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The Portfolio Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs this week hosted Parliament of the Republic of Mozambique’s Committee on Public Administration and Local Government to discuss various legislative and governance matters relating to systems of governance and administration, in the two countries.

Mr Richard Mdakane, the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs told the Mozambican delegation that South Africa’s democracy was still “work in progress and from time to time we learn from experiences of other countries in the SADC (Southern Africa Development Communities) region”

“South Africa is a young democracy compared to Mozambique, it is work in progress and we are going to take long to perfect it, we can learn from Mozambique and other countries in the region,” said Mr Mdakane.

He said though the government systems in the two countries were not the same, but generally they have the same features. Both countries have the three spheres of government system and according to Mr Mdakane the challenge was to perfect the coordination of all the spheres of government for improved administration and service delivery.

“We need to engage further on the issue of how do we deal with cooperative governance and to improve the delivery of services on the ground – it is going to take long to perfect the coordination of the three spheres and we can also learn from the Mozambican system of governance in terms of how they operate,” said Mr Mdakane.

He also said South Africa can also learn from Mozambique on the relations between parliament, government and traditional leadership in that country.

Leader of the Mozambican delegation, the Deputy President of the Committee on Public Administration and Local Government, Mr Rafael Chande said the aim of their visit to South Africa was to learn about issues relating to cooperative governance and legislation on fiscal allocation in the different spheres of government.

“We are also here to share experiences about the relations between the spheres of government in the two countries, especially when it comes to finances and public administration, we can also learn from South Africa’s legislation on public finances as well as the criterion used for fiscal allocation,” said Mr Chande.

Speaking in Portuguese, through an interpreter, he said they are hoping to get material from South Africa in the field of legislation on public finance and the formula for allocating budget to provinces and municipalities, something which he believes South Africa is doing very well.

Mr Mdakane said South Africa might not have all the answers for the Mozambicans as they continued to learn from the experiences of older democracies in the region and the continent.

“We don’t have answers to everything, we do what suits our condition and what is working here might not be applicable in your conditions” said Mr Mdakane.

Mr Chande said Mozambique’s democracy was divided into two phases since the country gained independence from Portugal in 1975. The early celebrations of independence were marred by years of civil war between the ruling FRELIMO Party and opposition RENAMO.

Sakhile Mokoena

11 September 2018