Sunday World

Local government in poor shape, says Ramaphosa

There is weak oversight and accounabil­ity

- By George Matlala

President Cyril Ramaphosa has decried the state of local government, saying it is in an “extremely poor” shape in the run up to the municipal polls.

Ramaphosa told a meeting of the ANC national executive committee on Friday that the poor state of local government, which is at the coal face of service delivery, was an indictment on the governing party.

“Local government, which is central to meeting this responsibi­lity, is in an extremely poor state. With respect to overall audit outcomes, the AG found that most municipali­ties are now in a worse position than at the beginning of this term of local government,” he said.

“While 46 municipali­ties improved their audit outcomes, 61 municipali­ties declined. That is not only an indictment of the leadership of those municipali­ties; it is

also an indictment of the ANC, which is the governing party in most of these councils,” he added.

Ramaphosa said the financial crisis in municipali­ties was part of a far broader crisis of governance, operationa­l performanc­e and legitimacy.

There was weak oversight and lack of accountabi­lity in municipali­ties, he said, adding that “fraud and corruption continue unabated”.

“There is a shortage of skilled leadership and management. This situation has contribute­d to declining levels of voter participat­ion in elections and diminishin­g support for the ANC,” he said.

“This resulted in the loss of several key municipali­ties and the emergence of coalition government­s.

“Our experience since then has demonstrat­ed that coalition government­s are incapable of effectivel­y driving developmen­t, providing quality services or ensuring proper accountabi­lity,” he added.

With the local elections looming, Ramaphosa said the party had to consider the impact of counsellor selection and deployment.

“We should focus on three key positions – mayor, municipal manager and CFO [chief financial officer],” he said.

“Should we implement a policy that the two key officials in municipali­ties – the municipal manager and CFO – should only be confirmed after Cooperativ­e Governance and Treasury respective­ly have vetted the candidates?” the president asked.

 ??  ?? Cyril Ramaphosa
Cyril Ramaphosa

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