Picture: African News Agency(ANA) Archives
Picture: African News Agency(ANA) Archives

Another lifeline for ailing Msunduzi municipality

By Kailene Pillay Time of article published Feb 14, 2020

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Durban - The South African Local Government Association (Salga) has dispatched a team from its provincial and national office to assist the ailing Msunduzi municipality.

The capital city has been on a downward spiral in recent years resulting in the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs placing it under administration last year.

However, Salga president Thembi Nkadimeng told journalists this week that the Pietermaritzburg municipality was still struggling.

“But there is light at the end of the tunnel and our duty is to support and capacitate,” Nkadimeng said.

The Salga delegation also received a report from eThekwini Municipality on how its council was operating, its engagement with residents and their plan to tackle revenue collection.

Nkadimeng said Salga was pleased with eThekwini Municipality’s report. However, it still needed to interrogate it.

Salga’s national executive committee gathered this week for its first NEC meeting this year.

Nkadimeng reported that 40 municipalities were under administration in the country, with the highest number in KwaZulu-Natal (10).

Salga said municipalities should “urgently and aggressively” enforce credit control management measures and not hesitate in going after business and government entities failing to pay for services.

Nkadimeng said, as of November last year, about R194billion was owed to municipalities nationally.

She added that R45bn of this was owed by business and government.

“It is relatively easy to collect the money from businesses and government entities, but the municipalities need to go all out to collect it. Some of their debt is from a very long time ago and needs to be dealt with,” she said.

The association also launched its smart mobile app which would provide municipalities access to local governance data in real time.

The application consists of four features including Incidence Reporting, Social Unrest Risk Scale, Municipal Barometer and Salga website.

The Incidence Reporting app can be used to register any form of threat, harm or damage to municipal property, councillors and officials as soon as it happens.

In a recent analysis conducted by Salga, it was found that the total damage payout for all types of political-related incidents from 2013 to 2018 was valued at R61million. Service delivery-related incidents were by far the most expensive.

The Mercury

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