Municipality rehabilitation planned
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.