Disastrous KZN MIG spend management reaching crisis levels

Hlanganani Gumbi, MPL,

DA KZN Spokesperson on Sport and Recreation:

THE disastrous management of Municipal Infrastructure Grants (MIG) in municipalities in KZN again came under scrutiny during a meeting of the province’s Sport and Recreation portfolio committee held recently in Pietermaritzburg.

According to the latest report from the province’s Sport and Recreation department, the Amajuba District has shown a sudden rise in expenditure of its 15% MIG allocation – a grant dedicated to the development of sports infrastructure.

This after the DA exposed the district earlier this year for after it failed to plan any spending of its allocation.  Back then, the district denied not knowing a single thing about the allocation – a clear indication of the poor management of the MIG allocation and the ability to spend it.

At a meeting held last week, KZN Sport and Recreation portfolio committee heard that the District has now used R 1 903 534.5 of a R 1 357 700 allocation towards the Bendsdorp sport field in Ward 2 of eMadlangeni Municipality.

A similar situation exists in Newcastle, where there is no expenditure to show.

Meanwhile, Dannhauser –  which has total MIG allocation of R20million and just over R3million allocated to sport – claims to have spent R 15million plus on a Community Sports Centre.   If this is correct true then some 80 % of its overall MIG grant is gone.

These numbers simply do not add up.  If they are true then the District is facing a crisis as MIG funding is not just for sports development.  It must also provide for, amongst others, supply of bulk infrastructure to municipalities within districts. The importance of such programmes cannot be over-emphasised given KZN’s current water crisis.

There is something seriously fishy around this particular District’s management of the MIG funding.

Given this disturbing information, the DA welcomes the fact that portfolio committee Chairperson, Mthandeni Dlungwane, has acceded to the DA’s request for an urgent joint meeting with KZN’s Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Portfolio Committee (COGTA).

KZN municipalities cannot afford to mismanage MIG funding.  They do so at the expense of the many young people who are desperate for community sports facilities and the opportunity to develop their sporting potential.