EC municipalities not performing — Oscar Mabuyane

NOT PLEASED: ANC Eastern Cape provincial chairperson Oscar Mabuyane
NOT PLEASED: ANC Eastern Cape provincial chairperson Oscar Mabuyane

Fourteen municipalities in the Eastern Cape adopted budgets that were not cash-backed for the 2019/2020 financial year.

This is the fourth consecutive year this has transpired.

Speaking on the state of governance in the province at a provincial executive committee (PEC) meeting on Sunday, ANC provincial chair Oscar Mabuyane said several municipalities in the province were not spending their capital grants, which led to funds being taken away from them and sent to other provinces.

“This is an indictment, especially that these capital grants are meant for basic services such as water and electricity, which our communities so desperately need given the huge infrastructure backlog our province has.

“The state of governance in the Eastern Cape is not pleasing at all and a simple and scientific measure of this is the poor audit findings that our provincial government departments and municipalities continue to receive,” Mabuyane said.

Mabuyane told PEC members this was revealed at the Premier’s Co-ordinating Forum (PCF), a platform used by his office to engage with all mayors.

“This PCF was extended to municipal managers, Salga [SA Local Government Association], national departments and entities in the province.

“We did this with the aim of moving away from the silo mentality of operations, in line with the new District Development Model,” he said.

Mabuyane said 63.2% of the debt owed to Eskom – R1.2bn – came from the province.

“Enoch Mgijima and Raymond Mhlaba local municipalities have PAJA [promotion of administrative act] notices, while disconnections are being scheduled for Umzimvubu local municipality.

“You can just imagine the impact this will have on ordinary people, some of whom pay for services they receive,” Mabuyane said.

He said the PEC would start taking decisive action against municipalities that were not performing, especially on basic things that were within the power and authority of the municipality.