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Minister Dlamini-Zuma makes the shocking admission that municipalities cannot be forced to spend on vital and essential infrastructure maintenance

Cooperative Governance Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has, in response to a question from the FF Plus during local government week discussions, made the shocking admission that she cannot ensure the restoration of municipal infrastructure despite the fact that most councils are ANC controlled.

Municipalities are required by law to put aside 8% of their budgets for the maintenance of essential infrastructure but the reality is that most spend only between 2% and 4% on this vital function. The money is instead diverted to other not so crucial areas.

The FF Plus asked the Minister how, with underperforming municipalities all over the country, municipalities that are in financial distress, National Treasury indicating that the collection- rate for municipalities has regressed between 40% to 60%, and with the national equitable share allocations to municipalities set to decrease “what steps will be taken to ensure that municipal infrastructure will be restored, maintained, specifically water reticulation and sewage and fresh water supply?”

The Minister also made the shocking suggestion that the solution to the problem was to make a further budget allocation to local government specifically for maintenance problems and to ensure the supply of clean, potable water.

In effect the minister is proposing that corrupt ANC cadres in local government should be rewarded with still more taxpayers’ money instead of her responsibly intervening in the crisis.

Fanie du Toit - FF Plus MP in NCOP (North West)

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