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Free State: Service delivery grinds to a halt due to non-payment of salaries

Service delivery has basically come to a standstill in the six Free State municipalities that failed to pay their officials' salaries.

It is understandable that many officials simply stopped working seeing as this is probably the second consecutive month that they will not receive their salaries.

In most of these municipalities, officials' pension fund deductions are also not paid over to their pension funds.

In reply to questions by the FF Plus in a Portfolio Committee meeting of the Free State Legislature, the Department of Cooperative Governance confirmed that the Masilonyana, Tokologo, Mafube, Kopanong, Mohokare and Mantsopa Local Municipalities cannot fulfil their salary obligations.

These ANC-controlled municipal councils adopted unfunded budgets last year while showing budget deficits of up to 60%, and are now reaping the bitter fruits.

They are currently scrambling to find funds to pay salaries.

The Kopanong Local Municipality (Trompsburg, Edenburg, Fauresmith, Gariepdam, Philippolis, Reddersburg, Springfontein, Jagersfontein and Bethulie) even went so far as to ask the service providers that manage prepaid service meters for an advance on the expected future revenue, which must still be collected from residents.

Banks are also not willing to grant overdrafts or increase municipalities' existing overdrafts.

The dire state of Free State municipalities' finances is confirmed by the fact that not a single municipality in the province received a clean audit during the previous financial year.

ANC local governments simply lack the basic financial discipline and ability to do proper financial planning.

Residents are expected to pay their municipal accounts, while there is very little to no service delivery. Paying residents are the victims of mismanagement and deserve better than the ANC.

 

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