Struggling municipalities 'shameful'
Johannesburg - The Independent Democrats' parliamentary leader Joe Mcgluwa on Sunday called on President Jacob Zuma and the Cabinet to support struggling municipalities to prevent their total collapse.
This comes after weekend media reports indicate that 66 of the country's 278 municipalities are in financial distress and 37 others are headed in that direction, according to the national treasury.
"It is shameful that nearly 40% of the country’s municipalities are facing financial meltdown," Mcgluwa said.
"The ID will pose questions to both the treasury and the department of co-operative governance to determine the identity and detailed status of the municipalities said to be in financial distress and the corrective measures in place in this regard," Mcgluwa said.
Symptoms of poor financial management in municipalities included cadre deployment, crucial posts being left vacant, political interference and poor revenue collection, the Sunday Times reported.
Some municipalities struggled to pay employees and contractors, risking service delivery. This also created an environment conducive to corruption.
A significant number of municipalities underspent on capital items and grants, and there was a trend to cut infrastructure maintenance spending.
By the end of the financial year last June, 20 municipalities reported closing cash positions that exceeded one month's operating expenditure requirements.
Fifty municipalities failed to report closing cash positions, the paper reported.