Municipalities told to fix, not build new

2014-08-14 00:00

CO-OPERATIVE Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube yesterday encouraged municipalities to fix instead of build.

Tabling the department’s budget, she said Cogta’s focus would be on the maintenance of infrastructure to ensure there was continuity in service delivery.

“If not, we will regress in terms of provision of services,” Dube-Ncube said.

The MEC said the trend among councils was to use the little infrastructure funds available to roll out new infrastructure, instead of ensuring allocations were made for maintenance of infrastructure investment.

“We do have a principle that municipalities are supposed to set aside between five percent and eight percent of capital budget for operations and maintenance. What we need is enforcement of that. Every municipality knows this,” Dube-Ncube said.

This follows an announcement that municipalities in KwaZulu-Natal are set to spend R1 billion on connection of electricity to houses.

The province’s municipalities have been allocated a R3,2 billion municipal infrastructure grant in this financial year.

The water infrastructure grant allocation stands at R1,5 billion for the next three financial years.

Dube-Ncube also said she wanted councils to go back to the basics in governance. She added that attention would be paid to co-ordinate support provided to municipalities.

“This will include establishing a task team to unlock and fast-track service delivery in the province,” Dube-Ncube said, adding that they should be able to respond rapidly if problems surface.

She said more attention would be paid to troubled councils led by coalition government.

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