Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Zweli Mkhize says several of the municipalities that were identified as dysfunctional have turned the corner and are on the road to recovery.This comes after the department deployed interventions to assist 87 municipalities that were distressed or dysfunctional last year. Responding to a question in Parliament on Wednesday Mkhize interventions were beginning to bear some fruits. “Of the 87 municipalities, 55 were supported through MISA to address service and infrastructure delivery challenges which manifested themselves in perennial underspending of MIG allocations. “Through MISA support, 44 of these municipalities have made significant improvement in performance. This positive change is mainly reflected in improved MIG spending, improvement in revenue collection, filling of vacancies in technical departments, among others,” he said.
Mkhize also said that only 11 of the 55 municipalities were recommended for stopping of MIG allocations for 2018/19 financial year for failing to achieve the 40% spending threshold by end of December 2018.He also said that there are some distressed municipalities that have improved and “which in our view deserve to be removed from the list of 55 dysfunctional municipalities”. “A total of 24 municipalities have significantly improved in terms of performance since deployment of district support teams,” he said. “Our Municipal Recovery Programme is moving very well and while challenges still remain in various municipalities, we are happy with the progress we have made thus far.”
Issues that have been attended toSome of the municipal issues that have been attended to include:
- Spending of Municipal Infrastructure Grant allocations.
- Filling critical technical positions and those of senior management.
- Improvements in revenue collection through the introduction of revenue enhancement strategies.
- The development and implementation of water conservation and demand management plans in some municipalities such as Matatiele, Kou Kama, Moses Kotane, Mafube, Letsemeng, uMzinyathi, Ugu and Abaqulusi.
- The right-sizing of municipal establishments.
- Removal of unaffordable supernumerary employees.
- Removal of inappropriately qualified officials.
- Firm stand on fraud and corruption, including consequent management and stronger role for Municipal Public Accounts Committees.