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Income inequality and spatial inequality results in Two-worlds" in municipal spaces

Posted: 23 February 2018


The 12th National Municipal Managers Forum kicked off smoothly on Tuesday in Mpumalanga Province where energy, water innovations technology and unintended consequences created by inequalities topped the agenda.

SALGA CEO Xolile George says despite some phenomenal strides in delivering access to water to all including the poorest of the poor, some major challenges still remain.
“A large part of the challenge relates to South Africa being a Water Scarce Country. Surface and sub-surface waters are currently below normal. This includes aquifers, wells, groundwater table, streams, rivers, and reservoirs,” says Mr George.
“There is a need for better understanding of the sources of water and the whole value chain in order to empower end users to manage this scarce resource better,” he says.
Reflecting on emerging issues affecting Local Government, Mr George told delegates that it was part of SALGA’s strategic agenda to deal with water issues, persistent drought and debt management, energy efficiency and renewable energy, municipal finance and encouraging innovation to improve municipal performance. 

The forum observed that income inequality and spatial inequality has seen eighteen years since the establishment of “Wall-to-Wall” democratic local government municipal spaces remaining "Two-worlds" municipalities and societies.
“This is despite sterling progress made by municipalities in providing access to basic services to those who were previously un-serviced. This situation is not sustainable - neither for the "world" that is wealthy, prosperous, well-resourced and internationally connected; nor for the one that is overtly asset-poor, grossly under-resourced  and under-developed,” Mr George   said.
Townships and rural communities lack basic human needs such as poor water and sanitation infrastructure and services;   poor roads and streets infrastructure and poor information and tele-communications infrastructure, lack of employment or business opportunities where the majority of the people live, forcing them to commute to, and from, the "Other World" for jobs and sustenance, every day, at a huge cost among others.

Fragmented and sparse human settlements make the cost of services highly expensive thus further worsening the prospects of improved access to good quality services.
SALGA Mpumalanga Chairperson Mr Muzi Chirwa says that Local Government needs to respond to all recommendations made by the President of South Africa, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa at the SONA through job creation, develop local government as a sector, fight corruption and improve municipalities.
Municipal Managers should continue to promote public private partnerships to assist in the delivery of services.

SALGA in conjunction with the City of Mbombela is hosting a two-day 12th National Municipal Managers Forum, the gathering brings together, under one roof, Municipal Managers, Heads of Administration, CEOs of public entities and private institutes, National and Provincial Treasuries and Cooperative Governance & Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) to discuss challenges faced by local government, offer practical and administrative solutions, and share best practices in order to improve performance and governance of municipalities.


Issued By: South African Local Government Association

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