Government will continue to fund municipalities no longer run by the ANC to maintain infrastructure and the lives of the people, Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe said yesterday.
Briefing media on the outcome of the four-day Cabinet lekgotla, Radebe said its purpose was to reflect on the implementation of the National Development Plan and government’s programme of action. He began by congratulating the country for this month’s peaceful, free and fair local government election. “Change of municipalities’ leadership does not hinder our goal,” Radebe said at the government communication and information system head office in Hatfield, Pretoria.
“We will support them [DA-run municipalities] because it is not about the votes, but about the lives of our people.” Asked whether the possible higher education fee increment was discussed, Radebe would not provide a solid answer.
“Education is apex of our priorities. In terms of the process, the president appointed a commission headed by a judge to look into the issue.” Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande last week said possible fee increments would be announced by the end of the month. Radebe also gave an update on state-owned entities (SOEs), saying Eskom’s operational and financial performance had improved.
“The interministerial committee will continue to oversee 13 other SOE-specific interventions.” He said priority would also be placed on water saving. “By September, agreements are to be completed with municipalities that have high water losses to facilitate placement of agents … and a clear funding model is to be completed.” Radebe denied a binding deal with Russia to buy nuclear reactors. “There is no Russia deal right now,” Radebe said.
“The department of energy and the National Treasury have started testing the market. The issue of affordability will be decided before action is taken.” The lekgotla, which took place last week at the Sefako Makgatho Presidential Guesthouse in Pretoria, marked the halfway point of the fifth administration’s term of office.