Premier Oscar Mabuyane to set up unit to monitor municipal spend
The Eastern Cape government will establish a unit which will monitor expenditure by municipalities, premier Oscar Mabuyane said.
The unit is one of the new premier’s plans to hold municipalities to account and ensure that services are delivered to residents.
In an interview, Mabuyane said the planned unit would work with the department of co-operative governance and the provincial Treasury.
The unit would also monitor the municipal infrastructure grant – which at some municipalities is sometimes not used for what it was meant for.
“That system will help us to say: ‘If we lose money in the small municipality, do not lose it in the district.’
“So that money can be taken to another municipality within the district.
“If not, it can be taken to the province,” Mabuyane said.
He said the provincial government would be looking at a number of reforms.
One would ensure a close relationship between co-operative governance and the Treasury.
“That is what we are negotiating with the National Treasury, but provincial government must push municipalities to the limit.
“The issue of monitoring and evaluation is important – that is why the ANC has introduced the process of interviewing mayors when it talks deployment,” Mabuyane said.
The planned unit comes as a number of municipalities in the province are struggling financially and others have been put under administration because of mismanagement and poor service delivery.
One of those municipalities is Amahlathi, which did not pay its workers, councillors and traditional leaders their May salaries, because its coffers have dried up.
Mabuyane said the provincial government would now strengthen local government, starting with appointing competent people to lead the administrative and political offices.
“A mayor is a face of the municipality, a leader of the municipality.
“You cannot have a mayor who is a shadow person because there is micro-management and political interference.
“We must draw the line; issues of party and state relations must be clearly understood.
Mabuyane is due to announce his executive in Port Alfred on Tuesday.
Asked about the calibre of leaders he would appoint as MECs, he said he would be appointing capable individuals who would deliver.