Com­pe­tent of­fi­cials for bet­ter muni gov­er­nance, says Mboweni

Grocott's Mail - - NEWS - STAFF RE­PORTER

The em­ploy­ment of qual­i­fied, com­pe­tent and in­cor­rupt­ible of­fi­cials is key to trans­parency and bet­ter gov­er­nance pro­cesses in mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties, says Fi­nance Min­is­ter Tito Mboweni, tabling his tabled his first Medium Term Bud­get Pol­icy State­ment (MTBPS) in Par­lia­ment. Mboweni also said ed­u­ca­tion, health, so­cial de­vel­op­ment and com­mu­nity de­vel­op­ment would re­ceive over 60% of non-in­ter­est ex­pen­di­ture.

Mboweni said all South Africans share the pain of poorly per­form­ing mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties, which re­sults in bad roads and un­main­tained in­fra­struc­ture, among oth­ers.

He said gov­ern­ment is “acutely” aware that some mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties are fac­ing ca­pac­ity con­straints.

“Mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties owe more than R23 bil­lion to ser­vice providers, mainly Eskom, and wa­ter ser­vice agen­cies,” Mboweni said, adding that this was a re­flec­tion of weak­nesses in gov­er­nance, fraud and out­right cor­rup­tion.

“The funds lost by mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties in the col­lapse of VBS Mu­tual Bank of­fer a dra­matic il­lus­tra­tion of how greed and cor­rup­tion im­pacts the achieve­ment of de­vel­op­men­tal ob­jec­tives,” he said of the cur­rent storm en­gulf­ing the mu­tual bank, which has been placed un­der cu­ra­tor­ship.

The Min­is­ter also spoke of the cases where con­tracts are awarded cor­ruptly and con­struc­tion costs are in­flated.

“We must re­pair our towns and our streets, and fix the pipes un­der our roads,” he said.

Mboweni said the gov­ern­ment was de­vel­op­ing mea­sures to im­prove trans­parency and gov­er­nance pro­cesses.

Key to this, he said, was the em­ploy­ment of qual­i­fied, com­pe­tent and in­cor­rupt­ible of­fi­cials.

Mboweni said the gov­ern­ment is at­tend­ing to the san­i­ta­tion is­sues faced by schools around the coun­try and that no child should learn in a school that is un­safe.

“Our chil­dren must have ac­cess to ad­e­quate san­i­ta­tion. We have com­mit­ted to erad­i­cat­ing pit la­trines at schools. The Pres­i­dent [Cyril Ramaphosa] has di­rected that there be a plan to en­sure all schools have safe and ap­pro­pri­ate san­i­ta­tion,” said the Min­is­ter.

Mboweni said gov­ern­ment will en­sure that girl learn­ers have ac­cess to san­i­tary pads, with sev­eral prov­inces al­ready hav­ing rolled out the pro­vi­sion of free pads in schools.

“Funds will be added to the pro­vin­cial eq­ui­table share to en­able prov­inces to pro­gres­sively fur­ther this ob­jec­tive,” Mboweni said.


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