The Portfolio Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) heard from its meeting with CoGTA department during the budget preparation process the findings of the recent audit report on the performance of the municipalities and also acknowledged the challenges the municipalities are experiencing. The challenges include lack of capacity to run municipalities efficiently.
The department indicated that some municipalities are dysfunctional with serious cash flow challenges, and have therefore requested an advance of their equitable share from the Treasury to pay their workers. Whilst this arrangement is under way, the committee has learnt of the burning of Tswaing Municipality buildings and assets in the North West province.
This follows the protest action of municipal workers who have stopped working due to non- payment of their salaries. It is unconfirmed if the burning of the buildings and assets are related to the protest action.
The Chairperson of the committee, Ms Faith Muthambi, appeals for calm and calls for a criminal investigation into this incident. “Vandalism will not be condoned or tolerated as the rebuilding of the infrastructure costs millions of rands and such funds must go where they are mostly needed, not to rebuild what was deliberately destroyed,” said Ms Muthambi.
Ms Muthambi urged citizens to find constructive ways of engaging the local government to find solutions to challenges facing the local municipality. “Common ground for the good of all the people have to be found,” she said.
Ms Muthambi also engages with COGTA at national and provincial levels to find a way-forward on the challenges.
The Minister of CoGTA, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, presented the budget vote of her department yesterday at Parliament.
ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON COGTA, MS FAITH MUTHAMBI.