The following speech was delivered today, 24 August 2016, by City of Cape Town Executive Mayor, Patricia de Lille, at the full Council meeting.
Good morning, goeiedag, molweni, as-salaam alaikum, shalom.
It has been almost a month since the election and two weeks since our inauguration as councillors.
In that time, all councillors have gone through an induction process.
It is important to reflect that the development and training of councillors is ongoing throughout the term of office so that we may all become better public servants.I will also be meeting with the leaders of the political parties represented in Council to discuss our relationship going forward.
My office will be in contact with each party in the next few days.
There are many important items before the Council today, not least the adjustment budget.
In terms of the Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA), the Council may consider adjustment budgets as part of good financial practice.
Indeed, it is partly because of our commitment to such practices that we have received successive clean audits from the Auditor-General.
Typically, the August adjustment budget is used to accommodate changes that have taken place in the financial record and system of the City since the adoption of the budget, as prescribed by legislation.
Mr Speaker, Section 28 of the MFMA prescribes that a municipality may revise an approved budget through an adjustments budget.
In terms of Section 28, an adjustments budget must be accompanied by: ‘an explanation how the adjustments budget affects the annual budget; a motivation of any material changes to the annual budget; an explanation of the impact of any increased spending on the annual budget and the annual budgets for the next two financial years; any other supporting documentation that may be prescribed.’
Indeed, as major projects are completed, and tenders are paid, we must recalculate allocated funds on the basis of changed expenditures.
Mr Speaker, this adjustments budget comes on the back of an incredible year in terms of financial performance for the City of Cape Town.
That is, a capital spend of 89,6% in the 2015/2016 financial year, without accounting for project roll-overs which would take capital project planned releases to well over 90%.
This means that we remain the national leader in terms of infrastructure-led growth and creating the enabling environment for opportunity through the delivery of the highest level of services in the country.
It is the result of dedicated strategy that we put in place to improve spending in the City.
These improvements include improved tender demand and supply chain management; faster turnaround times for tender appeals; extensive monthly reporting systems; project management training; and improved due diligence processes.
And it is a result of our change towards the methodology of planning, especially in our project portfolio management (PPM) system.
When we started using PPM a few years ago, we knew that its increased visibility would take time to accrue management benefits. Turning an oil tanker around takes dedication and a lot of effort.
I am pleased to say that each year our performance improves, showing that our investment and patience are paying off.
Mr Speaker, changing the methodology of planning helped prepare us for a much bigger project of achieving systemic change.
I campaigned on a manifesto that pledged to modernise government as part of the well-run pillar.
As I stated at the last Council meeting, I believe that we are faced with such an opportunity in the form of the Organisation Development and Transformation Plan (ODTP).
The ODTP is a legislative requirement when considering the requirements of local government legislation and regulations, specifically the Municipal Structures Act and the Municipal Systems Act.
Indeed, every Integrated Development Plan (IDP) should have an ODTP to describe the organisational requirements needed to give life to strategic planning.
The City of Cape Town has decided to embrace the ODTP process as a means of rebooting city government for the 21st century.
For the past decade, Cape Town has been the site of best government practice and excellent management.
We have achieved successive clean audits, spent our budgets, worked for social and economic redress, and delivered the highest quality of services.
During that time, we have learned a great many lessons.
During my first five years as mayor, I wanted us to apply those lessons into a new approach for government.
Indeed, we started the process by revising the methodology of planning and pioneering transversal management in the City administration.
It is time to take to those lessons and hardwire them into the entire institution, and thereby update our approach to service delivery.
This starts by understanding the historic opportunity this represents.
Indeed, metro government is relatively recent in South Africa, being around for roughly 16 years after a transition period for local government following democracy in 1994.
There was a great public imperative to correct the imbalances of government from the apartheid years.
In the previous dispensation, intensely localised municipal authorities served residents in previously white areas, while a clutch of local, township, and traditional authority types governed black people.
The project of consolidation required the sweeping away of much of these divisions.
It also meant bringing together multiple organisations into one.
In order to standardise services, there was much centralising required as well as the creation of new corporate processes and identities.
I believe that we have reached the full benefits of the centralised model.
What we now require is a way to bring in more localised and area-based service delivery to accommodate a strong centre.
This means having strong central service departments with area-based project and performance management to ensure that service levels are being met in all parts of the city.
Further, it means prioritising the use of data and evidence in the way we deliver and evaluate our services.
Our residents, who are our customers, should be our primary reference point: the way they experience, access, and use the services we provide.
This will require us to make our engagement and customer relations techniques the focus point of our service design, working from the viewpoint of how our residents interact with the City.
Becoming a global leader in government practice requires having a clear strategy based on choices and priorities.
To this end, we have considered all of the corporate strategies for the long-term passed over the past few years, from our Transit-Oriented Development to our Integrated Human Settlements Framework strategies.
And we have distilled 11 transformational priorities that will inform our city strategy for this term of office.
And in keeping with good practice, structure follows strategy.
As such, there are several changes to the governance structure that are proposed to encourage transversal management and area-based service delivery.
It does so while retaining the integrity of the governance framework of Council, as stipulated by our guiding legislation.
And further, we have proposed to reorder the macro-structure to accommodate the proposed new service delivery model, reducing the number of directorates from 11 to 10.
Over time, the different components of this plan will find their way into the relevant Council processes.
For instance, the strategy components will inform our Integrated Development Plan process.
When those processes unfold, I will expect all councillors to be engaged and contribute accordingly.
And, if approved, while we put this new system in place, we will give all councillors who want it the training they need to play their part effectively.
After this meeting, an explanation of the new S79 committees’ functions will be sent to all parties by the Chief Whip.
From these explanations, parties should nominate councillors so that we can decide on the committees’ membership at the next Council meeting.
In conclusion, the formation of this new system will take time.
But everything worth having requires effort.
As custodians of this government, it is our duty to provide leadership and a vision for the future.
I believe that the ODTP will be our blueprint for making a more sustainable, responsive, and effective organisation.
And with those components in place, we will be not just the best metro government in the country, but will take our place as one of the best city governments in the world.
Let us continue to make progress possible, together.
Laat ons vooruitgang moointlik maak, tesame.
Senza inkqubela yenzeke, Sisonke.
Thank you very much. Baie dankie. Enkosi kakhulu.