Government and business join hands

Focus on Public Private Partnerships for growth and development.

THE Golden Triangle Chamber of Commerce has been applauded for its proactive stance for putting proposals before Emfuleni Local Municipality and both the provincial and national government for consideration.

Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs [CoGTA], Dr. Zweli Mkhize told a meeting held on Friday, 7th September at the Sedibeng District Municipality’s chambers in Vereeniging, that public private partnerships were critical in building sustainable municipalities in South Africa.

The minister engaged the Golden Triangle Chamber of Commerce, Sedibeng Business Chamber and NAFCOC to discuss the state of municipalities and the role of business in effecting turnarounds for distressed and dysfunctional municipalities.

Minister Mkhize was joined by the Deputy Minister of CoGTA Andries Nel, Gauteng CoGTA MEC Dikgang Moiloa, Finance MEC Barbara Creecy, Members of the Mayoral Committees of Sedibeng District Municipality and ELM.

ELM Municipal Manager Oupa Nkoane led the municipality’s delegation at the meeting called to form lasting relations between government and business.

The Golden Triangle Chamber of Commerce made presentations covering the municipality’s big five service delivery functions [water, electricity, sanitation, waste management and roads], with a central proposal to have a legally-binding Memorandum of Understanding with ELM.

The chamber’s CEO, Klippies Kritzinger led the delegates as they shared their insights on possible solutions to remedy the municipality’s challenges.

The chamber put proposals for a public private partnership model to create a win-win situation for both the municipality and local businesses.

In his address, Minister Mkhize emphasized the importance of government and business working together to build sustainable municipalities which are able to deliver services to communities.

Mkhize called for solutions from business in dealing with various challenges of infrastructure and service delivery and further requested an open discussion on issues that require attention.

“We need to identify low-hanging fruits that can be done without any cost, which just need framework for collaboration between government and yourself, local business chambers,” said Minister Mkhize.

Popular township economist, Nicho Ntema was on the panel of presenters and brought the topic of township renewal into the discussion.

Ntema cited the existing partnership between Sharpeville and the Glasgow University as a learning experience which could contribute towards economic recovery in townships.

Organized business pledged to be part of the solution and to work together with government to ensure that municipalities are functioning by addressing known challenges which include sewage spillages, electricity interruptions, illegal dumping, and non-removal of refuse, bad roads and township revitalisation.

Mkhize commended the business sector for recognising the need to lend a hand to revitalise the townships and he urged them to create opportunities in those areas.
The aim is to ensure local economic development in townships which will lead to poverty eradication and job creation.

The meeting resolved to establish a working team comprising of the relevant national and provincial government departments, both municipalities of Sedibeng and Emfuleni and representatives from business.

This team will in 60 days’ time identify low-hanging fruits, initiatives that do not need financial support, to turn around ELM.

Sedibeng District Municipality’s Finance MMC Councillor Johny Tsotetsi, CoGTA Deputy Minister Andries Nel, Minister Zweli Mkhize and Gauteng Finance MEC Barbara Creecy.

By Thabiso Radebe

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