Municipalities are responsible for service delivery that ensures that the basic needs of all citizens are satisfied. Services such as water supply, electricity delivery and road maintenance are under threat across the African continent due to the inability or inefficiency of revenue collection systems at municipal level – impacting their ability to expand and sustain service delivery.
Recently it was reported that the Nakuru county government in Kenya was owed more than US$24 million in unremitted land and property rates – a figure which will severely affect their ability to deliver services to the residents of that community. And Nakuru is not alone in this regard, in South Africa, according to the consolidated Gauteng municipal statements, all nine municipalities in the Gauteng province were owed US$3.6 billion by the end of March 2013. These figures included the metropolitan councils of Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni and Tshwane.
The Syntell Sustainability Forum, aims to change the status quo of the African municipality by uniting municipalities, utilities and road traffic authorities from across the continent to confront the massive challenges they are facing with revenue collection, management and accountability. It will look to bring together all key stakeholders within the local government sector from Africa encouraging them to share best practices and so that pockets of excellence can be replicated.
Mr Martin Achar, the town clerk from Mombasa City Council, Kenya, will be joining a panel discussion of other African Municipal Managers including Mr Andile Fani from Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality in South Africa and Mr Ernest Sumani from Ndola City Council in Zambia. They will discuss the daily challenges and opportunities faced in their efforts to build financially sustainable and mobile cities. “I am very impressed with the quality of the organisation of Syntell Sustainability 2013 as a necessary and timely platform for the promotion of municipal financial sustainability in Africa.” says Mr Martin Achar of the Mombasa City Council.
Principal local government stakeholders from across Africa will be in Johannesburg to promote, enhance and strengthen inter-country and regional partnerships and joint ventures within municipalities, utilities and traffic departments. The aim is to create a learning and knowledge exchange forum that allows African municipalities to identify systematic and technological solutions, and put procedures in place, to meet their financial targets.
The forum is sponsored by Syntell and Touchwork and provides a dedicated platform for cross-border collaboration and shared learning amidst the African local government sector. With specialised programmes designed for municipalities and utilities, and road traffic authorities, the Syntell Sustainability Forum is the only African forum that will bring together decision makers from all aspects of local government and municipalities under one roof.