Shock report on municipalities

2008-03-18 13:18
Cape Town - Most of the country's municipalities are still performing less than 50% of the functions they are meant to carry out, a report released on Tuesday showed.

The Municipal Demarcation Board undertakes an assessment of the capacity of all 46 district and 231 local municipalities to establish if they have the necessary resources to perform the functions assigned to them by the Constitution.

The board's 2007/2008 National Capacity Assessment Report showed that 74% of district municipalities performed less than 50% of their functions.

In the same period 53% of all local municipalities performed less than 50% of their functions.

The functions differed for municipalities but included basic services such as refuse removal and sanitation, municipal planning, the upkeep and building of municipal infrastructure such as roads and storm water drains and upkeep of parks and cemeteries.

On average the district municipalities had 12 assigned functions while local municipalities had 38.

Lack of experience

In the same report the board noted that an "exceedingly high" number of municipal manager positions were being filled with people with limited experience of both local government and the position itself.

The national average of municipalities with Chief Financial Officer positions totalled 75%.

While most people in these positions have some form of tertiary qualification, over 90% have less than six years of experience.

Only 68% of the Municipal Manager Corporate Services positions in the country were filled.

Technical Service Managers positions were generally staffed but the majority of managers had limited experience in the position - with just over half of the managers having more than five years of local government experience.

The report said that while 57% of these technical managers had appropriate qualifications, this was insufficient because of the national imperative to deliver basic services.

Only 30% of the Integrated Development Planning Manager positions at municipalities were filled.

- SAPA
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