Cut the luxuries, MEC warns

2009-07-22 00:00

MUNICIPALITIES in the province have been urged to cut frivolous spending and reprioritise their spending amid the current global economic meltdown.

KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Local Government and Traditional Affairs, Willies Mchunu, issued this directive while he was tabling his department’s budget vote in the legislature yesterday.

Mchunu conveyed the stern warning that some municipalities were still spending their budgets on “frills and luxuries”, despite warnings from the Finance Department.

“In the time when the country is in recession everybody should tighten their belts and spend wisely and more on service delivery. It was worrying that some leaders in municipalities appear to be oblivious to the current economic difficulties,” he said.

Municipalities, said Mchunu, should reduce their spending on hotel accommodation, flying first-class and attending every function across the country even if it is not part of their core business. The limited monetary resources at disposal, he added, must be spent on community development projects rather than on avoidable expenses.

Presenting his R1,2 billion budget, Mchunu said that his department will work with role-players to eradicate corruption.

He said corruption siphons funds and depletes resources earmarked for the poor. He said his department will continue to act on information coming through from the municipal anti-corruption hotline.

“I appeal to all those who are languishing in perpetual guilt for the way they have abused taxpayers’ money to desist, before we come [down] hard on them. In dealing with corruption at all levels, we will be blind to political regalia, emblem or loyalty,” said Mchunu.

He said that the process of establishment of the municipal standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) in all municipalities is at an advanced stage.

Mchunu said that his department will assist in fighting crime as well.

“Our contribution to this war is to mobilise our stakeholders in the local government sector, including traditional leaders, ward committees, and community development workers [CDWs] to play an active role in strengthening our fight against crime,” he said.

In heeding KZN Premier Zweli Mkhize’s call for “one garden, one home” campaign, CDWs and ward committees working collectively with traditional leaders will be at the forefront of driving this process on the ground.

The MEC said R163 345 million will be allocated to facilitate the new mandate of integrated and co-operative governance, and the department will soon undergo a name change to the Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Department.


Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.