Two local municipalities in Bokone Bophirima have had their part of their executive functions (excluding the passing of Integrated Development Plans (IDP), budget, policies and by-laws) taken over by the provincial government in terms of Section 139(1)(b) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa.
The Administrators, supported by a team of experts, will implement the interventions in both Ventersdorp and Tswaing local municipalities with effect from Monday, 17 May 2015 on behalf of the Provincial Executive for a period of minimum period of six months. They are: Mike Mokgwamme (Ventersdorp local municipality) and Kingsley Sehularo (Tswaing local municipality) who have been introduced to both municipal councils by MEC Collen Maine on Thursday and Friday, respectively. Both Mokgwamme and Sehularo posses’ extensive experience in the public service having occupied senior positions in provincial government departments.
Ventersdorp local municipality has since its inception been characterised by: infighting and divisions in council, poor oversight and political leadership, lack of public participation, polarisation, lack of commitment and dedication to council matters and lack of capacity to deal with council agenda.
MEC Collen Maine told a special council meeting that the intervention came as a result of the failure by council to provide leadership and exercise oversight, not taking ownership and not acting on the irregularities in the administration of the municipality. He added that these issues have had a direct impact on administration and service delivery.
“The municipality is now in a serious financial distress, which contributes to poor delivery of services. There has been a number of service delivery protests by the communities for the past ten years as a result of lack of proper services rendered. The municipality is now faced with high service backlogs, non operations and maintenance of existing infrastructure, lack of technical capacity to plan, implement and monitor projects high illegal connections, poor financial management, inability to service bulk service accounts, low revenue collection, lack of enforcement of credit control and debt collection policies as well as outdated policies”, mentioned MEC Maine.
In Tswaing, the reasons for municipality to get intervention are:
Most of services are not adequately provided due to lack of resources, inadequate staff, institutional misalignment, lack of proper equipment, poor maintenance of services, aged infrastructure, poor cost recovery and credit control measures.
Council has not been able to provide adequate oversight and leadership to the municipal administration.
Allegations of fraud and nepotism leveled against the municipality by members of the community and some councilors.
State of service delivery is poor and the municipality not being able to collect revenue to fund service delivery projects.
MEC Maine has appealed to both municipal council and managers to cooperate with the administrators to turn the municipalities around. He concluded that he is confident that after the intervention, the two municipality should be able to perform own their own and render service as expected.
Issued by: North West Local Government and Human Settlements
Source : South African Government