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Opening Remarks by the High Commissioner

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					                        Opening Remarks by the High Commissioner
                                     on the occasion of
                   The Gala Dinner for the third Annual Seminar of the
                   Australia South Africa Local Governance Partnership
                                    10 November 2004

Recognise dignatories.

      It is a pleasure to be here today

           Particularly in this, the 10th year of democracy in South Africa and following its
            third very successful democratic election in April
           And because this is the celebratory dinner for the last annual Seminar of this
            successful South Africa-Australia cooperation project, which comes to an end in
            March next year

South Africa

      South Africa has set a global example for how transformation can be undertaken and
       the extent to which this is helping to create a vibrant and successful economic and
       social environment.

      A strong foundation of eventual success of South African government transformation
       will be the way all spheres of government work together. I know this is a priority at the
       highest levels of National Government and the Department of Provincial and Local
       Government.

      In support of South African objectives, it is wonderful to see the two way sharing of
       knowledge between South Africa and Australia that has developed through this
       cooperation project. Ensuring local government works effectively, efficiently and
       democratically to improve quality of life for their citizens is a priority of both our
       Governments.

Role of two spheres of Provincial and Local Government

      Part of the cooperative framework to provide for “wall to wall” local democratic
       government in the transformed South Africa, post apartheid
      Local Government enshrined in the Constitution unlike other countries
      Local governments required to fulfil a critical role in development of the country, being
       the closest governing entities to the people.
      Provincial role is to support local governments to achieve these aspirations for the
       country
      Both spheres need systems and processes to enable them to implement the excellent
       constitutional, legislative and regulatory frameworks put in place by National
       Government
      Implementation is hard because of the pace of change and the lack of skilled personnel
       or councillors due to the legacy of apartheid.




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Australia’s contribution

      Australia is pleased to be able to support the South African Government in its
       transformation process for provincial and local governments
      Local Government in Australia exists at the legislative will of the States (Provinces) in
       Australia and we have considerable experience of local government affairs as a result of
       many states undertaking reform on a regular basis
      The use of partnering between South African and Australian entities rather than
       traditional consulting approaches is of particular relevance in our continuing efforts to
       find the most effective ways to help build capacity and establish longer term
       partnerships
      The use of practitioners as the vehicles for transferring and developing knowledge,
       systems and processes is a unique approach which means that people on the ground get
       help from those “in the know” from a practical rather than a theoretical perspective.

The purpose of the seminar

      The project is required to ensure that the knowledge learned through the activities and
       the products produced are shared with other municipalities and provinces in South
       Africa
      One way of doing this is the Annual Seminar which forms is a key part of the
       communications strategy
      This seminar is the last one of the project
      The seminar is designed to offer the chance for partners in the provinces and
       municipalities to share with their peers the lessons learnt from the activities in which
       they have been involved and for advisers to present on good practice in the activites
       undertaken
      In addition, participants are given the opportunity to hear from leading Australians –
       this year it is Ms Jackie Huggins, a leading activist in indigenous affairs. Last year the
       speaker was the former Lord Mayor of Brisbane
      The seminar comprises the gala dinner on the 10th and a full day on 11 November
       mainly in workshops – the program is attached
      The final half day on 12 November is for our partners and key stakeholders only and
       will be used as the first stakeholder workshop required under the AusAID guidelines
       for producing the Project Completion Report
      That workshop will focus on impact and sustainability.




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                                         Project Background Briefing

                     Australia South Africa Local Governance Partnership (ASALGP)
ASALGP is a three-year project ending on 31 March 2005, based on partnerships as the means to build
capacity in provincial and local governments through practitioners working alongside practitioners. The two
pilot provinces are Free State and KwaZulu Natal and their constituent municipalities.

The purpose is to increase the ability of local government to meet the developmental objectives of the
Government for the country.

The Project’s focus is on
            a. development of sustainable partnering between Australia and South Africa for knowledge
                 sharing;
            b. sustainable upgrading of capacity in the pilot provincial and local governments;
            c. production of materials and knowledge within the developmental context which is practice
                 oriented;
            d. devising of demonstration model processes and systems with municipalities.

The Project does not provide physical assets nor does it work on developing policy or legislation. The focus
is on implementation of policy and legislation.

The concentration of effort is thus on the development of processes and systems in the South African
context using Australian and international experiences which will in the end improve service delivery and
thus quality of life for citizens.

The program has had some success in cooperating with other donors and programs to help ensure
sustainability in this final year.

Project impact assessment undertaken so far indicates particular satisfaction with the partnering and
practitioner approach, taken under this Project.

Products from the project include:
     Handbooks about disaster management, local economic development, strategic budgeting, asset
        management and public participation
     Strategic Leadership Training Module
     Case studies of good practice in local governance
     Example business plan for developing business units
     Training program for women developing their own businesses
     Guidebook for developing Integrated Development Plans (IDPs)
     Set of guidelines about performance management
     Basic book keeping key performance measures for managers
     Book keeping manual developed by KZN Province
     Disaster management - Comprehensive Hazard and Risk Management (CHARM) approach to
        planning for disaster management
     Example of disaster management plan from Ilembe District Municipality
     Protocols for cooperative working relations between local and district municipalities (developed
        through KZN province)
     Ward committee handbook, Having Your Say
     Tool Kit for public participation, Get involved with us!
     Draft Regional Economic Development Strategy developed in Northern Free State District
        Municipality
     Reports of all activities

Managing Contractor is Brisbane City Enterprises with Australian Partners Brisbane City Council.
Governance Systems Management Pty Ltd, South Australia Local Government Consulting.

South African Partner is the Center for Law and Reconstruction on South Africa based at Monash University.



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Description: Opening Remarks by the High Commissioner