Mayors sign performance deal

2010-10-09 00:00

MAYORS from all 61 municipalities in KwaZulu-Natal will face the axe if they fail to meet required service delivery targets set for them by the provincial Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Department.

This was revealed by Cogta MEC Nomusa Dube after the 61 mayors signed performance agreements at a function held at Sinodale Centre in Pietermaritzburg yesterday.

The signing of the agreement was accompanied by the formal presentation of municipal standing committees on public accounts (Scopas) and an audit workshop aimed at enabling councillors to fulfil their oversight role effectively.

Dube said her department believes that sound financial management in municipalities is a necessary condition for accelerated development and democratic institution building.

“The ability of communities to access basic services such as water, electricity, refuse removal and sanitation depends on the efficiency with which the finances of our municipalities are managed,” she said.

Among the reasons that have driven residents to rise up against their municipalities “is the perception that not all is well with the management of public funds and resources”, which harm people’s wellbeing.

“I am also informed that among the contributory reasons that lead to poor fiscal management and accountability in our municipalities is the fact that senior administrators in municipalities do not welcome the support and advice from our department,” Dube added.

Outlining some of the goals of her department, Dube said that by the 2011/2012 financial year it plans to have eradicated qualified audits as well as adverse and disclaimer opinions on municipalities’ financial reports.

The acting HOD for Cogta, Frikkie Brooks, explaining what is entailed in the new agreement, said it is based on a Cogta document called Outcome 9, which encourages a responsive, accountable, effective and efficient local government system.

Among the issues identified by Outcome 9 as root causes of problems plaguing local government are weaknesses in the accountability systems, capacity and skills constraints, weak inter-governmental support and oversight, the inter-­governmental fiscal system, and political factors.

Some of the outputs related to Outcome 9 are: implementation of a differentiated approach to municipal financing, planning and support; improving access to basic services; actions supportive of the human settlement outcome; administrative and financial capability and implementation of a community work programme.

Dube’s spokesperson, Lennox Mabaso, said the MEC will monitor and evaluate the performance of municipalities every quarter with the aim of taking over those that fail to implement conditions outlined in the service delivery agreement.

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