(Debate in Parliament: Examining the Fiscal Framework of the local government sphere against its constitutional mandate, with proposals on debt owed by municipalities and vice versa, and other revenue-enhancing mechanisms for a financially sustainable local government)
South African taxpayers are reaching a saturation point as regards poor service delivery and paying for it. The people are no longer satisfied with crumbs while paying for bread.
Local governments' constitutional mandate is intricately interwoven with the country's greater fiscal framework and it is a given that the available funds play a determining factor in this.
The money is, however, predominantly squandered through corruption and incompetence, which are the ANC government's own making.
No municipality can invest in infrastructure development, maintenance or social upliftment programmes without money.
At the same time, municipal revenue from water and power sales is essential, but it must remain affordable. If it becomes too expensive, less affluent households simply cannot pay and it forms a vicious cycle.
At present, municipalities' debt to Eskom amounts to R57 billion. And in turn, government owes Eskom R23 billion. The total financial lifeline to Eskom already amounts to R181,5 billion.
One solution would be for the National Treasury to rather use Eskom's financial lifeline to reduce municipalities' debt to the power utility to improve their liquidity.
It could help municipalities to save millions in interest on overdrafts and will greatly improve their cashflow.
The greatest contributing factor to municipalities' money problems is still that crime syndicates control the money.
Corruption, fraud and incompetence result in taxpayers getting less and less value for money. It cannot go on like this.
African history teaches us that the countries where crime and corruption are rampant run the greatest risk for a coup. That is when the citizenry will or can no longer pay for the corruption and fraud without getting service delivery.
That is exactly what is currently busy happening in South Africa. Taxpayers are no longer satisfied with getting crumbs when buying bread.
Municipal tenderpreneurs and corrupt politicians are stealing the milk and the cream, leaving the empty milk jar for projects.
Service delivery disappears when wage bills start to exceed municipalities' total revenue.
Then government still appoints people for huge salaries while the private sector is laying people off due to the devastating effects of Covid-19 and the ANC's destruction of the economy.
The ANC has sent municipalities over the edge, it has reached a point of no return. After 30 years of ANC mismanagement, South Africans deserve a healthy and sound government that looks after their interests and money.
In his book "Wealth for All"" the author Idowu Koyenikan writes: "when money realises it is in good hands, it wants to remain and multiply in those hands". Nothing is, however, safe in the ANC's hands.