Illegally connected electricity cables are everywhere at Tswaing View Development, also known as Marikana, in Soshanguve. Four children have been electrocuted in just a year. Pictures: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

Rustenburg - The Tswaing municipality in the North West collapsed due to a weak monitoring role played by the provincial local government and human settlement department, North West portfolio committee on local government and human settlements said on Thursday.

Committee chairperson Motlalepula Rosho said the municipality's collapse was due to a lack of commitment by the department to ensure that there were proper mechanisms to provide basic services to the communities.

"This municipality has had multiple provincial interventions in the past but, there has never been a handover report as we can see that its annual reports were never tabled in the past nine years," said Rosho.

"How do we approve the budget as government but there is no accountability from the same municipality for many years? This municipality is still in crisis mode as there is no relationship between management and employees and it will be difficult for them to account on monies appropriated. Councillors also fail to play oversight on the municipal officials."

The municipality appeared before the committee on its current state of affairs and conceded that it has not tabled its annual reports from the 2008/09 financial year to date and that it was struggling to provide basic services such as water and sanitation; electricity and road maintenance; and payment of statutory payments.

Municipal manager Isaac Moruti admitted before the committee that the municipality was in financial distress.

"We are even struggling to honour statutory deductions for employees such as UIF [Unemployed Insurance Fund], medical aid, pension funds, South African Revenue Services and others due to lack of revenue. We only pay as and when we have enough revenue," said Moruti.

"Our challenges with the provision of electricity is due to non-availability of qualified electricians. The current electricity bill with Eskom is at R59 million and we agreed to pay R2.9 million per month when there are funds available." 

He said water problems and backlogs were due to a lack of repairs and maintenance of water pumps.

Rosho said the municipality must submit a comprehensive report on the functionality of ward committees, revenue enhancement mechanisms, plans to fill critical posts and addressing local labour problems as well as how it will improve service delivery.

Meanwhile, the standing committee on provincial public accounts (Scopa) will on Friday hold an oversight meeting with the department of local government and human settlements, the department was expected to present a report over the land allocated to Curro Academy and Community Residential Units in Extension 39 in Mahikeng.

African News Agency (ANA)