ANA FILE -- Pietermaritzburg. 090618. Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene. FILE PHOTO: Leon Lestrade/African News Agency(ANA)

JOHANNESBURG - Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene said on Wednesday that the South African government was committed to supporting the turnaround of municipalities that are in financial distress. 

Speaking at the municipal innovative infrastructure financing conference, Nene said he hoped that government, the private sector and other stakeholders could work together to re-position municipalities as co-drivers of economic development and growth.

"The Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) recently announced that 87 municipalities were deemed dysfunctional. In collaboration with National Treasury, Cogta will support these municipalities to rebuild a foundation for sound financial management," Nene said.

Last month, Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu painted a dismal picture of the state of municipalities, saying that irregular expenditure by municipalities had increased by 75% in the past financial year while fruitless expenditure went up from just over R16 billion to more than R28 billion in the same period.

African News Agency(ANA)