KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Sipho Hlomuka has noted the 2019 Non-Financial Census of Municipalities report released by StatsSA last week. The report details significant improvements in the provision of services to residents in the province for the said period.
According to the report, which measures service delivery, including water, electricity and sanitation, meaningful progress is being made in KZN. The province recorded an increase in the number of residents who benefit from the free basic services provided by municipalities, such as water, electricity and refuse removal.
In this period, a 31% increase was recorded in the proportion of consumers who benefit from free basic water. More than 32 000 consumers were connected to the electricity grid during this period, which brought the number of electricity consumers in the province to 1.9 million, with free electricity benefitiaries increasing by 2700 to 306 000.
Similarly during this time, 1.7 million consumers received solid waste management services, while the number of free service beneficiaries increased by over 200 000.
Hlomuka has noted this report which is a clear indication that the programmes being implemented by the department are bearing fruit, especially those aimed at capacitating municipalities with responsive indigent policies that ensure provision of free services for qualifying households.
Hlomuka has also commended municipalities for ensuring that significant strides are made in providing communities from the most vulnerable areas with better services. He also noted that the province did not record any provision of the bucket system by municipalities. This, according to Hlomuka, is a testament to the Provincial Government’s commitment to eradicating this degrading system.
Going forward, Hlomuka has vowed to strengthen his department’s oversight of and support to municipalities to ensure that the gains that have been made by local government are expanded in future.