Govt sets task of building efficient local government

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Fresh from the 2021 Local Government Elections on 1 November, Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana says government has set itself an immediate task of building a capable local government that delivers services effectively and efficiently.

Delivering the 2021 Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS), he said the 2022 Budget would give details on the steps National Treasury would be pursuing in this regard. In his speech, Godongwana said the country’s municipalities would over the next three years receive R450 billion from the national fiscus.

“Currently, there are 43 municipalities countrywide which are in financial crisis, with another 100 municipalities at risk of similar crisis.”

To deal with the 43, he said he had specified the expected course of action to be taken by all premiers and provincial executive committee in ensuring that problems in these municipalities are dealt with in a more sustainable manner.

“This is in line with the national government’s commitment to ensuring sound fiscal management and greater fiscal responsibility in the local government sphere.”

While the 2021 Budget stated that the scope of the municipal infrastructure grant would be expanded to help municipalities improve their asset management practices, the change had been delayed to the upcoming 2022/23 financial year.

The Minister said the funds would not be allocated to a new indirect component of the grant at the beginning of that financial year.

“Funds may be transferred during the year if the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs does the work required to identify municipalities that need this intervention,” reads the MTBPS. –