Mu­nic­i­pal­ity re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion planned

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - NEWS - MAYIBONGWE MAQHINA

SCORES of dys­func­tional mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties have again been thrown into a coun­try­wide in­ter­ven­tion pro­gramme aimed at mak­ing coun­cils vi­able.

Co-op­er­a­tive Gov­er­nance and Tra­di­tional Af­fairs (Cogta) Min­is­ter Des van Rooyen re­vealed last week that 60 dys­func­tional mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties were placed on the sec­ond phase of the Back to Ba­sics pro­gramme.

“We are sit­ting with 60 mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties we di­ag­nosed as be­ing re­ally dys­func­tional.

“Work­ing with Na­tional Trea­sury we are de­vel­op­ing re­cov­ery plans,” Van Rooyen told Par­lia­ment.

The Na­tional Trea­sury has fin­ished a fi­nan­cial anal­y­sis of the af­fected mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties.

The pre­lim­i­nary find­ings of the anal­y­sis by the Na­tional Trea­sury points to is­sues of gov­er­nance and lead­er­ship.

He stated that be­cause the af­fected mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties were the only source of em­ploy­ment, hope and liveli­hood, the coun­cils now have height­ened con­tes­ta­tion. This, Van Rooyen said, leads to se­ri­ous lead­er­ship and gov­er­nance chal­lenges as well as cor­rup­tion.

The min­is­ter said many of th­ese mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties were de­pen­dent on grant fund­ing from the na­tional fiscus for their sur­vival.

“Wors­en­ing the sit­u­a­tion are mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties adopt­ing un­funded bud­gets. That is ex­actly what is preva­lent in some of th­ese mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties.”

Cogta, which has vis­ited North West, North­ern Cape and Free State, wants the re­cov­ery plans to be adopted by the af­fected coun­cils, dis­trict mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties and cab­i­net in the re­spec­tive prov­inces.

Van Rooyen also re­vealed that de­mar­ca­tion leg­is­la­tion, which guides com­po­si­tion and re­quired char­ac­ter­is­tics of a func­tional mu­nic­i­pal­ity, was be­ing re­viewed.

Lo­cal gov­ern­ment has ex­pe­ri­enced prob­lems when im­pov­er­ished coun­cils were amal­ga­mated.

The DA ex­pressed shock that Van Rooyen was craft­ing a new way of do­ing things.

“Re­cov­ery plan: that thing is an­noy­ing. Th­ese mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties are be­ing looted by your peo­ple, politi­cians and mu­nic­i­pal man­agers,” the DA’s David Mat­sepe said.

Mat­sepe said Van Rooyen should rather in­form Par­lia­ment about the out­comes of in­ves­ti­ga­tions car­ried out in coun­cils as op­posed to telling them about do­ing things dif­fer­ently.

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