KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Honorable Bongiwe Sithole-Moloi, has expressed deep concern regarding the unspent Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) as the municipal financial year draws to a close.

According to the April 2023 Division of Revenue Act (DORA) reports, an amount of over R1.17 billion that was allocated for the MIG remains unutilized across all municipalities in the province, despite the urgent need for essential services.

While it is expected that the unspent amount will decrease by the end of the month, the MEC is worried that additional funds might remain unutilized, which could further delay service delivery in municipalities.

To address the issue of under expenditure, MEC Sithole-Moloi called for a meeting with mayors, speakers, and administrators from all 34 municipalities in the province at the Pietermaritzburg City Hall on Tuesday.

During the engagement MEC Sithole-Moloi strongly urged municipalities to enhance their planning processes and reduce unspent funds in the upcoming financial year.

As the department responsible for supporting municipalities in preventing the discontinuation of funds and improving overall performance for timely service delivery, MEC Moloi has notified all affected municipalities of the need to engage in deliberations.

These discussions will identify the reasons for under expenditure, reassess implementation plans for the remaining grant balance, and ensure proper planning for the next financial year.

“As a department, we are fully committed to providing assistance and support to all municipalities through our MIG officials, who will actively engage with them to improve their planning processes. Despite the challenges that have contributed to this predicament, we remain optimistic that, with the necessary support, we can effectively address this issue and reduce under expenditure,” stated MEC Sithole-Moloi.

The department’s primary goal is to ensure that all municipalities fully utilize their allocated grants and adhere to the appropriate procedures for the expenditure of public funds. In line with this objective, it has been agreed that regular meetings will be held to monitor progress and facilitate communication between the department and municipalities.

MEC Sithole-Moloi is confident that by working collaboratively with municipalities, the issues surrounding under expenditure can be effectively addressed. The department remains steadfast in its commitment to fostering efficient and transparent financial management practices within local municipalities, ultimately ensuring the delivery of quality services to communities.