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The Democratic Alliance in the Northern Cape reiterates our call for struggling municipalities to be placed under provincial administration in terms of section 139 of the Constitution.
Two oversight reports tabled in the Northern Cape Provincial Legislature yesterday confirm that the Joe Morolong, Kgatelopele, Kai !Garib, Renosterberg, Sol Plaatje and Magareng local municipalities experience significant financial crises. These constraints are characterised by an overreliance on consultants, excessive amounts of irregular spending, and a reluctance to act against officials responsible for such spending.
The municipalities have such poor revenue generation and collection rates that it becomes difficult to pay municipal bills. Despite Kai !Garib not being able to afford paying creditors within 30 days, they also failed to bill property rates properly for the past two years. And while Renosterberg is owed R116 million for services provided, its debts exceed R181 million. Likewise, Kgatelopele owes its debtors more than R80 million.
The inevitable budget shortfalls will be felt in a lack of services to residents.
Without proper financial management, it is impossible for municipalities to meet their service delivery obligations. Residents of towns in these struggling municipalities are often left without water or must watch as purified water goes to waste due to leaking valves or burst pipes that cannot be repaired due to a lack of money. Communities are left in the dark for longer than loadshedding schedules because the bulk infrastructure is falling apart and municipalities don’t have the funds for the necessary repairs.
In committee, the ANC argued that provincial administration would be overreach. It is not. It is the bare minimum of what needs to be done to restore service delivery and dignity to the residents of the Northern Cape.
It is becoming increasingly clear that only the DA has a plan in place to rescue the Northern Cape from the ineptitude and incompetence of the ANC.
Issued by DA Northern Cape Provincial Spokesperson on Finance, Fawzia Rhoda, MPL