The Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union (IMATU) is pleased to see that the Minister of Finance’s 2017 Budget Speech emphasised the importance of infrastructure development, creating spatial linkages between rural and urban municipalities and the need to create a more equal society.

“In his Parliamentary Address, Minister Gordhan acknowledged the growing pressures facing municipalities from both the rising cost of bulk services and the rapidly growing numbers of households. We agree that support of education, health services and municipal functions in rural areas must remain at the core of Government’s spending programmes. If aspects relating to underspending of infrastructure grants, wasteful expenditure, corruption and inadequate training could be addressed, local government would be on the right track to meaningfully address our Country’s challenges of economic transformation, sustainable development and equal access to basic services,” stated IMATU General Secretary, Johan Koen.

IMATU is pleased to note the increased emphasis on investing in the improvement of the financial capabilities of municipalities. “We welcome the Minister’s pledge to strengthen financial management in municipalities and agree that ‘if we make progress in local financial management, we will transform the lives of millions of people’. IMATU will support Government’s supply chain management interventions and efforts to improve revenue and asset management. The efficient allocation of resources, cutting of wasteful expenditure and elimination of corruption will directly benefit service delivery,” commented Koen.

South Africa’s economy needs to grow faster and more inclusively. IMATU supports the National Development Plan’s vision of newly developed spatial plans for cities, improved public transport, better procurement and supply chain management and the upgrading of informal settlements.

“Sustainable economic growth and development will only take place once we start to effectively tackle the challenges of unemployment, inequality and poverty. 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.