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Government ready to fix struggling municipalities, says David Mabuza

Deputy President David Mabuza. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng/African News Agency(ANA)

Deputy President David Mabuza. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng/African News Agency(ANA)

Published Nov 19, 2021


CAPE TOWN - Deputy President David Mabuza re-affirmed that all municipalities remained a priority in meeting the people’s basic needs to access basic services such as water, sanitation, electricity and refuse removal.

“Municipalities are there to ensure people’s quality of life and living conditions are of desired standards that safeguard and guarantee human dignity,” Mabuza said.

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He made the statement during the oral question session in the National Council of Provinces.

ANC chief whip Seiso Mohai asked whether the government has identified municipalities that need urgent assistance to ensure rapid response interventions regarding service delivery and trouble-shooting in service delivery hotspots.

Mohai also asked what interventions the government has put in place to change the current state of municipalities and ensure their ability to deliver basic services to communities.

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He also enquired about the number of affected municipalities and the areas of concern to be tackled.

In his response, Mabuza said their rapid response measures would aim to address in good time any emergency challenges at any municipal level to prevent collapse of services to the people.

“We do so because we are mindful of challenges faced by a number of municipalities,” he said.

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However, he said some of the challenges and weaknesses were well documented by Auditor-General Tsakani Maluleke as part of the financial and performance audit outcomes.

In her latest municipal audit outcomes, Maluleke said the audit results under outgoing administration showed little sign of improvement from the previous term.

The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) has found 64 municipalities as dysfunctional and needing urgent support.

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Mabuza said the high risk municipalities were characterised by infighting, weak decision making, poor performance, lack of consequence management, poor collection of revenue and poor response to service delivery complaints.

“Unfortunately, such failures have a ripple effect on the finances of municipalities and the inevitable quality and speed of service delivery.”

Mabuza urged Parliament to prioritise support and improve oversight to local government.

He also said the government would utilise the district development model as a platform where all the spheres could meet and plan together.

“Now we are waiting for municipal councils to confirm leadership so that we can start to hit the road running and attend to these ailing infrastructures that continue to disrupt service meant for our people.”

Cape Times

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