Project-Article

SALGA hosts the 1st Enhancing Municipalities’ Capacities for Development (EMCD) Roundtable Dialogue in Gariep Dam, Free State

On 20 July at Gariep Dam in the Free State province; SALGA hosted the 1st Enhancing Municipalities’ Capacities for Development (EMCD) Roundtable Dialogue. A project co funded by the European Union (EU) which  forms part of the wider Karoo Small Town Regeneration Initiative.

The session was attended by a number of municipalities across the Free State region and was aimed to:
•           Introduce the EMCD Programme to the participating municipalities;
•           Identify capacity and skills development needs;
•           Knowledge Sharing;
•           Improved inter-municipal cooperation in the Karoo; and
•           Obtain municipal recommendations for the 3rd Karoo STR Conference.

The session kicked off with Mrs Winnie Manganye, Project Manager of the EMCD Programme, giving an overview of the EMCD Programme. Manganye said the EMCD programme forms part of the South African Local Government Programme (SLGCDP). The SLGCDP builds on the existing work within the Karoo Small Town Regeneration Programme. The SLGCDP aims to strengthen the municipal sector by increasing capacities of the nine municipalities across the Free State, Northern Cape and the Western Cape.

While making a presentation on the role of tourism in local economic development at the local government sphere, National Department of Tourism (NDT) Director, Mr Joseph Ndlovu gave an overview of the NDT’s commitments towards to the Karoo STR Initiative which includes amongst other projects: Destination Planning Manual; Training of youth from the respective municipalities as data capturers for the Collection of National Tourism Information and Monitoring System (NTIMS); Costing of tourism support infrastructure needs; Tourism Precinct Plans; Mapping of strategic tourism interventions and opportunities; and the SKA Interpretation Centre and Knowledge Hub.

Mr Tshepo Sebako from the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) started his presentation with differentiating between the inland fisheries and aquaculture, as many people use these two terms interchangeably. Mr Sebako He said DAFF has developed the first draft of the National Inland Fishery Bill. After giving an overview of the Bill, Mr Sebako invited municipalities to give comments by 31 August 2018. More discussions were held delegates on how best small-scale farmers (SMMEs) can benefit from inland fisheries. The Department conceded that they do not have a good understanding of the size of the small-scale farmers within the sector. This is largely due to how inland fisheries are managed by various spheres of government. Therefore resulting in an uncoordinated approach. The Department is in the process of rectifying this through public consultations. Mr Kishan Sankar also from DAFF also presented on the Oceans Economy within Operation Phakisa. He gave an overview of the legislative reforms; capacity building and skills development; monitoring and certification system; and the government preferential procurement with Operation Phakisa. Through the Aquaculture Development Fund, Mr Sankar indicated that they are keen to partner with municipalities with the necessary land and water to fund aquaculture initiatives.

The last presentations was by Ms Sellwane Mokwene from the Department of Mineral Resources. Ms Mokwene’s presentation was centred on the role of mining in Local Economic Development (LED). Ms Mokwene explained the purpose of the Mining Charter. She then moved to give an overview of the objectives of the Social and Labour Plans and highlighted challenges with the implementation of these Social and Labour Plans.
The day ended with ‘’world café’’ group discussions on the; 
1.         Establishment of learning network amongst the EMCD participating municipalities
2.         Review of Funding Model of rural municipalities
3.         Monitoring and evaluation of national and provincial projects is necessary
4.         Transparency across the 2 spheres of government is necessary

The delegates further agreed that all municipalities need to benefit from the fuel levy and called on the National and provincial government to delegate the right people for IDP Forums In conclusion, SALGA committed to engaging the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, an attempt to unlocking blockages in Agri-parks.

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