The future of KZN’s municipalities that are currently under Section 139(1)(b) intervention took centre stage yesterday when MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Sipho Hlomuka addressed the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) on the progress made by the department in assisting these institutions.
Currently, KZN has nine municipalities that are under administration namely, Mtubatuba, Abaqulusi, uMzinyathi district, uThukela district, Inkosi Langalibalele, Mpofana, Richmond, Msunduzi and eMadlangeni. The last of these is the most recent intervention, having been instituted last week.
In his address, which took place yesterday afternoon, Hlomuka highlighted to the NCOP that eight of the municipalities under Section 139(1)b intervention – Mtubatuba, Abaqulusi, uMzinyathi district, uThukela district, Inkosi Langalibalele, Richmond, Mpofana and Msunduzi have recently been extended by the Provincial Government until 31 March 2021, due to insufficient progress in addressing their governance, financial management and service delivery-related challenges.
Hlomuka also assured the NCOP that suitably qualified ministerial representatives have been appointed in all nine intervention municipalities and that they have all signed performance agreements which are aligned to their terms of reference. Experts in the field of municipal finance and technical support have also been deployed by the department to provide hands-on support to these municipalities.
KZN residents are living in a time when communities continue to demand more from the sphere of local government in a climate of limited economic growth and constrained fiscus. This places immense pressure on municipalities to do more with less. It is for this reason that KZN Cogta has instructed all administrators to conduct a proper skills audit in order to identify gaps that can be filled through appropriate training and development programmes.
KZN Cogta is also committed to ensuring that all government debt accounts be reconciled and submitted for payment and all disputes in this regard be resolved speedily.