Limpopo municipality to lose bailout

2017-03-07 14:27

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Polokwane - The Limpopo government is threatening to halt a bailout for the financially troubled Thabazimbi Local Municipality, ordering the council to clean up the mess it inherited from the previous African National Congress-led administration in the province's Waterberg region.
 
Treasury MEC Rob Tooley on Tuesday told the legislature that there was no end in sight to the financial crisis in the council.
 
The council's account was attached in 2016 by the sheriff of the court after service providers dragged the council to court over unpaid debts.
 
"We can't continue to bail out these municipalities. Municipalities are another sphere of government, however we have responsibilities to assist this municipality and in our meeting Thabazimbi continues to have challenges in revenue collection," Tooley.
 
"They continue to have challenges with outstanding creditors, their debts are high and we concluded yesterday [Monday] that they must give a full status report. They don't have an assets register," said Tooley.
 
The council was also ordered to reverse illegal salary increases awarded by the then ANC-led council before the local government elections in 2016.
 
"It was not appropriate and it was illegal, therefore they must address that, and when they have addressed those matters then we will sit and have talks with them."

Economic growth

Tooley was presenting the R61.4bn provincial budget for the 2017/18 financial year in the provincial legislature in Lebowakgomo.
 
A huge chunk of the budget, R28bn, was allocated to the department of education, followed by health with R18bn while transport, public works, roads and infrastructure were each allocated less than R4bn.
 
The government is planning to collect R1.1bn in revenue for the 2017/18 financial year, an increase from R1bn in the 2016/17 financial year.
 
Tooley appealed to stakeholders mandated to drive the provincial economy's growth to work hard and ensure that they contribute effectively and relieve stress on the provincial allocations.
 
Although the local economy has been on a growth trend, most recently recording a 2% GDP growth rate, that figure is below the Limpopo Development Plan's targeted GDP growth of 3% which was deemed suitable to stimulate job creation.
 
Tooley said only the Waterberg district has shown a positive economic growth compared to the other four districts in the province.
 
However, Tooley said he believed that the planned Special Economic Zones set for Musina-Makhado will help boost economy.

Read more on:    polokwane  |  economy

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