Western Cape govt steps in after two municipalities fail to adopt budgets for new financial year

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David Maynier.
David Maynier.
Malherbe Nienaber, Netwerk24
  • The Central Karoo District Municipality and the Kannaland Municipality are facing formal action after failing to adopt budgets for the new municipal financial year.
  • MEC David Maynier said failure to approve the annual budget places sustained service delivery at risk.
  • Until a temporary budget is approved by the provincial executive, withdrawals from the municipality's bank accounts may only be done with Maynier's prior approval.

The Western Cape government is taking formal action against the Central Karoo District Municipality and the Kannaland Municipality after they failed to adopt budgets for the new municipal financial year by 1 July.

And until a temporary budget is approved by the provincial executive, withdrawals from the municipalities' bank accounts may only be done with the prior approval of Western Cape Finance and Economic Opportunities MEC David Maynier.

READ | SA's municipalities racked up R26 billion in irregular expenditure - AG

Immediate measures by the provincial executive may include directing the council to consider a budget for approval, dissolving the municipal council, appointing an administrator and approving a temporary budget.

Maynier said both municipalities are in breach of the Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA), requiring provincial government to intervene.

"Throughout the period leading to this non-compliance, the Western Cape government has sought to support both municipalities to adhere to the provisions of the MFMA," Maynier said.

This included several formal letters to the mayors and speakers of both municipalities from both Maynier and Anton Bredell, Western Cape MEC for local government, environmental affairs and development planning.

Service delivery at risk

Bredell said the speakers of both municipalities have repeatedly convened council meetings to facilitate the approval of the budgets but each time "political impasses have led to a breakdown in good governance".

Maynier said a failure to approve the annual budget places sustained service delivery at risk.

"It also has severe legal consequences. These include the fact that National Treasury may stop the transfer of funds to both municipalities," he said.

"Unfortunately, the persistent delay in tabling and adopting the 2021-'22 annual budget does not reflect well on both municipalities and their leadership. I have repeatedly stressed the importance of maintaining the basic tenets of good governance and their duties to the respective mayors.

"Furthermore, Provincial Treasury has done everything possible to support both municipalities to avoid this outcome.

"As a result of the governance failures by these municipalities, we will now take the formal action required of us by the Constitution and the MFMA to secure the continued delivery of services to residents of these municipalities."

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