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COGTA budget aims to empower – Brown

By Emily Setona

BETHLEHEM – Free State MEC of Finance Gadija Brown said the department’s budget absolutely supports the progressive mission of the department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), which is about strengthening different sectors, supporting municipalities and traditional leaders.

In his speech newly appointed MEC of the department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) Ketso Makume said that COGTA dedicates this budget speech to Thabo Mofutsanyana after whom the district which is home to the school Thabo Thokoza Secondary in Bethlehem were the event was held.

“Thabo Mofutsanyana is the leader of our society whose courageous commitment saw the ANC appointing him as a deployee in the Native Representative Council, in the 1940s, to deal with civic matters for African Communities. That participation in that structure laid a foundation for Africans to better understand civic politics,” Makume said.

In her address to the house Brown said that the mandate of COGTA is very broad and cuts across all spheres of government and is about integrated planning and development from national, provincial to local government.

“COGTA is responsible for developing integrated and sustainable partnerships, thorough research, monetary planning, and good governance. Traditional leaders remain an integral part of the development of our societies, and we are grateful for their active involvement through this department,” Brown said.

A Member of the Legislature, Armand Cloete, said the residents of Mangaung are fed up with the lack of good governance in the province.
“Municipalities under section 139 interventions under the ANC do not work. Every year we hear the same promises with the same outputs. Wasteful expenditure through rogue ANC councillors. The ANC fails local government through their policies and BEE that disguises the corruption that happens in municipalities. The only way that municipalities will survive is by getting rid of the ANC,” Cloete said.

Weighing in, EFF leader Mapheule Liphoko shared sentiments of Cloete when he said that the ANC is always deluding the masses and their task as EFF is to expose the party for its failure for good governance.
The Department has been allocated a budget of R 406 376 million for 2023/24 Financial Year.

Makume gave a detailed breakdown of the allocated budget with the following 5 programmes being outlined:

“A total amount of R162 238 000 has been earmarked for administration. These funds will be utilized to build administrative capacity in the office of the Member of Executive (MEC), Head of Department (HOD) and Corporate Services.

COGTA has allocated R100 259 000 to local governance. This is an important programme that will be entrusted with the responsibility to monitor and provide advice on the appointment of senior managers in municipalities as well as their performance matrix.”

He said R73 424 000 has been set aside for development and planning.
“The budget will be dedicated towards providing support on the implementation of the Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act, by empowering municipal planning tribunals.

An amount of R54 937 000has been allocated to Traditional Institutional Development, to ensure that we are able to effectively deal with the mandate of Traditional Leadership and support
According to Makume, a budget of R 15 518 000 has been allocation to the House of traditional leaders, this program has historically been underfunded and we commit to redress this imbalance.

“Working together, we should double our efforts to building a developmental state based on collaboration and coordination of business sector, organized labour, and civic society from all walks of life to realize the dream of a better life for all. We call upon all sectors of society to join government in rendering services for better livelihood. As a department, we shall support initiatives that assist our communities to live better and to improve their environment,” Makume concluded.