DA opposes proposal to amalgamate municipalities

Ken Robertson,

Provincial Deputy Chairperson: DA Mpumalanga:

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Mbombela opposes the proposal for the amalgamation of Mbombela and Umjindi local municipalities.

 

A proposal was made with the intent to amalgamate the two municipalities prior to the 2016 municipal elections.

 

On Wednesday 11 March 2015, the DA in Mbombela wrote to the MDB (Municipal Demarcation Board), strongly opposing the proposal as we believe it is not in the best interests of Mbombela and Umjindi rate payers and residents.

 

The proposal was tabled at an ordinary council meeting on February 26, where an attempt by Executive Mayor Sibusiso Mathonsi to motivate the amalgamation was rejected by the DA Mbombela, as we felt that there are functionality related issues within the management of Mbombela municipality that need to be addressed.

 

Issues such as:

  • Mbombela’s lack of implementation of council decisions that negatively affects service delivery in so many areas.
  • Based on 2012/2013 and 2013/2014 Mbombela municipality’s annual report, we the da feel that the viability of such an amalgamation is not in the best interests of either municipality as Mbombela has failed to implement and reach its targets with regards to expanding its local revenue base in Mbombela.
  • Based on the 2013/2014 annual report, Mbombela municipality has failed to implement revenue enhancement strategies pertinent to its loss of income and consistent cash flow problems’.
  • According the 2013/2014 annual report, Mbombela municipality has an inability to implement and complete any capital projects for communities that have been budgeted for.
  • According to the 2013/2014 annual report, Mbombela municipality has failed to achieve any of its targets with regards to service delivery as set out by the Service Delivery Budget Implementation Plan (SDBIP)

 

The DA stands steadfast in its belief that vast geographical sizes of municipalities are unmanageable. We know that the distances between the two municipalities are too vast and towns located far away from the central seat of government suffer the consequences of even poorer service delivery.

 

It will be unsustainable to amalgamate a financially unstable municipality with one that is financially stable as the consequence in all probability will be one large financially unstable and unsustainable municipality.

 

This move does not necessarily mean an increase in tax or revenue base for Umjindi municipality, especially when issues such as loss of income and permanent cash flow problems obstruct the progress and accountability of Mbombela’s own effectiveness to function.

 

No matter the decision, we must always ensure that it is made in the best interests of our residents.