Ailing FS municipalities: Concern over government interventions

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The Free State opposition parties at the Provincial Legislature criticised the state of municipalities which seems to have deteriorated and are often failing to deliver services to residents.

This follows after MEC for finance, Gadija Brown, delivered her damning 68-page report that found that municipalities are either drowning in debts, have serious issues of noncompliance, or fail to honour their debt, running into billions of rands owed to Eskom and water boards.

The Economic Freedom Fighters’ (EFF) member of the Legislature (MPL), Mahlomola Majake, heavily criticised the failure of interventions at some of the municipalities which show that despite these interventions, municipalities further continue to accrue debt running into millions of rands.

The DA’s (MPL) Roy Jankielsohn also criticised the ruling African National Congress (ANC) for allegedly interfering in the matter between the troubled Mangaung Metro Municipality (MMM) and the Bloem Water Board where millions of rands are at a centre of a dispute between the two.

Meanwhile, the Freedom Front Plus’ (FF+) Armand Cloete, FF Plus MP in the NCOP, says the bigger issues in FS municipalities are brought by the lack of political will to turn around the plight of these municipalities.

Gadija and her team on Tuesday 17 September 2019 read a 68-page report to members of the Provincial Legislature during a sitting by the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) in Bloemfontein.

Brown says the report includes issues such as the failure by municipalities to adhere to some of the critical issues in order to deal with the state of service delivery in the province and its failures to pay their debt which runs into billions of rands and as a result often seeking national government’s intervention.

The report found that the debt some owed to the power utility Eskom remains a serious concern and a challenge the provincial and national government face with municipalities, having total outstanding debt amounting to R19.38 billion, which is increasing monthly.

OFM News/Lucky Nkuyane