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When the CMTP was first

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					HANDS-ON SUPPORT
Where was the CMTP active?
The CMTP recruited multi-skilled people from South Africa and abroad with experience in local government, and called them Integrated Service Facilitators. They were based full-time in their host municipalities. Limpopo Ferdi König, Ba-Phalaborwa Local Municipality Andries Mangokwana, Thulamela Local Municipality Zama Nofemela, Greater Sekhukhune District Municipality KwaZulu-Natal Geoffrey Sheridan, Ilembe District Municipality Barbara Mgutshini, Newcastle Local Municipality Dev Rugbeer, uMlalazi Local Municipality Eastern Cape Sam du Preez, Lukhanji Local Municipality Gift Madzonga and René Moodaley, Cacadu District Municipality

Providing skilled people to help municipalities

W

hen the CMTP was first mooted as a way of assisting municipalities in the throes of transition to a new and complex system of democratic and developmental local government, the programme known as Project Consolidate was still being conceptualised. Thus, the CMTP took on what was a pioneering role, sending skilled people out into eight municipalities to find practical ways of improving governance and service delivery. At the same time the programme partnered with the National Treasury to support some of the municipalities that were struggling with compliance issues and inadequate financial systems and structures. Municipal Finance Advisors, managed by National Treasury, were appointed. Their objective was to find a way of ensuring that priorities in the IDP were driven by and reflected in the budgetplanning processes. This was envisaged to happen through the advisors providing strategic support to the municipality in achieving the objectives of pro-poor service delivery. Using their skills, they helped the municipal management team to find solutions, funding and networks that would allow them to deliver efficient and effective service delivery. ‘The CMTP approach was based on the belief that it was not necessarily funding that the municipalities needed in order to succeed, but the strategic leadership and space to reflect on decisions within a constantly shifting, often demanding environment,’ said DFID Governance Advisor Subethri Naidoo, who was also the first national CMTP co-ordinator. ‘As such, the programme was not focused primarily on funding projects, but rather on the skills needed to leverage the

many resources which might be available to municipalities from other spheres of government, donors, as well as partnerships with the business community.’ For Department of Provincial and Local Government Deputy Director-General Elroy Africa, programmes like the CMTP have helped point the way to the need to institutionalise hands-on support to local government to ensure that capacity to deliver services and practice good governance is built on a more permanent basis. Interviewed in 2008, when the CMTP phase of hands-on support was drawing to a close, he reflected on the principles behind sending warm bodies out to the coalface of service delivery. ‘We launched Project Consolidate in 2004 with the specific intention of almost experimenting with a particular way of working with municipalities and we called that hands-on support. We identified 156 municipalities and one of the key things

Department of Provincial and Local Government Deputy Director-General Elroy Africa. PAGE   LEArninG from LocAL suPPort

HANDS-ON SUPPORT
we addressed was the capacity challenge in so far as it affected service delivery and governance. The intervention was at a capacity level. Rather than trying primarily to solve the problems on the ground, it was dealing with the capability to resolve the problems,’ he explained. While Project Consolidate identified in excess of 120 municipalities in need of this kind of assistance, the CMTP deployed Integrated Service Facilitators into just eight municipalities in Limpopo, KwaZuluNatal and the Eastern Cape. As close-out reports began to emerge from the host municipalities, it is clear that many of the lessons would be similar to those found in Project Consolidate municipalities. ‘After one year of Project Consolidate, we made an initial assessment of the progress and challenges that there were enough positives emerging from this hands-on support approach. We then developed the five-year strategic plan, informed by the lessons of Project Consolidate, but also informed by the lessons of local government since 2000,’ says Africa. A key conclusion was that this kind of hands-on support needed to be mainstreamed into all municipalities. As part of Project Consolidate, over 280 professionals were put in the field in at least 85 municipalities, dealing with different disciplines in different areas – service delivery, local economic development, financial management – as each municipality needed it. ‘Now the approach is to institutionalise hands-on support by bedding it down much more formally into the system,’ says Africa. Since then, between various programmes of hands-on support, more than 1 200 people have been drafted into municipalities, ranging from retired professionals to young graduates. ‘Partnerships continue to be an important vehicle we need to use to address the skills challenges – it is not the panacea but it is one element,’ says Africa.

What are? Integrated Service Facilitators (ISFs) – advisors sent to municipalities by the CMTP. Service Delivery Facilitators (SDFs) – advisors deployed as part of Project Consolidate.

DFID Governance Advisor and former national CMTP Co-ordinator, Subethri Naidoo. PAGE   LEArninG from LocAL suPPort


				
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