1 June 2016
It is perturbing that the delivery of critical services to local communities in the Northern Cape faces the possible threat of being discontinued due to the inability of certain municipalities to maintain a healthy revenue base.
This is according to the report on local government audit outcomes that was released by auditor-general, Kimi Makwetu, today.
The report indicates that the revenue base of many municipalities in the province remained insufficient to ensure their sustainability and that political intervention is required if local government is to continue delivering critical services to communities at the desired level.
The basic role of local government is to ensurs that the lights stay on, water is accessible, traffic lights work, repairs and maintenance are carried out timeously, that residents are billed accurately and fairly. If local government is fails to achieve its basic role, then it might as well be declared redundant.
As far as the DA is concerned, the only political intervention of any value will be a change in government to a DA-led administration.
After 22-years under the ANC, Northern Cape municipalities still lack adequate governance systems and still can’t even get the basics right. Not only have they failed to implement proper billing systems to ensure a constant stream of income for services they have delivered, but they are also unable to manage the financial resources that are entrusted to them.
In fact, Northern Cape municipalities are some of the prime culprits in the entire country responsible for fruitless and wasteful expenditure.
Their tendency to incur irregular expenditure is also disturbing.
Irregular expenditure amounted to R699 million in 2014-2015, with as many as 87% of the province’s municipalities being guilty in this regard. Furthermore, 70% of the irregular expenditure resulted from instances of non-compliance with SCM regulations. In other words, the ability to implement the basic principles guiding procurement practices continues to evade local municipalities.
All residents deserve quality services through sound financial management, by adopting innovative solutions to challenges faced and reprioritising resources to where they are most needed. It is, however, increasingly clear that residents will not experience such services in the Northern Cape under the current circumstances.
The local government elections are around the corner and the people of this province must now make a choice. Either they can choose the status quo of corruption, empty and broken promises, poor service delivery and high unemployment. Or they can choose the radical change that DA-run local governments’ can bring. This is change that will stop corruption, create jobs, and deliver better services for all.
DA Northern Cape Provincial Leader
082 383 6914
Shelley De Witt
082 847 1387