Establishment process of Thusong Service Centres
Municipalities are the starting points for establishing a Thusong Service Centre. Communities which lack access to services and information should approach their local municipality. Thusong Service Centres are part of municipalities' integrated development plans (IDPs).
Communities should also consult the District and the Provincial Intersectoral Steering Committee for information about Thusong Service Centre roll-out.
The target of the roll-out programme is to establish one Thusong Service Centre in each of the 283 local municipalities, by the year 2014. By March 2007, there were already 94 operational Thusong Service Centres nationwide.
Efficient roll-out depends on a well-coordinated establishment process. Consultation and alignment of Thusong Service Centres with government policies, are the focus points.
Once a community is consulted, identified services and infrastructure are aligned to the following policies:
Municipal level: IDPs
- Provincial level: Provincial growth and development strategies (PGDS)
- National level: National Spatial Development Programme (NSDP) and the provision of services and infrastructure
The following establishment processes ensure the alignment of their relevant activities:
1. Bottom-up needs assessment and site identification
Local service needs are identified through consultation and by assessing existing service provision, and appropriate sites are then selected.
2. Inclusion in municipal integrated development plans
Roll-out, funding and monitoring of Thusong Service Centres are integral to municipal IDPs.
3. Consultation with relevant stakeholders
All three spheres above, target government and private-sector service providers to determine their needs and resources in terms of staff and financial resources.
4. Setting up a steering committee to drive the process at municipal level
This takes the form of a Local Intersectoral Steering Committee or a management committee. This technical team pilots the complete establishment process.
5. Development and review of proposals within regional settlement context
District municipalities provide invaluable assistance to local municipalities in the roll-out, as they understand both local and broader regional contexts. Provinces are also consulted to ensure that infrastructural proposals align with their spatial development frameworks (SDFs). The Thusong Service Centre Business Plan will then reflect alignment with IDPs and SDFs.
6. Business plans
The Provincial Intersectoral Steering Committee in each province develops a business plan based on district business plans. These are drawn up by district municipalities based on business plans submitted by each local municipality. This process ensures alignment of business plans across local, district and provincial level.
Provincial business plans are submitted to the National Intersectoral Steering Committee. On the basis of these, the current Thusong Service Centre Business plan is then updated.
7. Formation of centre management committees
This technical team is key in piloting the establishment process.
8. Detailed planning, design and construction
Once funding is secured and the necessary permission granted for construction, planning and design must align with service-provider needs.
9. Creating community awareness and participation
A consultative approach with the community will ensure that service provision meets community needs and that the Thusong Service Centre is fully utilised. This is reinforced by ongoing marketing and promotion of the centre.
10. Operationalising a Thusong Service Centre
To operationalise a Thusong Service Centre, the following requirements must be met:
- a management committee must be established
- a centre manager must be appointed
- a promotional plan must be developed
- service level agreements must be signed with heads of departments
- lease agreements must be signed between owners and service-providers
- minimum service requirements must be met.