Limpopo government prepares to go it alone

2014-07-27 15:00

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Limpopo Premier Stan Mathabatha is “excited” that the province is finally ready to stand on its own two feet, according to his spokesperson.

But there are two more hurdles before the national government’s administration team can leave Limpopo.

Tomorrow, an interministerial team led by Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene is due to meet Mathabatha in Polokwane to discuss the two-and-a-half-year-old section 100 administration. On Wednesday, the National Council of Provinces will discuss the termination of the period of administration imposed by

National Treasury in December 2011.

The administration was supposed to repair the province’s wrecked finances and pull five departments out of a morass of mismanagement and alleged corruption.

These were the provincial treasury itself, led by MEC David Masondo; the education department, led by the province’s deputy chairperson Dickson Masemola; MEC Pinky Kekana’s roads and transport department; Thabitha Mohlala’s public works department; and Dikeledi Magadzi’s health and social development department.

But since Mathabatha assumed premiership last July, sources in his government have suggested he’s unhappy with the power wielded by the administration team.

The administrators created strict measures to manage cash flow and supporters of the provincial government said this made it difficult to provide services.

Earlier this month, City Press revealed the ANC in Limpopo had suggested at a recent lekgotla that the administrators’ tough stance had cost the party votes during the May elections.

City Press has seen a letter from Nene to Mathabatha in which the minister made the point that the provincial government would have to meet some conditions before the administration withdrew for good.

“Cabinet noted that the intervention team has produced a commendable and positive outcome for the financial sustainability of the province and initiated a number of important projects designed to maintain the momentum of the gains made since the intervention began,” Nene wrote.

“However, Cabinet also noted that several issues need to be addressed and that the provincial executive must be asked to address these as a condition for the withdrawal of the intervention.”

Nene said that Cabinet had endorsed a memorandum of agreement between the province and the interministerial committee, which will contain conditions and

directives to be signed by both parties.

Mathabatha’s spokesperson Kenny Mathivha said the premier was happy with the plan.

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