As South Africans demand positive movement from Government, especially on two key topics plaguing many a mind, corruption and mismanagement, nine KZN municipalities now find themselves under the proverbial spotlight. And when looking to the future, these municipalities have a long way to go before getting the all-clear.
This follows the MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta), Sipho Hlomuka, addressing the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) on the progress made by the department in assisting institutions currently under administration.
When taking a look at the municipalities in question; Mtubatuba, Abaqulusi (Vryheid), uMzinyathi district (which includes Dundee), uThukela district (including Ladysmith), Inkosi Langalibalele (Escourt), Mpofana, Richmond, Msunduzi and eMadlangeni (Utrecht).
One is left asking, is there a way forward, in order to see these institutes back on their feet and thriving?
Motivating the seriousness of the matter, in his address, Hlomuka pointed out that the interventions at all the municipalities, except eMadlangeni, will be retained until 31 March 2021. This, he says, is due to insufficient progress in addressing their governance, financial management and service delivery-related challenges.
Going on to add, suitably qualified ministerial representatives have been appointed in all nine intervention municipalities. These representatives have all signed performance agreements, which are aligned to their terms of reference. With experts in the field of municipal finance and technical support also being deployed by the department. This, all to provide hands-on support to these municipalities.
KZN COGTA says, residents are now living in a time where we see communities continuing to demand more from the sphere of local government in a climate of limited economic growth and a constrained fiscus.
“This places immense pressure on municipalities to do more with less. It is for this reason that KZN Cogta has instructed all administrators to conduct a proper skills audit in order to identify gaps that can be filled through appropriate training and development programmes,” COGTA stresses.
Stating they are also committed to ensuring all government debt accounts be reconciled and submitted for payment and all disputes in this regard be resolved speedily.
With KZN COGTA assuring they are determined to address the challenges which the municipalities are facing, what are your thoughts? Do you feel the government department will be able to address the issues pertaining to their governance, financial management and service delivery?
Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.
Authors: Quinton Boucher and Calvin Swemmer
Edited: Calvin Swemmer
Image credit: Janek Szymanowski – Own work