Team will be dispatched to troubled municipality

Monday, September 28, 2009

Standerton - The Mpumalanga Government will this week dispatch a team of experts to help one of its municipalities deal with service delivery challenges.

Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC, Norman Mokoena, will dispatch a team consisting of a municipal manager and finance staff to the Lekwa Local municipality by the end of the week.

"As government we would like to reiterate our commitment to dealing with all issues that affect communities," said department spokesperson, Simphiwe Kunene, on Monday.

He said Lekwa was one of the four municipalities identified in a departmental investigation into under-performing municipalities. The other three are Mbombela in Nelspruit, Msukaligwa in Ermelo and Nkomazi in Malalane.

He said the department decided to intervene as part of its legally mandated obligation under Section 154(1) of the Constitution. The section stipulates that the department "support and strengthen the capacity of municipalities to manage their own affairs, to exercise powers and to perform their functions".

Kunene added that the department will address the problems identified by the investigation as "a matter of urgency".

"We will engage in dialogue and will work with the communities to ensure that we resolve all the issues."

He said Mokoena had appealed to the residents of the four municipalities to remain calm while the teams brought the situation in the municipalities back to normal.