Unworthy of it

2007-12-03 00:00

The recent grant of an award for excellence to the uMngeni Municipality has been greeted with incredulity and dismay. Given criticism of its recent performance, it is hard to believe that it has earned marks for service delivery, infrastructural development and good governance.

This is a local government authority that deals with its ratepayers in a less than civil or efficient way. It has been criticised for acting without consultation and hiking rates beyond reasonable levels. Members of staff have been investigated for fraud and corruption, and there have been numerous complaints about poor management. uMngeni Municipality has attracted qualified audits and these would seem by their very nature to eliminate it from consideration for any positive recognition. The ability to manage finances efficiently goes to the very heart of good governance. But above all, awards of this nature are fatally flawed without the opinion of those the competitors are there to serve — the ratepaying public.

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