Cogta has eye on City

2018-03-23 13:33
First day of the KZN Local Government Indaba addressed by the Cooperative Government and Traditional Affairs MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube at Greyville in Durban on Thursday.

First day of the KZN Local Government Indaba addressed by the Cooperative Government and Traditional Affairs MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube at Greyville in Durban on Thursday. (Mandla Mkhize )

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Msunduzi Municipality is among eight errant KwaZulu-Natal councils giving the provincial Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) a headache.

The city was singled out on Thursday as one of eight municipalities in the province receiving close attention from Cogta.

Local government acting chief director, Sicelo Duma, said, “We are spending a lot of time at these municipalities.

“We are making sure that they improve their situations.”

Duma was speaking at the KZN Local Government Indaba, which was called to discuss the state of affairs in KZN councils.

Cogta Minister Zweli Mkhize is expected to address the gathering on Friday.

Three of the eight municipalities have already been put under administration: Mooi-Mpofana, Inkosi Langalibalele and Edumbe.

Msunduzi, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Edumeni, Abaqulusi and Endumeni are receiving support, Duma said.

Cogta MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube said most of the province’s municipalities were in dire financial stress and were failing to deliver on services.

“A number of indicators have suggested that many municipalities are becoming neither viable nor sustainable.

“This undermines their historical mandate to speed up and broaden service delivery to the majority of our communities. Indicators of a non-viable municipality include grant dependence, the inability to collect revenue due a municipality and consequently the inability to roll out an effective service delivery programme with the necessary capable expertise.

“There is compelling evidence that shows that municipalities are becoming increasingly dependent on grants to fund their operations. Average levels of grant dependence rose above 70% in 2017.

“Presently too many municipalities in the province receive more than 75% of their revenue from national transfers. These are mainly rural municipalities that have minimal economic activity.

“Another factor affecting the viability and sustainability of municipalities is the non-payment of monies owed to municipalities. In the recent analysis, monies owed to municipalities by consumers was R17,5 billion.

“One of the causes for this is the inability of the poor to meet their basic commitments to municipalities. Businesses and other affording citizens are, however, also responsible for monies owed to municipalities,” she said.

Dube-Ncube said political infighting and politicisation of the labour force in KZN councils was also another factor contributing to municipal failures.

“Political infighting is a stumbling block and political parties need to talk about this because the big losers in this are the citizens who do not get services.

“Administrators get distracted by this and forget about their jobs,” she said.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  msunduzi municipality

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