Ramokgopa announces executive reshuffle

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Pretoria - Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality Executive Mayor Gwen Ramokgopa has acknowledged that an overhaul of the council's management structures is needed if the embattled municipality is to be rescued from its current financial woes.

The mayor said on Tuesday that as part of the rescue strategy, a process had been initiated to reshuffle the executive committee, a move that will see certain members making way for new people.

It is not clear as to who will replace who and in which portfolio as yet. However, the Council's Speaker has been redeployed and a process is underway to replace him.

Ramokgopa, her executive and City Manager Kiba Kekana have come under severe pressure since reports surfaced in the media about the municipality's trembling financial state.

The municipality is currently faced with a deficit of more than R1 billion.

Ramokgopa, on Tuesday insisted that the municipality was slowly but surely on the way to recovery.

She blamed the global economic crisis and the slow pace of revenue collection as among the factors that led to the city being rendered financially unsound.

There are also around 90 000 households in and around Pretoria registered as indigents, who are unable pay for their municipal services.

There has further been a sharp increase in the city's population, a phenomenon Ramokgopa said had put strain on resources and especially the allocation of houses.

"We don't know whether these people have been coming in because of our track record of success, but we have been experiencing a huge population growth," she said.

Ramokgopa has further committed herself to reducing the municipality's bank overdraft to no more than R800 million by the end of this month.

She appealed to those people who can, to pay their municipal services on time. The municipality's deficit on non-payment of dept that are 30 days or older improved in the month of September to just over R20 million, Ramokgopa said.

Meanwhile, the ruling party has said that Ramokgopa will not be recalled as the capital city's mayor