Mtshweni announces financial rescue for 5 municipalities

She announced a “financial recovery plan” is being implemented.

Mpumalanga Premier Refilwe Mtshweni has announced that 5 municipalities will be placed under financial rescue.

Mtshweni spoke in Skukuza during her government’s Lekgotla.

She said eMalahleni, Govan Mbeki, Thaba Chweu, Lekwa and Msukaligwa local municipalities have all been placed under a financial rescue plan.

She said as government they area “acutely aware” of the challenges that the Mpumalanga municipalities face.

“As you are aware, we have had to recently intervene in the Emalahleni local municipality in accordance with section 139 of the Municipal Finance Management Act,” she said this week.

“A task team led by provincial treasury and encompassing specialists in every element of the financial management ecosystem has been dispatched to the municipality and are currently working tirelessly to develop and implement a financial recovery plan,” Mtshweni said.

She added this was an effort to ensure that “we collectively address the issues of financial mismanagement” in municipalities as this was affecting service delivery.

She spoke at the Skukuza rest camp during a 3-day provincial government Lekgotla.

Mtshweni told government officials that a Lekgotla was meant to convene officials “in order to ensure that we centrally coordinate the programmes of our government in an effort to ensure that the programmes of the government are concomitant with priority areas aimed at tackling the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality whilst ensuring that our people continue to have access to the most basic of services”.

“The objective of this Lekgotla is two-fold. The first being that we must ensure that  we continue to align intergovernmental relations with the priority areas outlined above. Secondly, it is important to take cognisance of the fact that we must outline and collate our achievements , as Government, as we approach the end of this 5th democratically elected administration,” the Premier said.

(edited by ZK)

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Ntshalintshali condemns shooting of municipal worker

He was part of four workers who had come to fix leaking pipes in one of the informal settlements in the area when a bullet was fired at him.

eMalahleni mayor Lindiwe Ntshalintshali has condemned the killing of a municipal worker, saying attacking an employee of the state is the same as attacking the state.

The worker died in hospital on Monday this week.

Ntshalintshali’s office said the worker was one of four who had been sent to go fix a leaking water pipe in the eMalahleni informal settlement of Coronation on Sunday when a man pulled out a gun and shot at him.

The worker went to fetch a log which was lying nearby when one of the community member took out the gun and fire a bullet at him. He died later at hospital.

Cops swooped on and arrested the gunman.

“We will withdraw municipal employees if communities cannot guarantee their safety,” the mayor said.

“We cannot dispatch our employees to be attacked, harassed and killed by the same community they trying to assist. An attack on any government employee executing his or her duties is an attack on the state,” Ntshalintshali said.

It is still not clear whether this is part of attacks by residents who have growing dissatisfactions with the municipality.

Ntshalintshali said these have been on the increase like it occurred during recent power-cuts in the area.

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“One of the objectives of local government is to ensure the provision of services to communities,” she said.

“But these attacks, which must be stopped, will make it virtually impossible to deliver services,” Ntshalintshali continued.

“On behalf of councillors, managers and the entire staff we wish to send our condolences to the family of the deceased. We hope the family finds comfort in the knowledge that he died serving residents of Emalahleni,” she said.

(edited by MLM)

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Vandals cost eMalahleni R80m

The mayor spoke about it in her State of the Municipal Address.

eMalahleni local municipality lost over R80 million to protesters stealing and destroying public infrastructure.

Municipal spokesman Kingdom Mabuza said mayor Lindiwe Ntshalintshali spoke about it in her State of the Municipal Address a week ago.

“[It is] hoodlums who in some instances masquerade as residents who are aggrieved by lack of service delivery,” Mabuza said.

Ntshalintshali said theft of electrical equipments has been on the increase and this has resulted “intermittent power outages to communities” and the huge replacement costs and increased insurance premiums.

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“The mayor revealed that persistent theft and vandalism of infrastructure is costing the municipality millions which could have been diverted to services,” said Mabuza.

“Theft and vandalism of electrical equipment on the municipal networks have been on the increase and this has resulted in intermittent power outrages to communities, strain on the municipal budget as this has resulted in huge replacement costs and increased insurance premiums.

This is the theft and vandalism of cables, transformers, pumps, motors and water meters.

(edited by MLM)

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