- Cabinet has approved the national government's intervention in the Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality.
- The controversial Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality in the Eastern Cape has also been placed under administration.
- Both municipalities have failed spectacularly in managing their finances and delivering services.
Cabinet has approved an intervention into the Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality, which includes Bloemfontein, placing it firmly in the hands of the national government.
According to a Cabinet statement, post its meeting held on Wednesday, the Mangaung Metro has been experiencing "significant financial and service delivery failures" for a prolonged period.
The controversial Enoch Mgijima Local municipality has also been placed under administration.
"The invocation of a national intervention in terms of Section 139(7) of the Constitution implies that in both municipalities, national government will now act in the stead of the provincial executive. This type of intervention is mandatory and follows the same procedure as Section 139(5) of the Constitution, except that national government will now directly assume responsibility for these interventions," the statement read.
Section 139 of the Constitution gives the national government the authority to take over all municipal governance when it has failed to deliver basic services as mandated.
The Free State government placed the Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality under a mandatory intervention in December 2019.
A mandatory financial recovery plan was subsequently imposed on the municipality in 2020.
After failing for more than two years to implement the financial recovery plan during the provincial intervention, the metro has now been placed under a national intervention.
The embattled metro was put under administration after the national government raised concerns about its "fiscal capacity".
The national Cogta department also found that the municipality was operating at a deficit and that it was facing severe financial risks.
Meanwhile, the Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality was also placed under national government control for the wayward handling of its finances.
This cash-strapped municipality made national headlines last year for awarding an R15 million tender to build a shoddy sports field in Lesseyton.
No action has been taken against anyone thus far, despite promises from government to do so.
In 2018, the Eastern Cape government placed the municipality under administration.
"However, after the municipality failed to make progress in improving its financial and service delivery performance, Cabinet decided to place it under a national intervention," a statement read.
To give effect to the assumption of responsibility, national cabinet representatives (NCR) are to be deployed to both municipalities.
“The Minister of Finance will delegate powers to the NCR and will also be supported by a multidisciplinary team of experts. No decision has yet been taken to dissolve the municipal council in terms of Section 139(5)(b) of the Constitution,” it said.
The Section 139(1) intervention into the Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality will also be replaced by an intervention which will also cover the failure of the municipality to fulfil its executive obligations.
Minister in The Presidency Mondli Gungubele, Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana and Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma will further outline the plans next week.
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