Municipalities receive withheld equitable share

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Cape Town – Most of the municipalities whose equitable share was withheld by the National Treasury due to debt owed to Eskom and the National Water Board have now received their allocations.

Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba made the announcement when he chaired a press conference by the Governance Cluster on Sunday.

This comes after Parliament’s Select Committee on Appropriations expressed concerns that the withholding of the equitable share would affect 59 municipalities and potentially impact 1.3 million households.

“Regarding the withholding of the Equitable Share tranche for March 2015, National Treasury met with 38 of the 59 municipalities to date and 54 municipalities received their full tranche of the Equitable Share.

“Three municipalities received part of the Equitable Share tranche and two (Renosterberg and Ngwathe) did not receive any funds,” he said.

The withholding of the equitable share was a way for the National Treasury to encourage municipalities to pay and honour their commitments to debt.

The Minister said of the total R2.08 billion equitable share withheld, R2.02 billion has been released and that 48 out of 51 municipalities have signed Eskom agreements.

He said 12 out of 14 municipalities have signed water board agreements.

“As per the President’s Coordinating Council’s resolutions, National Treasury issued letters to all national departments owing municipalities, while letters have been issued to provincial treasuries for provincial debt owed to municipalities.”

Minister Gigaba said, meanwhile, that Municipal Infrastructure Support Agency (MISA) continued to provide technical support to municipalities between April 2015 and September 2015.  

He said that the agency had approximately 50 engineers and town planners providing support to 120 municipalities.

“These personnel have been providing technical support to municipalities with infrastructure planning, implementation, operation and/or maintenance of municipal infrastructure.

“It also has about 600 young graduates, apprentices and experiential learners allocated to municipalities,” he said.

Integration zones in the pipeline

The Minister said, meanwhile, that Cogta has conducted consultations on the Draft Integrated Urban Development Framework (IUDF) with stakeholders.

He said that as part of implementing the framework and the proposals identified in the Built Environment Performance Plans, metropolitan municipalities submitted their council-approved BEPPs to National Treasury.

“The plans identified priority integration zones, which will be the focus for pursuing intergovernmental alignment. CoGTA and National Treasury are engaging metros to discuss implementation plans and determine the support required for the integration zones.” –

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