Dwindling numbers scupper towns

Rochelle de Kock

WITH scores of people leaving small Eastern Cape towns for cities in the last decade, the government has significantly slashed municipal budgets, making it difficult for many to stay afloat, let alone develop.

Addressing a two-day workshop with mayors and municipal managers at the Fish River Sun yesterday, Local Government MEC Mlibo Qoboshiyane said the decrease in funding put even more pressure on local municipalities that did not have ratepayers and relied solely on government grants.

Qoboshiyane said the absence of ratepayers in small towns was a problem which increased the indigent pool, creating even more of a dependency on government.

At the meeting, municipal managers and mayors complained that their municipal infrastructure grant (MIG) budgets had been slashed drastically and were expected to drop even further.

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