By George Mari, MPL, DA KZN Spokesperson on COGTA:
A National Council of Province’s (NCOP) visit to KwaDukuza this week has revealed a municipality which is being financially stretched, leading to poor infrastructure maintenance and projects not being completed.
Following eight years of unqualified audits the municipality has had its budget substantially slashed with the result that it is now struggling to deal with the basics.
Worst hit is the area of water, with poor infrastructure maintenance leading to high losses. A large indigent community has also impacted heavily on revenue collected through the rates base, with the municipality’s government debt now sitting at R5 million.
The trip also included a site visit to a local housing development – Rocky Park. This project has come to a standstill due to the budget having dried up in spite of the fact that it is already at roof level.
Sadly, the development is now being vandalised. Meanwhile, service providers are threatening legal action and the local community is up in arms over delays.
The DA will raise this matter at the next meeting of the KZN Human Settlements portfolio committee. We want to know where the money allocated to this project has gone.
We will also raise the issue of KwaDukuza’s now limited budget with KZN COGTA MEC, Nomusa Dube-Ncube. With the municipality already having spent its Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG), additional funding must be allocated to ensure the ongoing repair and maintenance of ageing infrastructure.
Failure to do so would be extremely short-sighted and will ultimately cost KZN taxpayers even more.