Questions are mounting on whether the financial woes of the Maluti-A-Phofung municipality in the Free State will be resolved anytime soon after the Democratic Alliance (DA) wrote to Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma asking her to dissolve its council.
The municipality was outlined in the auditor-general’s report as among those with high irregular and wasteful expenditure, vacancies and one that is battling to generate revenue or provide services to its residents.
Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu announced that none of the Free State municipalities got a clean audit, and are some of the worst performing countrywide.
The party’s provincial legislature member Leona Kleynhans says Maluti-A-Phofung’s ongoing battle to pay salaries and make contributions to third parties is one of the reasons they have requested Dlamini-Zuma’s intervention.
She added that the National Treasury had informed the municipality that it was going to withhold its equitable share and conditional grant payments due to its failure to comply with legislative procedures.
During the tabling of the 2019- 20 budget, newly appointed cooperative governance and traditional affairs executive council member Thembeni Nxangisa announced that the state of municipalities in the province was among his top priorities.
Nxangisa said although they would not be offering financial support to municipalities, with their allocated R456 million budget for this fiscal year, they would support them with skills, financial management skills and infrastructure development.
He warned that there would be no room for any form of corruption and that they would deal with those who deviated from this plan.
Meanwhile, social media users in the municipality have taken to Twitter and Facebook to raise service delivery issues and concerns, with many attributing a portion of its administration and financial troubles to former mayor Vusi Tshabalala and former premier Ace Magashule.
Currently Tshabalala is the ANC’s Free State legislature’s chief whip, while Magashule is ANC secretary-general.
Katleho Morapela, OFM News