state-of-the-nation-address2017Following the delivery of last night’s State of the Nation Address (SONA), the Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union (IMATU) is committed to making local government work.

“IMATU members, like all South Africans, are concerned by escalating living costs, economic challenges, infrastructure needs and access to, and the provision of, basic services. We welcome the President’s commitment to focus on the very important areas of water and sanitation infrastructure, transport infrastructure and broadband rollout. IMATU is also encouraged by the President’s pledge to reignite growth in order to create much-needed jobs,” stated IMATU General Secretary, Johan Koen.

IMATU is supportive of the Presidency’s Nine Point Plan but would like to see increased interventions to assist struggling municipalities. IMATU believes that regular site visits to municipalities, better oversight of supply chain management processes and the implementation of forensic report recommendations will greatly assist in the combating of corruption and improvement of service delivery.

“As an organisation, we have discussed many of the same issues highlighted in this year’s SONA. Two of our key focus areas within the local government sector, remain water and energy security. IMATU is an active participant in the War on Leaks programme and is pleased to see efforts to train our young people as plumbers, artisans and water agents. The upskilling and training of personnel will be a step in the right direction to address the challenges of skills shortages and vacancy rates, currently experienced in many municipalities. IMATU will also be monitoring implementation efforts around the Independent Power Producers Programme (IPPP) as well as scheduled energy build and maintenance programmes,” explained Koen.

IMATU is committed to realising social transformation through a sustainable local government and continues to support the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs’ (COGTA) Back to Basics Plan, which aims to promote good governance and effective administration in local government.

“IMATU will heed our Government’s call to work together. The commitment of our members must however, be met with the same enthusiasm and political will from the top,” he concluded.