A file picture of people blocking the road during a protest against Kgetlengrivier local municipality in the North West. Picture: ANA
A file picture of people blocking the road during a protest against Kgetlengrivier local municipality in the North West. Picture: ANA

Dysfunctional North West municipalities under threat

By Rapula Moatshe Time of article published Jun 10, 2021

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Pretoria - At least four dysfunctional municipalities in the North West are likely to be dissolved through Section 139(1)(c) of the Constitution and placed under the provincial government's administration.

This was revealed by MEC for Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs Mmoloki Cwaile this week during his interaction with Parliament's ad hoc committee on the Section 100 intervention in the provincial government.

The intervention was evoked by the Cabinet in May 2018 following reports of widespread corruption, poor governance and lack of consequence management.

In terms of the Constitution, Section 100 stipulates that the national government interventions in a provincial administration may take place when a province cannot or does not fulfil an executive obligation in terms of the Constitution or legislation.

Embattled municipalities under the threat of being dissolved include Kgetlengrivier, Tswaing, Ratlou and Ditsobotla.

Both Madibeng and JB Marks local municipalities will remain under administration until they have been stabilised administratively, according to Cwaile.

He said 60% of the problems in municipalities were the result of politics stemming from factional infighting.

He told the committee that the municipalities facing dissolution were among the worst-performing and in the red.

According to him, a request has been made for Ditsobotla municipality to be placed under Section 139(1)(b) of the Constitution or be dissolved.

"We are requesting Ngaka Modiri district municipality to have Section 139(1)(b) particularly for financial management. Ngaka has a history of seven consecutive years of disclaimers," Cwaile said.

Tswaing, according to Cwaile, has previously interdicted interventions proposed by the provincial and national governments, including by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Committee member, MP Carin Visser, who is also a former councillor in Tswaing, lamented the fact the municipality was failing to render services paid for by innocent people. "They don't even receive municipal accounts," she said.

Committee chairperson China Dodovu said: "What is worrisome is the state of municipalities (is) impacting negatively on the overall functioning of the government."

Cwaile cited other municipalities categorised as being at risk, saying they too needed intervention.

One of them was Lekwa Teemane, where a request was made to appoint reputable implementing agents to implement the municipal projects. The Treasury and Cogta will continue to support the municipality to implement a financial recovery plan.

"But we are also bringing in the Development Bank of Southern Africa to support the municipality through the asset care programme," Cwaile said.

The City of Matlosana could see itself under Section 139(1)(b) or Section 139(1)(c), according to the department's proposal.

"There is also a strong proposition that we might have to consider business rescue of Matlosana because of serious challenges there," Cwaile said.

The department will apply Section 106 of the Municipal Systems Act at Kagisano Molopo municipality to investigate the allegations of maladministration and irregularities.

At Naledi local municipality, the department is deploying Section 154 support in line with a resolution by the provincial executive committee.

Rustenburg local municipality, which is grappling with the unauthorised, irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditures, is likely to be under Section 139(1)(b).

The department will apply Section 106 at Maquassi Hills local municipality and also enlist the assistance of the DBSA, Department of Public Works, and the Department of Water and Sanitation.

Pretoria News

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