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Point of View: SALGA responds to reports that 62% of councillors lack basic computer skills

Kaya 959 Reporter

An assessment by South African Local Government Association (SALGA) has found that there are important skills that are lacking in the various municipalities across the country.

According to the SALGA, they have compiled an assessment that found about 62% of councillors did not have the needed computer skills to pass crucial municipal budgets.

They observed some of these challenge during the pandemic with the use of remote working tools; with many municipalities struggling to comply with prescripts and pass budgets.

SALGA noted that many councillors are used to meeting under one roof without having to use gadgets.

SALGA says what they don’t want is a councillor that does not know what to do, and one that is not empowered enough to do their jobs.

Also Read: Thomas and Skhumba: How has working from home impacted your team?

A SALGA representative joined Nzinga Qunta to give a perspective on what is happening at local government level and highlighted the important role they have to play and what lies in the road ahead.

“We can’t stop the investment in leadership development in seeking to effect a paradigm shift, from what we see now towards municipalities that are responsive and accountable.

“If we do so then we will taking he municipalities towards a trajectory of continuous improvement and development, but we will also be doing our bit as SALGA, contributing towards a system that leads to a direction that was envisaged by the authors of the white paper.” he said.

Also Read: R 15 million stadium by ANC Municipality in the Eastern Cape has Mzansi shook

An even more troubling issue in the local government observed by the the Auditor-General in many municipalities was financial management.  Salga found only seven municipalities were doing well, while 31% were dysfunctional, 30% were functional and 32% were in distress.

SALGA says they have engaged with political parties to urge them to select councillors with the needed skills to perform their duties, especially in a digital and remote working environment.

Deputy Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Thembisile Simelane-Nkadimeng says she hopes the municipal elections will see the election of more capacitated and skilled councillors.

 

Written by: Zuko



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