THE provincial department of sports, arts, culture and recreation has signed a memorandum of understanding with member municipalities to bolster co-operative governance and put all municipalities on par in terms of service delivery.

It was signed at the Soweto Theatre on Friday, 22 June.

As part of the deal, whatever infrastructural development related to sports, arts, culture and heritage is carried out in one member municipality, will be duplicated in all municipalities. The memorandum also encourages municipalities to integrate their resources and facilities so that they benefit all people in the province.

This would make sure that all municipalities were on par with service delivery, said the Gauteng MEC of sports, arts, culture and heritage, Lebogang Maile.

Maile said the signing had set a precedent for the launch of an Intergovernmental Relations Forum designed to improve access to sports and recreational amenities across the province. The forum would aim to promote corporative governance and alleviate under-development.

The memorandum would ensure that all Gauteng municipalities were able to improve access to sporting and recreational facilities. “Despite the division of government into different spheres, the public sees it as a single entity which should deliver everything for all,” Maile said.

Municipalities were now bound to combine resources to deliver more efficient services. “These things we must do because when one of us does not perform our people don’t say ‘It is the City of Joburg that is not performing,’ they say this government of ours is not performing.”

Joburg’s portfolio head of community development, Chris Vondo, signed the memorandum on behalf of the City. He said it would help ensure that people in the province had improved access to sports, arts, culture, heritage and recreational facilities.

“This [memorandum] must help us to make Gauteng a home of opportunities for sporting, artistic and cultural excellence that contributes to social cohesion and nation building,” said Vondo.