Councils ‘must watch on spending’

2009-09-10 00:00

COUNCILLORS need to play their oversight roles at municipalities or be equipped on how to do so, the KwaZulu-Natal Local Government Association (KwaNaloga)said yesterday.

Speaking during a presentation on the state of service delivery in KZN municipalities to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) committee of the KZN Legislature, KwaNaloga spokesman Sandile Cele said that roles of councillors need to be specified.

Cele said the capacity needed at municipalities includes financial management, procurement management, planning and budgeting, public participation, integrated development plans, as well as community-based planning and feedback mechanisms between councils and communities.

He said other issues affecting municipalities include challenges between office bearers and the administration, relations between district and local municipalities, relations between ward and proportional representative councillors and non-payment of money owed to municipalities by government departments.

Speaking about what triggers service delivery protests, Cele mentioned a lack of service delivery and “perceived” fraud and corruption to be among the main factors.

To try and solve challenges faced by municipalities, Cele proposed that KwaNaloga;

• hold quarterly seminars targeting all municipal managers, chief financial officers and the provincial Local Government Department to address identified needs and to provide support to needy municipalities;

• revisit the status of poor communities, who are entirely dependant on grants, and conduct a survey by the department, assisted by KwaNaloga to assess these needs, and

• train or capacitate municipal officials with skills and knowledge around procurement matters and the Municipal Finance Management Act.

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