South Africa and Lesotho signs a MoU on decentralisation and local government cooperation

south Africa and Lesotho have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on decentralization and cooperation of local government.

Signed by Dr. Minister Dlamini Zuma, Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), and his counterpart, Moshe Leoma Memorandum of Understanding in Pretoria Wednesday,

The MoU will expand cooperation in the following areas:

  • fiscal decentralization,
  • integrated development plan,
  • development of local government and governance institutions and structures,
  • human resource development, and
  • Exchange of programs by councils/municipalities.

Minister Dlamini Zuma said at the event that the two countries are signing a pact in the hope of bolstering efforts to promote a non-sexist and inclusive society.

“Creating such societies in our nations will go a long way in realizing the objectives set for ourselves in Agenda 2063 for Africa.”

She added: “The Decentralization Agreement will also contribute to ensuring a unified prosperous and peaceful Africa driven by its own citizens. The Decentralization Agreement will also give a new impetus to other areas of cooperation undertaken by our governments.

These include a wide range of sectors, including trade and investment, security and energy, transport, agriculture, tourism, water and the environment, he said.

“The signing of the MoU is welcome, especially since we last year ratified the African Charter on the Values ​​and Principles of Decentralization of Local Governments and Local Development. The Charter gearing all sectors of government and society to decentralization, localized financing and the spatial context will also be able to contribute,” she said.

The minister said the South African government is adopting the district development model, which aims to integrate budgets and programs across all levels of government.

This will ultimately ensure that citizens experience growth wherever they live. “Thus, it will ensure that outbound migration is a result of choice and not a result of desperation.”

To achieve this, he said that both governments must do everything in their capacity to address the difficulties faced by the local sphere of governance, of which institutions of traditional leadership are an important component.

“Our collaboration will enhance these institutions while we are facilitating a more inclusive, accountable and transparent form of governance. These key agreements will also help address key challenges facing our municipalities. These include lack of technical skills such as those directed at planning and financing,” she said.

The two Ministers also observed the signing of a Technical MoU on Disaster Management. This MoU establishes the basis for a collaborative arrangement that includes coordinated activities to avoid and mitigate disaster-related risks. It was signed by the Acting Head of South AfricaHead of the National Center for Disaster Management and the Disaster Management Authority of Lesotho.

The MoU contains a framework for cooperation between the two sides. These include collaborative efforts to avoid and mitigate disaster-related hazards.

“This agreement could not have come at a better time as we had to face disasters like the COVID-19 pandemic, drought and floods, which have had a negative impact on both the countries. So this agreement will contribute to building our economies while we strive to build better.

“We therefore welcome the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on Disasters as it enables both countries to cooperate in fulfilling their respective responsibilities in disaster prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery in the event of natural, man-made or technological disasters. will enable. ” He said.

It is also anticipated that the MoU will improve Research and capacity development activities.

Working together, the two countries should be able to promote the efficacy and impact of their individual and joint operations in disaster reduction and management.

“as South AfricaWe are engaged in a 21-year review of local government and we hope that we will be able to establish what has worked well… and what has not so that we can strengthen the areas that have worked well and perhaps Can replace fields that have not.

Leoma said the signing of the agreements was long overdue.

He said these are in line with the goals of the Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation (JBCC) between the two countries.

He added: “Similarly, we have a long standing relationship with the Republic in the areas of disaster risk reduction and emergency preparedness response.

The JBCC seeks to strengthen the strategic partnership of the two countries and promote good governance, which, he said, was the cornerstone of stability and economic growth.

He said, “The local government and the head ministries have since been linked to the COGTA and have agreed to formalize the relationship through a Memorandum of Understanding, focusing not only on issues relating to local government structures, but also physical Let’s also extend to the model for the decentralized framework.”

It was also being investigated in disaster management.

“While the signing of this MoU marks the beginning of formal cooperation between us, much has been achieved. This can be seen in the pre-existing bilateral committee or search and rescue by both countries. However, much more remains to be achieved.”

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