Municipalities owed whopping R131 million by government departments

Dacre Haddon MPL

Shadow MEC for Local Government

Municipalities in the Eastern Cape were collectively owed a whopping R331 million in outstanding fees for services rendered to government departments at the end of December 2013.

It is of concern that rural municipalities with small budgets are placed under unnecessary financial strain due to non-payment by the government.   It is inexcusable that service delivery in our already failing municipalities is hampered further by poor administration and inefficient government departments.

In reply to a question for oral reply in the Legislature on Wednesday (26 Feb), the MEC for Local Government, Mlibo Qoboshiyane,  stated that the full outstanding amount of fees owed to Eastern Cape municipalities as at 31 December 2013 was R330 808 064.  For the reply, click here.

While it is encouraging to note that R554 183 455 was paid to municipalities from April 2013 to January 2014, we must be serious about development, reform and creating real job opportunities.   No stone should be left unturned to ensure that municipalities are paid timeously.

The progress that was made towards realizing a better life for all with increased access to municipal services such as water and electricity is no longer happening under the ANC of President Jacob Zuma.

I will be writing to Auditor-General and ensure that quarterly reports about payment are presented to the Portfolio Committee on Local Government so that on-going oversight is done in this regard.

With regards to national departments who owe money to our province, I will be liaising with my colleagues in parliament to engage with the appropriate Ministers to expedite payment.

Our results in recent by-elections in the province show that voters have taken note of what the DA has achieved in the Western Cape, where we have proven that where we govern, we govern well.  The May 7 elections are the opportunity for our citizens to change their fate from an uncaring government to one where service delivery and job opportunities will come first.