NW municipalities to get support from govt

Monday, September 14, 2009

Mafikeng - Eight municipalities in the North West will as a matter of urgency, receive intensive support from the provincial government during the current and next financial years.

A comprehensive assessment of municipalities by the Department of Local Government and Traditional Affairs on municipalities in the province has identified Ventersdorp, Tswaing, Lekwa Teemane, Mamusa, Moretele, Maquassi Hills, Kgetleng and Naledi local municipalities as troubled municipalities.

This was announced by the North West MEC for Local Government and Traditional Affairs, Gordon Kegakilwe, at the recent provincial launch of Operation Clean Audit campaign.

Conceding to challenges regarding the application of good governance principles in municipalities, Kegakilwe mentioned that the report identified lack of political and administrative interface, lack of accountability, weal financial management, poor service delivery as well as weak public participation structures as some of the challenges faced by municipalities.

He said that the department had already established a partnership with the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) to deploy financial experts to "specifically build capacity" at municipalities.

"I must further admit that financial administration in our municipalities is still a challenge because there is a high vacancy rate in the budget and treasury of our municipalities and a low level of in-house financial skills.

"Skills retention in our municipalities is still a challenge and it takes time to fill vacant post", he said.

Kegakilwe also announced that the intervention at the Ditsobotla Local Municipality last year had yielded positive result.

"The municipality has transformed from having an overdraft to a positive bank account in just over six months.

"Salaries are now being paid from the municipality's coffers after relying on the district for some time, outstanding creditors are being paid, general financial management has now improved and outstanding annual financial statements for 2006/2007 and 2007/2008 have been compiled and submitted to the Auditor General," he said.

Kegakilwe committed the department to working tirelessly with municipalities to ensure the realisation of clean audits by 2014.