Technical team established to focus on debt owed to municipalities

“The committee will explore all options available to ensure that each and every department in the province and nationally meet their rates and services obligations to municipalities,” Dube-Ncube said.


Devdiscourse News Desk | Pretoria | Updated: 09-12-2022 16:57 IST | Created: 09-12-2022 16:57 IST
Technical team established to focus on debt owed to municipalities
The Premier also announced that the Council has conducted an assessment of the District Development Model implementation. Image Credit: Twitter(@SAgovnews)
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  • South Africa

The KwaZulu-Natal Executive Council has established a technical committee to focus on the debt owed by government to municipalities.

In a statement issued on Thursday following a Provincial Executive Council meeting held this week, Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube said the debt owed is reported at R2.8 billion and includes an amount of R420 million owed by the Ingonyama Trust Board, inter-municipal debt of R380 million, national government departments at R400 million, and Transnet’s R208 million, among others.

“The committee will explore all options available to ensure that each and every department in the province and nationally meet their rates and services obligations to municipalities,” Dube-Ncube said.

While the council welcomed that all departments are paying their consumption bills for services on time, the Premier said the provincial government is concerned about the arrears and the fluidity of the debt owed to municipalities, especially property rates.

“The provincial government has called on municipalities to provide credible billing by cleansing data and updating systems as well as to improve mechanisms to resolve disputes speedily including using inter-governmental relations processes.

“The EXCO has resolved that all departments budget and take responsibility for the payment of municipal services from their baseline budgets. The EXCO will receive regular update from the committee,” Dube-Ncube said.

District Development Model implementation

The Premier also announced that the Council has conducted an assessment of the District Development Model implementation.

The District Development Model was developed to improve coherence in planning and budgeting, which often results in poor service delivery and limited development impact in communities.

“The Provincial Government of KwaZulu-Natal noted that the province is well on target to ensure that the long-term district/metro one plan-one budget programmes are finalised,” Dube-Ncube said.

EXCO has approved that the District Development Agencies be brought on board to lead on the economic growth side in line with their mandate of attracting investments and packaging credible catalytic projects to stimulate sustainable economic growth.

“The provincial government acknowledged the need to enhance institutional capacity at district level in order to realise the accelerated implementation of the one plan/one budget for each district. The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) has been tasked to give more impetus in mobilising stakeholder to accelerate the implementation of the District Development Model and translate it into practical service delivery impact in communities,” Dube-Ncube said.

Water War Room

Meanwhile, while commending the establishment of Water War Rooms in all districts, the Executive Council raised its concerns about the poor participation and commitment of some districts in the structures tasked to ensure that people get water daily.

“EXCO has approved the establishment of the Provincial Water War Room which will attend to key water issues in districts and bring strategic support and interventions.” 

(With Inputs from South African Government Press Release)

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