COGTA Minister pledges support for struggling Mpumalanga municipalities

The National Government and the Mpumalanga Government will assume some municipal responsibilities to help struggling municipalities discharge their responsibilities.

Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Thembi Nkadiming met with municipalities in Secunda as part of a ministerial outreach program aimed at helping municipalities speed up delivery and other services.

COGTA management identified six municipalities struggling to deliver services.

Nkadimeng is committed to helping dysfunctional municipalities in Mpumalanga improve.

“We’re going to do a Schedule VIB. What is a Schedule VIB? That’s when the county and state take some of the infrastructure development responsibilities away from the municipality to run a few projects on their behalf in order to speed up service delivery. So, we’re going to do the same thing.”

Political instability is among the challenges facing the six identified municipalities in Mpumalanga. COGTA plans to work closely with struggling municipalities.

The COGTA Minister says her administration and the provincial government will take on some responsibilities and help municipalities break even.

“You may find that the reason for the instability is that the council is not working, we have municipalities like Thaba Shweu, and we are looking at water provision, road condition, service delivery, which has killed tourism which is one of the main economic drivers in the province.”

Providing clean drinking water and proper roads are some of the demands often made by communities. They initiate service delivery protests to demand the provision of those services. The protest often had a ripple effect as many services were disrupted due to blockaded roads.

This is what some residents said. “Some have had a water problem for more than two years. I didn’t have running water for a month and had to borrow a wheelbarrow to go fetch water. The main worry is that we can’t use the toilets,” says one resident.

Another explains: “The laundry is piling up. We use water to cook, where will we get the money to buy water? The water is so dirty we can’t cook with it.”

But Mpumalanga COGTA MEC Mandla Msibi says municipalities are delivering services as planned.

“Unless you tell me what municipalities are struggling to deliver services, I can tell you right now that our municipalities are delivering services according to their plans in terms of their plans. They start their fiscal year on July 1st and most municipalities are in line for the first quarter at 25%, so There is no conflict with service delivery.

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