Councillors urged to put aside political differences

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) Zweli Mkhize has called on councillors to put aside their political differences to ensure the intervention programmes put in place to support distressed and dysfunctional municipalities succeed.

On Friday the Minister met with the leadership of nine municipalities in the Free State.

“This oversight visit to the Free State province is part of the ongoing programme by CoGTA geared to identifying municipalities with challenges and assist to come up with interventions that will ensure effective and efficient functioning municipalities,” Mkhize said.

Mkhize said municipalities must develop and implement clear turnaround plans to address the challenges they face.

He urged them to pay their bulk accounts with Eskom and the water boards.

“We should not tolerate corruption and the mismanagement of funds and there should be consequences for those found guilty,” the Minister said.

He said municipal grants should not be used to pay for anything other than what they are meant to finance.

Municipalities are expected to submit reports to CoGTA in four weeks from the date of Friday’s meeting and this will include all other municipalities in the province. Municipalities were also told to fill vacant key positions in three months with people who are qualified.

The issues that were discussed during the meeting include governance and administration, service delivery, infrastructure, financial management, poor revenue collection, political instability and leadership.

“All this challenges have unfortunately led to a public outcry in South Africa about poor performance of some municipalities which continue not to do well,” the department said.

It said municipalities should deliver basic services to the people such as the cutting of grass, refuse removal, provision of street lighting, water, sewerage systems and other services. –