Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene wants the provincial government to take over the running of 15 Eastern Cape municipalities who are in distress.
These include (1) Makana in Grahamstown‚ (2) Ngqushwa in Peddie‚ (3) Enoch Mgijima in Komani‚ (4) Emalahleni in Dordrecht‚ (5) Intsika Yethu in Cala‚ (6) Great Kei in Kei Mouth‚ (7) Dr Beyers Naude in Graaff-Reinet‚ (8) Sakhisizwe in Khowa (Elliot)‚ and (9) Walter Sisulu municipality in Aliwal North.
The other municipalities are (10) Ndlambe‚ (11) Komga‚ (12) Inxuba Yethemba in Cradock‚ (13) Kouga as well as the (14) Chris Hani and (15) Amathole district municipalities.
Nene said when matching the “cash and cash equivalents” for this period against the “total creditors” for the same period‚ “it showed that municipalities with unfunded budgets are not able to pay their total creditors within the prescribed 30-day period”.
These details are contained in Nene’s written response to the Democratic Alliance’s Cogta shadow minister Kevin Mileham’s parliamentary questions.
Grahamstown’s infrastructure and financial woes have been a worrying factor for years‚ and was in the spotlight this week when Cooperative Governance Minister Zweli Mkhize visited the university town — also home to the National Arts Festival — to see for himself the dire state of the Makana municipal area.
City leaders told him how the collapse in service delivery‚ the potholed roads and the frequent electricity and water outages in the city were destroying investor confidence‚ business opportunities and employment.
Mkhize said he had appointed a large team consisting of top management and technical leadership in his department to assist a turnaround in the dysfunctional and broke municipality.
But he warned that there was no magical pot of money to bail out the municipality which‚ he said‚ needed to first get the basics right.
by Zine George and Adrienne Carlisle – DispatchLIVE and HeraldLIVE