Cape Town -
Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana says they are ramping up efforts to intervene in 43 dysfunctional municipalities after he wrote to premiers in the affected provinces that National Treasury would take over the running of the municipalities.
This comes after National Treasury took over Enoch Mgijima municipality in the Eastern Cape and Mangaung in the Free State.
Enoch Mgijima was embroiled in controversy late last year after it emerged it spent R15 million on a shoddy sports field.
This led the Hawks to intervene and start investigating the matter.
A few months ago the government announced it was intervening in some of the dysfunctional municipalities.
Godongwana told Parliament on Wednesday, during the budget vote of his department, that they would take over the running of 43 other dysfunctional municipalities across the country.
“National Treasury will be harnessing, together in partnership with (the department of co-operative governance and traditional affairs), all of our local government support mechanisms to intensify targeting interventions for increased impact from our extensive capacity building under the accountant-general, programmes to improve municipal audit outcomes with a specific target on those with the highest levels of irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure to direct intervention in terms of Section 139(7) of the Constitution such as Lekwa and more recently Manuguang and Enoch Mgijima.
“There are 43 municipalities that meet the criteria to be placed under mandatory intervention.
“I have already written to the premiers of all provinces in October last year identifying these municipalities and that the mandatory intervention process must begin in earnest,” said Godongwana.
The issue of dysfunctional municipalities has been on the agenda of government for years.
A few years ago some of the municipalities, which were not viable, were merged with strong municipalities.
But the problem has persisted as there are a number of municipalities that are not dysfunctional.