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By Eric Naki

Political Editor


Dlamini-Zuma says municipalities need more money for maintenance

The local government funding model is not working, the minister of cooperative governance says.


Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said the lack of a budget for maintenance was the main reason for the deteriorating state of infrastructure in municipalities countrywide. Having no budget set aside for maintenance was a mistake, she said. Dlamini-Zuma said a total of 40 municipalities, or 20% of the 257 councils countrywide, were under administration. Other struggling municipalities where there was no constitutional interventions were being supported by the national and provincial governments. “There has to be a maintenance budget because even if you have new infrastructure, if you don’t maintain it, it will die,” Dlamini-Zuma…

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Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said the lack of a budget for maintenance was the main reason for the deteriorating state of infrastructure in municipalities countrywide.

Having no budget set aside for maintenance was a mistake, she said.

Dlamini-Zuma said a total of 40 municipalities, or 20% of the 257 councils countrywide, were under administration.

Other struggling municipalities where there was no constitutional interventions were being supported by the national and provincial governments.

“There has to be a maintenance budget because even if you have new infrastructure, if you don’t maintain it, it will die,” Dlamini-Zuma said.

“Our metros are not expanding infrastructure but people are coming to the big cities, although the infrastructure there is not sufficient,” she said.

Many municipalities, unlike the metros, did not have engineers, town planners and chartered accountants, among others, because they could not afford those professionals.

“It’s the funding model that is a problem because it assumes that all municipalities are able to collect revenue. Yet there are those that will never be able to collect revenue to meet their constitutional obligations,” Dlamini-Zuma said.

The minister pinned her hopes on the district level service delivery model introduced last year by President Cyril Ramaphosa in the Eastern Cape and Limpopo.

She said the model would be able to address the maintenance challenges because all spheres of government were working together under the new approach.

“All the plans of the government must speak to the [Integrated Development Plan] so that implementation must be well coordinated at district level,” Dlamini-Zuma said.

Under the model, the 44 district municipalities would be able to share their professional experts, such as engineers, with local municipalities.

Some of the municipalities were beset by a lack of clarity as to the roles of officials in administration and political deployees.

She said politicians should not interfere with administration and officials should not interfere with work of the politicians.

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