Municipality under fire

2018-05-23 06:01
The Save Tsantsabane Coalition (STC) hopes that a look in the direction of the distressed Tsantsabane Local Municipality by government will see an end to sewerage overflowing into streets.Photo: Supplied

The Save Tsantsabane Coalition (STC) hopes that a look in the direction of the distressed Tsantsabane Local Municipality by government will see an end to sewerage overflowing into streets.Photo: Supplied

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A close eye is being kept on conditions at the Tsantsabane Local Municipality by the Save Tsantsabane Coalition (STC) with regard to the outcomes of joint efforts to address the challenges in the distressed municipality.

This follows STC delegates personally delivering a letter with grievances to the premier on Wednesday (16/05), calling for the municipality to be put under administration.

They threatened to fill up busses and protest at the doorstep of the premier’s office, should there be no action or feedback within 14 days.

The concern raised was the lack of progress by the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) and the National Treasury (NT) regarding intervention as instructed by Minister Des van Rooyen in 2017.

It seems the failure to make payments and honour financial commitments continues.

According to Alister Davids, STC leader, the Tsantsabane Municipality had owed R138 700 142 by end of March and was over 60 days late in submitting its annual financial statements to the Auditor General for the 2015-’16 and 2016-’17 financial years.

He revealed that the municipality had regressed from a qualified opinion for 2015-’16 to a disclaimer for the 2016-’17 financial year.

The memorandum of understanding (MOU) declares this a dysfunctional municipality, which requires urgent intervention.

A joint technical intervention team in terms of the Municipal Systems Act and the Municipal Finance Management Act has been set up.

“We welcome the signed MOU as per announcement by the Minister of Cogta, Zweli Mkhize,” said Davids.

“We hope to get spontaneous briefings from the task team in terms of the set goals and programmes.”

He further raised concern about the consultants continuously appointed by the municipality who do not transfer skills to the community.

“We will be closely monitoring the situation for the improvement plan.”

According to Davids, basic services such as water and electricity supply, sanitation and waste management were a complete disaster, resulting in raw sewerage flowing in the streets and into people’s yards.

He said they had rely on the mines and solar companies to rescue them, as the Kolomela Mine had done by repairing the pump station.

“The mushrooming of illegal dumping sites is also evident as no refuse is collected,” said a frustrated Davids.

He added that ordinary council meetings were not held, due to political mismanagement, while the integrated development plan (IDP) budget process was not being adhered to.

The premier’s office promised to take note of the correspondence from the STC.

“The issues raised are cause for concern and the provincial administration as a whole has prioritised service delivery as being on top of government’s agenda,” stated Bronwyn Thomas of the premier’s office.

“Any municipality found not fulfilling its constitutional and regulatory mandate can be placed under administration after due process has been complied with.

“The premier will raise the matter with the( Northern Cape) MEC for Coghsta to look into the matter and resolve it in the best possible manner.”


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