The KwaZulu-Natal Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) Department has deployed ministerial representatives to intervene in municipalities that are consistently receiving poor audit outcomes from the Auditor-General (AG).
According to KwaZulu-Natal Premier, Nomusa Dube-Ncube, eight municipalities, including Msunduzi, Mpofana, Inkosi Langalibalele, Mtubatuba, Abaqulusi Local Municipality, uThukela, uMzinyathi and uMkhanyakude District Municipality are currently under intervention.
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Dube-Ncube said challenges include consistently poor audit outcomes, as identified by the AG, the inadequate utilisation of the Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) and other grants from provincial and national Treasury, financial difficulties, maladministration, approval of unfunded budgets and political instability.
“Each time the province intervenes, it has carefully considered the state of the municipality and underperformance that justifies placement of these municipalities under Section 139(1),” Dube-Ncube said.
The provincial government will continue, through CoGTA, provincial Treasury and all provincial departments, to provide the necessary support to the municipalities and ensure improvement in accordance with the provincial government’s aspirations, the Premier explained.
While these interventions follow a standardised approach, the Premier acknowledged that each municipality faces unique challenges, which must be addressed accordingly.
“We will not be intimidated, and we expect the ministerial representatives to implement consequence management resulting from Section 106 investigations within three months of completion of the reports.
“In turn, the performance of ministerial representatives will be assessed by the MEC of CoGTA within two months, and appointments will be terminated in case of underperformance,” the Premier said.
She further stated that “when local government fails, all of government fails, because local government is the touchstone of service delivery”.
“We cannot allow illegal and unconstitutional decisions to bar interventions in municipalities by the province on grounds that have little to do with service delivery to the people of KwaZulu-Natal,” Dube-Ncube maintained.