King Williamstown: The Eastern Cape Provincial Government has committed to filling key vacant posts at municipalities across the province, in the wake of poor audit results in July.
Local Government and Traditional Affairs MEC Mlibo Qoboshiyane said the recent Auditor General’s Consolidated General Report on the Audit Outcomes of Local Government 2010-11 highlighted the poor state of finances at 45 of the province’s local municipalities.
“We are ensuring the appointment of competent managers to fill 42 of the 45 vacant municipal manager posts. We will also be appointing chief financial officers to fill 40 of the 45 vacant posts around the province. This will bring the requisite stability necessary for the administration of municipalities,” said Qoboshiyane, speaking at a media briefing in King Williamstown on Monday.
Qoboshiyane said government’s mission was to transform the public service and build a responsive and accountable government system to improve service delivery.
“We want to ensure good function of the state and restore public confidence and trust in state institutions,” said Qoboshiyane.
He said the Local Government Turn-Around Strategy (LGTAS) implemented by the province earlier this year was already bearing fruit.
“Together with the Departments of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, we instituted the strategy, which has seen a gradual improvement in the audit outcomes by eight percent since the previous audit,” said Qoboshiyane.
He also recommitted his government to further improving the provision of water, electricity and refuse collection to indigent families.
“We will provide free basic electricity to 338 000 poor families, and refuse removal to an additional 189 000 poor families. We are also going to double our efforts to provide water and sanitation, but we have other important challenges that need our attention, including the continued deaths of initiates in the province,” said Qoboshiyane.
He said the deaths of 47 young men as a result of negligence at initiation schools in June pointed to a failure on the part of government to intervene properly.
“This is a complex challenge that requires participation from every sector of our society, to ensure the safe passage of our young men to manhood. We don’t want any more deaths when the summer initiation season arrives,” said Qoboshiyane.