The Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union (IMATU) is cautiously optimistic following the delivery of last night’s State of the Nation Address (SONA).

“We are particularly pleased with the President’s commitment to continued infrastructure development, fighting corruption and the further capacitating of municipalities in the year ahead,” stated IMATU General Secretary, Johan Koen.

IMATU welcomes the President’s commitment to realising the vision of the National Development Plan (NDP). IMATU fully endorses the NDP however, strongly believes that in order to achieve growth, development and prosperity in South Africa, the NDP will need to provide an accurate and effective roadmap to deal with the serious challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment.

“We are also encouraged by the President’s promise to crack down on corruption, tender fraud and price fixing. IMATU believes that the filling of vacancies in the criminal justice sector is a positive step in ensuring the swift rooting out and prosecution of corrupt and fraudulent activities. We do however hope that the priority to fill vacancies will be extended to the Local Government sector in order to achieve a well-functioning service delivery model,” commented Koen.

The President acknowledged that Apartheid spatial patterns still persist in South Africa’s towns and cities and Municipalities alone cannot deal with the challenges. While rural development remains a priority of Government, he indicated that it would be crucial to develop a national integrated urban development framework to assist municipalities to effectively manage rapid urbanisation.

“IMATU believes that with effective leadership, correctly channelled resources, the up-skilling of workers and the rooting out of corruption, Local Government can offer a sustainable service delivery model that will assist in the efficient collaboration between local, provincial and national tiers of Government,” concluded Koen.