Agnang Local Municipality Institutional Profile

Date: September 2, 2013
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“We need to bring change to those who need help the most; we need to always push for a better life”

Aganang Local Municipality joined the Centres of Excellence (COE) programme in May 2012; the council had taken part in the third Annual Gender Justice and Local Government Summit and was afforded an opportunity to also present a best practice at the Summit.

“We need to bring change to those who need help the most, we need to always push for a better life”-Maggie Manamela- Gender Coordinator-Special Focus

The COE process in the council has assisted with focusing and streamlining the area of gender mainstreaming, change has started happening very slowly and not at the pace at which it was envisaged. One of the changes that occurred since the COE process was implemented in the council is that the council has had to review many of the internal policies and scrutinize them accordingly. This exercise assisted the council tremendously as it highlighted the areas that needed to be strengthened there are also many new policies that need to be compiled that are gender sensitive.

Before the council joined the COE process there were plans in the council to facilitate a process of gender mainstreaming across the various departments; however there was no clear programme or initiatives to assist with the process. Aganang Local Municipality is a local council of Capricorn District Municipality (CDM), and the council was encouraged to join the COE process due to the manner in which the COE process was owned and implemented by CDM. The council needed to be guided and mentored with the process and also ensure that the correct political buy in was obtained for the council, the COE process has assisted the council to also develop a gender policy and also focus on the waste management portfolio from a gender perspective. Ensuring that women are consulted in terms of waste management was also a key area within the COE process as well as addressing issues of climate change.

The council has also managed to formulate a draft gender policy which will be adopted by the council, before the COE process in the council there was no clear indication of a gender policy being developed and implemented. Aganang Municipality has covered some stages of the COE process however the council needs to formulate and finalise their gender action plan. There has been commitment to complete the remaining COE stages including the Stage 6 Commitment Ceremony.

The council has also faced some challenges with regard to the implementation of the COE process there is no allocated budget which aims to facilitate the gender mainstreaming process. This has been problematic as there is no clear indication if the council will eventually reach a stage where there will be a gender sensitive budget developed; the other main challenge with the implementation of the COE process is that there is no appointed gender champion who is also the political champion who will advocate for the COE process to be anchored within the council. The council also has high levels of housing back log and most of the individuals on the waiting list are women, the council needs to address this issue as women are currently part of the backlog.

The gender champion who will advocate for the COE process would also need to be capacitated and also aware of gender issues, the lack of enthusiasm from some of the key senior management. Gender is still perceived as an area where it has been reduced to events and activities, departments within the council do not see the relevance of gender in their work stream. This perception has also maintained the idea that gender is perceived as “weak” issues, changing these perceptions has been rather very difficult for the council. There have been solutions to some of the challenges posed; the senior managers were part of the COE implementation workshop however they need to be further capacitated, departmental units have also been participating in gender awareness workshops hosted by Capricorn Municipality.
An appointed gender champion within the council will also be appointed and capacitated, however there is still no political champion driving the COE process within the council. Women have also been appointed in strategic senior management positions; the Human Resources unit has started a process of being very vigorous with regard to encouraging women and those living with disabilities to apply for positions within the council. The recently appointed Municipal Manager of the council is a woman who has demonstrated exceptional leadership qualities.

Changes within the council have been slow in terms of being implemented internally however the one positive outcome has been the manner in which the council has been able to advocate for climate change and waste management issues. The council has advocated for a climate change policy which is in draft format, there is also a draft gender policy in place that will need to be finalised. The council has made effective changes within their community by also ensuring that gender based violence campaigns are implemented within the area of Aganang, the council also has projects that are aimed at encouraging women to be part of environmental awareness.

Aganang Municipality is one of the councils that is relatively making progress within the COE process the rate of implementation, has been slow in terms of what was envisaged however there has been some progress within the council in terms of the COE process and implementing some of the areas of gender mainstreaming.

Performance of the council can be further enhanced by encouraging the council to continue their relationship with Capricorn Municipality; the council would also require further capacity building in order to be able that they become a fully-fledged COE council to ensure that the process is also cascaded to local municipalities


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