Fred Nel MPL
DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Local Government
Bad planning by the Gauteng provincial government is the main cause for R476 million in debt to local municipalities. This is a reduction from the R619 million owed by provincial departments at the end of March 2012, but is still unacceptably high.
The three big culprits are the Department of Infrastructure Development (R182 million), the Education Department (R107 million) and the Health Department (R100 million).
This problem has affected municipalities for the past three years and provincial government departments have been unable to adequately address this problem.
Provincial departments do not budget properly to pay for municipal rates and services, this is one of the main drivers for non-payment.
Improper budgeting and bad planning by provincial departments impact negatively on the cash flow of municipalities, and ultimately their ability to deliver services to local communities.
The DA urges the MECs for Finance and Infrastructure Development to find ways of centralising payment of municipal rates and services to ensure that all such accounts are paid within 30 days.