Parliament, Wednesday, 09 September 2020 – National Council of Provinces Chief Whip Mr. Seiso Mohai has called for the urgent development of mechanisms through which to ensure integrated service delivery in local government.
Members of the Executive Councils (MECs) responsible for local government in the country’s nine provinces painted a dire picture of the state of some municipalities with concerns raised including lack of internal audit functions, non-compliance with supply chain management, and failure to meet financial obligations to suppliers of bulk services like Eskom.
Closing the second day of the #LGW2020 today Mr. Mohai said: “It is clear from the MECs presentations that government is faced with a critical task of urgently developing mechanisms through which to ensure integrated service delivery and implementation across the country.”
Mr. Mohai said although municipalities across the country face common challenges, “municipality-specific interventions may be necessary and, in this regard, the central role of national and provincial governments in monitoring, supporting and strengthening the capacity of municipalities cannot be overemphasized.”
The second day of the weeklong #LGW2020 saw MECs presenting under the topic “Plans to Improve Service Delivery, Financial Management and Develop Capacity in the Local Sphere of Government, especially in Municipalities under Section 139 (with repetitive disclaimed audit opinions)”
During their presentations, the MECs observed that lack of internal audit functions has, in some municipalities, resulted in non-compliance with supply chain management laws going undetected and this in turn led to an escalation in irregular expenditure. Non-compliance becomes a breeding ground for maladministration, fraud, and corruption, they observed.
Municipalities also failed to address the billing and collection of arrears while also facing challenges in respect of service charges, rates, taxes, and levies. These placed most municipalities in a financial crisis which resulted in them being unable to deliver basic services to the people as required by the Constitution.
It was further observed that both political and administrative leadership were failing to implement measures to improve oversight, accountability, and remedial actions to improve financial management.
Tomorrow’s #LGW2020’s session will deal with amongst others, Section 139 interventions, the state of financial management and governance in municipalities with coalition governments, and the impact of municipal boundary re-determination on municipal governance. The #LGW2020 is held in partnership with the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) under the theme: “Ensuring Capable and Financially Sound Municipalities”.
ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA
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