MEC urges municipalities to fill all critical vacancies

MEC meets Mayors of KwaZulu-Natal during a special MUNIMEC in Kokstad on 07.07.17

KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Nomusa Dube-Ncube is urging all municipalities to ensure that all expiring contracts of municipal managers and other senior managers are filled with immediate effect to prevent instability at the top level of municipal administration.

Dube-Ncube made her appeal during a meeting with all the Mayors of KZN‘s 54 municipalities in Kokstad.  Munimec is an established and regular inter-governmental forum where the MEC for Cogta meets with all political heads and high-ranking officials from municipalities.

“We have a problem that most of the Municipal Manager’s contracts have expired and municipalities should have put plans in place to ensure a smooth transition.  We now have a situation where we have a lot of “Acting Managers” at a critical point when we have to prepare Annual Financial Statements. If these posts are not filled this will impact negatively on service delivery,” said Dube-Ncube.

“We must fill these positions timeously to ensure stability at the top level of management. When there is instability at the top, it affects performance.  These delays in filling of posts have negative effect in the functioning of municipalities and may cost us clean audits”, Dube-Ncube said.

We are asking ourselves why some municipalities wait until municipal managers’ contracts are about to expire before they take steps towards finding suitable replacements. Municipal managers’ contracts usually expire one year into every new term of local government.

Municipalities applauded for approving IDPs and Budgets on time.

Dube-Ncube also praised KZN municipalities for timeously approving budgtes and IDP’s.  However, she called on municipalities to budget realistically, collect revenue vigorously and generally live within one’s means when it comes to funding service delivery projects and municipal operations,” said Dube-Ncube.

She further urged councils to thoroughly assess the revenue streams earmarked in their budgets and ensure that they are reliable.

KZN Cogta’s support programmes offered to municipalities include assistance with budgeting and long-term planning within the confines of the IDP process as well as revenue collection including determination of rates through Valuation Rolls and management of the municipal billing systems.

“Key to healthy municipal finances are budgets that are based on a realistic appraisal of revenue streams and realistic expectations of what can be achieved with a given amount of funding. Inflated budgets based on wishful thinking are a recipe for disaster and a source of distrust between the municipality and the community they serve,” said Dube-Ncube.

As a going concern, KZN Cogta is also appealing for political stability which is a prerequisite for functional municipalities in the province. The department maintains that without a stable municipal government, there can be no guarantee of efficient administration or effective service delivery in our municipalities.

For more information contact: KZN Cogta spokespersons Lennox Mabaso, 082 884 2403; or Msawakhe Mayisela, 060 966 4220