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“One District, One plan and One Budget” in action as Agriculture Department launches MUNI-MEC forum
The North West Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (NWDARD) is in it for an all-government approach as it led the launch of Muni-MEC forum, a structure aimed at involving the three spheres of government in integrated planning with the aim of transforming the agricultural sector in the province. The launch which took place today, 16 May 2022 was an effort of the NWDARD to officiate partnerships in facilitating a seamless process of planning, coordinating and implementing agricultural services locally. This forum, to be led by MEC Desbo Mohono is constituted by representatives of the National Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, the NWDARD as well as all municipalities in the province, specifically Members of Municipal committees of Agriculture and Rural Development, Human Settlements as well as Infrastructure.
Following a series of MEC’s stakeholder meetings during the month of April 2022 between the Department and municipalities, a determination was made that there was a need to have the three spheres to work together in accelerating services. NWDARD has concluded to set up a forum to assist in reaching a common goal of revitalising agriculture locally.
Speaking during the launch, the Head of NWDARD, Mr Thupi Mokhatla said the forum forms part of the District Development Model, an operational model for improving cooperative governance aimed at building a capable and ethical development state. He further asserted that key to the forum deliverables would be to have joint effort in identifying the needs of communities within the agricultural sector, alignment of intervention plans, budgeting, and implementation thereof. This he said, would basically translate into a single plan that would reach many people and result in a better benefit to the communities.
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MEC Mohono, who is passionate about coordinated government efforts particularly on agricultural services said the process which culminated in the forum launch was a fully consulted product. She also emphasised that the projects as implemented in the various municipalities must be a product all three spheres of government’s efforts. “Muni-MEC forum is purely launched in the context of eliminating and erasing the silo mentality from all three arms of government. Seamless coordination of government work and projects will assist in fastracking developments, eliminate red tapes as all decision makers converge from all spheres of government,” MEC Mohono said.
She further reiterated that the forum will need to be at the forefront in making an impact in local communities. “The bulkwalk of the North-West province economy relies heavily on agriculture and many other sector facets. The major assignment of this forum in partnership with municipalities will also be issues relating to profiling skills and education levels, current employment and growth trends as well as potential arrears for growth with a view of unlocking the potential within municipalities,” Mohono further alluded.
Municipalites in the province through various Executive Mayors, Mayors AND MMCs, who also attended the launch have voiced their unequivocal support to the forum. Amongst others, these municipalities representatives have appreciated the initiative by MEC Mohono and lauded the forum as a proper vehicle to take services to communities. Cllr Itumeleng Moarabi, MMC Local Economic Development at Ngaka Modiri Molema District, amongst other representatives, has also welcomed the initiative and declared his trust on a partnership “that will bring transformation in the agricultural sector.”
As part of the launch, the forum has adopted Terms of Reference as well a framework Muni-MEC operations. The forum will also be in two folds i.e. Muni-MEC which will constitute MEC and MMCs; and the Technical Muni-MEC which will constitute of the HoD, Mr Thupi Mokhatla as well as Chief Directors and Directors of participating Departments and Municipalities. The terms of reference detail composition and functions of the committees, the roles of each stakeholder group as well as meeting schedules.