engaged on the worrying state of cleanliness, poor road infrastructure in municipalities, lack of community involvement and awareness on health and living conditions and also looked into the limited municipal capacity to provide sanitation services broadly. The meeting also received a report on the cholera outbreak and the mitigating measures put in place.