Johannesburg - Finance Minister Tito Mboweni is cracking the whip on municipalities and provinces that are failing to spend money due to poor financial management, stopping and reallocating millions in conditional grants.
This emerged in a recently published Government Gazette where the stoppages and reallocation of grants - in some instances from poor municipalities - were explained.
Mboweni reallocated R82million from a public transport operations grant that was initially allocated to Gauteng for a new contract to operate on Moloto Road between Gauteng and Mpumalanga to the North West Department of Community Safety and Transport Management.
“A detailed motivation was submitted by North West, where they made a case for additional funds and confirmed capacity to absorb and spend the funds. The allocation was stopped and reallocated in order to minimise the risk of under-expenditure,” Mboweni said.
He also said the Department of Co-operative Governance had stopped and reallocated funds between municipalities under the Municipal Systems Improvement Grant.
“Two municipalities in the Western Cape will be affected by the stopping, namely the Laingsburg and Swellendam local municipalities. However, these affected municipalities will be receiving support from the department in the next cycle,” he said.
The neighbourhood development partnership grant has also been stopped for three municipalities - Ekurhuleni, Emfuleni and Sol Plaatje - and reallocated to nine other municipalities due to under-performance.
Mboweni said reallocation of funds between municipalities was effected in the Department of Energy’s integrated national electrification programme due to under-performance by municipalities against their 2018/19 allocation.
The Department of Water and Sanitation also stopped and reallocated funds between municipalities for the water services infrastructure grant and the regional bulk infrastructure.
“The reason for stopping the allocation is because the department (Water and Sanitation) anticipates underspending against the indirect component of the grant allocation,” he said.
Mboweni also announced that R288.1m had been allocated to fund a variety of water supply augmentation projects for drought-affected municipalities. An additional R1.01billion was also allocated against the indirect water services infrastructure grant to fund a variety of water supply augmentation projects for drought-affected municipalities.
The municipal disaster recovery grant was allocated an additional R1.03bn and the funds allocated would be transferred to Cape Town, Nelson Mandela Bay and Mangaung, which were severely impacted by the drought.
“All of these cities are also expected to contribute funds from their own revenue base to their water augmentation projects,” Mboweni added. Mboweni said R143.3m had been added to the municipal disaster recovery grant for post-disaster repair and rehabilitation projects in a number of municipalities in KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape.
“The municipalities in KwaZulu-Natal are allocated a total of R138.7m for the repair and rehabilitation of roads, stormwater and sanitation infrastructure and community facilities that were damaged by floods.
“(A total of) R4.6m is allocated for the repair and rehabilitation of water and electricity infrastructure in the Bitou local municipality in Western Cape.” The City of Cape Town would receive an additional R33m against the public transport network grant in order to begin detailed design on a new phase of the MyCiTi public transport network, Mboweni said.
A total of 22 municipalities that were affected by major boundaries after the 2016 local government elections were allocated R23.2m.
“This amount was made available in the indirect municipal systems improvement grant in 2018/19 to assist with the completion of transitional work in the affected municipalities,” he added.