Measures to support struggling municipalities

Friday, July 26, 2019

Government will continue to implement support measures to improve the state of affairs at municipalities flagged by the Auditor General’s report, says Deputy President David Mabuza.

The Deputy President said this when he fielded oral questions in the National Assembly on Thursday.

The Auditor General identified 48 municipalities that require special intervention in his 2017/18 consolidated report. 

“In this regard, the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs will continue to implement support measures to improve leadership and governance in municipalities, including specific focus on financial sustainability,” he said.

Among other key areas, support is provided to ensure that action plans are implemented to reverse the negative audit outcomes.

“In collaboration with National Treasury and SALGA [SA Local Government Association], CoGTA is providing targeted support to improve revenue collection, budgeting, accounts reconciliation, debt management, and the implementation of financial recovery plans,” said Mabuza.

The department was also supporting municipalities through post-audit action plans, capacity building and strengthening financial and performance management systems.

These interventions were complemented by the already deployed District Technical Support Teams. 

“Through the Municipal Infrastructure Support Agency, struggling municipalities are supported to accelerate the implementation of infrastructure projects that address the delivery of basic services such as water and sanitation.

“This support also includes procurement, contract management, project management, infrastructure maintenance, and the overall institutional capacity to roll out key developmental infrastructure.”

The Deputy President said to strengthen government’s support to local government, President Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed an Inter-Ministerial Committee on Service Delivery at District Level to coordinate the work of government on the delivery of services in a manner that responds promptly to community concerns.

“In the main, this committee will work with CoGTA and key service delivery departments to respond in an integrated and coordinated fashion to challenges raised by communities.

“Where appropriate, it will also enlist and mobilise partnerships with the private sector to complement government’s resources in responding to urgent development and service delivery challenges.”

The Deputy President said the department has indicated that within the next month, it will brief Parliament on a comprehensive five-year strategic framework. 

“This will succinctly outline interventions aimed at changing the face of local municipalities. 

“We anticipate that Parliament will engage the department’s strategic framework when it is tabled so that together we can ensure the speedy implementation of interventions that will improve the quality of service delivery to all our people.” –