Report slams municipality

Lynn Williams

A REPORT evaluating service delivery issues in the Kouga Municipality and its compliance with legislation has labelled the municipality “disaster prone”.

Other reports on the state of education and health in the Kouga region pointed out huge shortcomings.
The reports were tabled during the Taking Legislature to the People initiative in Humansdorp, attended by more than 1000 people last week.

According to a report of the portfolio committee on local government and traditional affairs which was compiled last month, municipal manager Sidney Fadi and section 56 managers were appointed without following due processes.

As a result, a huge chunk of the municipality’s budget is being used for defending irregularities after appointments were challenged in litigation.

The Kouga municipal account is standing at R85-million in terms of creditors and R105-million in terms of debtors.

Due to the municipality’s huge bulk infrastructure problem 8165 projects are standing still, while its organogram is overloaded with 1152 officials.

The municipality has also refused assistance by the district to develop human resources and supply chain management policies, hoping they would have the capacity to develop their own, but this has not happened. As a result, they are operating without these.

A report found the vacancy rate at all of the 13 schools in the region was high, coupled with a shortage of furniture and a general lack of involvement by parents.

The Patensie High School achieved a 0% pass rate in its March exams. It did not have teachers for Afrikaans (Grades 10-12), Life Orientation (Grades 8-12), Technology (Grades 8-9), and Arts and Culture (Grade 8 – 9).

For the past 11 years there had been no infrastructure development at the school. Teaching had been taking place outside, under extreme conditions.

Nothing had come of the department’s promise to put up four temporary classrooms, the school had not received its budget for the year, and the school nutrition and the scholar transport system were non-existent.

In this year alone, Louterwater Primary School has had 22 drop-outs. Mzingisi Primary School with its 1023 pupils has a staff establishment of only 24 teachers.

A report of the portfolio committee on health found critical staff shortages at hospitals and clinics hindered effective service delivery, while the poor provision of emergency medical service ambulances exposed the department to litigation.

The Humansdorp Hospital has an average bed occupancy rate of 94% and shortages in medicines as a result of unpaid accounts. The nursing vacancy averaged 62%, impacting on the healthcare.

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