Failing councils must face consequences, Ramaphosa tells Mabuyane

President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the Eastern Cape government lekgotla on Tuesday
LAYING DOWN THE LAW: President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the Eastern Cape government lekgotla on Tuesday

President Cyril Ramaphosa has called on premier Oscar Mabuyane to ensure there is consequence management for failing councils in the Eastern Cape.

Only one municipality in the province achieved a clean audit in the 2018/2019 financial year.

Ramaphosa was addressing the Eastern Cape government lekgotla on Tuesday.

The lekgotla, meant to discuss government priorities in 2021, was attended by Mabuyane, MECs, mayors from across the province and Transnet representatives.

The president said governance challenges in the councils needed to be addressed to fulfil their electoral mandate to the people.

“These are reflected in poor municipal audit outcomes, lack of capacity in municipal offices, corruption and maladministration, poor oversight and underfunded budgets,” he said.

Ramaphosa said the government needed to work with urgency to overcome service delivery backlogs that negatively affected people’s lives.

“There must be consequence management for municipalities that fail to deliver services, matched by remedial action.

“At this difficult time, when poverty is likely to deepen as a result of the pandemic, we have to demonstrate that we are a caring, professional government accountable to the people we serve,” he said.

In 2020, municipalities in the province turned to the department of co-operative governance and traditional affairs for support to help them turn around their outcomes after years of poor audit results.

The province’s 39 municipalities received a dismal report card from the auditor-general in the 2018/2019 financial year audit report, with only Senqu municipality being given a clean bill of health.

The office of the premier’s committee recently released an annual report detailing how most municipalities struggled to account for public funds due to political instability.

Ramaphosa encouraged municipalities to work with the recently established project management unit.

The unit is the brainchild of the department of co-operative governance and is supported by the  provincial treasury. 



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