Media release

Inter-Ministerial Committee on Information and Publicity media briefing by Minister Pravin Gordhan

16 September 2014

16 Sep 2014

Ladies and Gentlemen of the media
Welcome to our weekly media briefing on the work of government and issues in the public discourse.
Today we are focusing on Improving Local Government Delivery as one of our priorities.

Presidential Local Government Summit

Led by President Jacob Zuma, government will host the Presidential Local Government Summit on Thursday, 18 September 2014 at the Gallagher Estate Conference Centre in Midrand, Johannesburg.

The conference theme - “Let’s get back to basics to build a responsible and accountable Local Government” - reflects our wish that local government should attend to the practical, elementary actions and programmes that make a positive difference in people’s lives.

The planned outcome for the Summit is a plan to address challenges of service delivery in local government, with the expectation that better performing municipalities will improve people’s lives, create decent living conditions and bring government closer to communities.

President Jacob Zuma will deliver the keynote address to delegates including premiers, mayors, municipal managers and other key stakeholders.

The Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Pravin Gordhan, has conducted a rapid assessment of the State of Local Government. The assessment covered political stability, governance, service delivery, financial management, institutional management and community satisfaction.

In response, the Department of Cooperative Governance initiated a process of setting benchmarks for municipalities to perform their basic responsibilities, every day, without fail.

This led to the development of the “Back to Basics” Strategy. This approach is about responding vigorously to immediate needs, understanding and responding to structural challenges, building resilient local government institutions and collectively shaping intergovernmental planning and delivery.

This is in line with President Jacob Zuma’s vision that local government must be at the forefront of improving people’s lives and create conditions for inclusive economic growth and job creation.

Back to Basics will ensure that in every municipality, traffic lights work, potholes are filled, water is delivered, refuse is collected, electricity is supplied, and refuse and waste management takes place.

The Presidential Local Government Summit is an opportunity to announce the “Back to Basics” approach and address the critical challenges affecting municipalities.  The Summit is, therefore, a means to move South Africa forward and make a visible, practical and daily difference in communities.

New Climate Economy Report

The Global Commission on the Economy and Climate will today (16 September 2014) release the New Climate Economy Report titled: Better Growth, Better Climate.

The report will be released globally in different cities including New York, London, Addis Ababa, Beijing, Brussels, Oslo, New Delhi, and Johannesburg. The South African launch of the report will take place at an event jointly hosted by the National Planning Commission, the British High Commission and the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate at Wits Club, on Thursday 18 September 2014.

The report finds that governments and businesses can now improve economic growth and reduce their carbon emissions together. Rapid technological innovation and new investment in infrastructure are making it possible today to tackle climate change at the same time as improving economic performance.

The report is a product of a year-long study that has been conducted by leading research institutes from China, India, the US, Brazil, Korea, Europe and Africa, advised by a panel of world-leading economists chaired by Lord Nicholas Stern.

The Global Commission on the Economy and Climate comprises 24 leaders from government, business, finance and economics in 19 countries. My predecessor, former Minister Trevor Manuel, is one of the 24 distinguished commissioners.

Current Issues


The Double Troika Summit of the Heads of State and Government was held in Pretoria, Republic of South Africa on 15 September 2014.

The Summit considered the security and political situation in the Region with particular reference to the Kingdom of Lesotho and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Summit urged the Leaders of the Coalition Government in Lesotho to uphold their commitments towards the restoration of constitutional normality in the Kingdom.

In this regard, the Summit noted that the Leaders of the Coalition Government have agreed to bring forward the date of the elections from 2017 to a date to be agreed upon after consultations between the coalition leaders of the coalition Government and other political stakeholders.

Summit urged the leaders of the Coalition Government to work together to implement the Windhoek and Pretoria declarations as a matter of urgency, in particular the lifting of Parliament’s prorogation within the agreed time, during which focus should be placed in preparing the expedited elections.

To this effect, the Coalition Government will work together with the Facilitator in addressing all political and security challenges in preparation for the brought forward elections.

Summit mandated the Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa, The Honourable Cyril Ramaphosa, supported by the Secretariat and a team of experts from Troika Member States, to act as SADC Facilitator to the Kingdom of Lesotho. The  Deputy President, Secretariat and experts have clear Terms of Reference (ToRs) to facilitate the restoration of political and security stability in the Kingdom of Lesotho, in the short and long term.

Science and Technology

Government welcomes the launch of the South Africa–United Kingdom Newton Fund to financially support science and innovation cooperation between the two countries.
The Fund will release R500-million over the next four years in support of various local projects and institutions such as the Medical Research Council, the National Research Foundation and the Square Kilometre Array.

It will assist in the training of the next generation of scientists and involve industry to ensure investments contribute to economic growth and employment creation.

Phumla Williams 
Contact: 083 501 0139

Issued by GCIS on behalf of
The Inter-Ministerial Committee on Communication and Publicity

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