Cooperative Government and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma says room for corruption will lessen in local government when processes become more transparent.
The minister was part of a panel at a growth forum former president Kgalema Motlante’s foundation hosted in the Drakensburg on Saturday.
Dlamini-Zuma spoke about unlocking economic development at local government level and addressing issues of poverty in South Africa’s municipalities.
Admitting that corruption existed at local government level, the minister said it was important to understand why.
She said in areas where people could not move to Johannesburg to look for employment opportunities, municipalities, schools and clinics became a primary source of employment.
“They fight to go to the municipality. Municipalities pay well if you are a councillor or even if you are an official. Small business people there have no other place but to do business with the municipality. So when you have a situation like that, it creates problems and it encourages corruption or fighting to death,” said Dlamini-Zuma.
“That’s why councillors die, they get killed,” she added, stressing that there was no excuse for corruption.
Turning to the district development model which President Cyril Ramaphosa recently endorsed, she said one plan would allow all stakeholders to know what was happening at all times.
The one district model aims to have one integrated plan per district. It will also allocate different roles for the government, communities and civil society.
“Because everybody knows what is supposed to be done, everybody knows what budget is supposed to be there. If we see the budget of the bridge disappearing but the bridge not appearing, we will know,” said Dlamini-Zuma.
“When somebody is not implementing, there will be peer review,” she added.