PREMIER KIVIET READS THE RIOT ACT TO PROVINCIAL DEPARTMENTS FAILING TO PAY FOR MUNICIPAL SERVICES - 2012-08-29 12:22:00
For immediate use
29 August 2012
PREMIER KIVIET READS THE RIOT ACT TO PROVINCIAL DEPARTMENTS FAILING TO PAY FOR MUNICIPAL SERVICES
Eastern Cape Premier Noxolo Kiviet has given provincial government departments up to the end of September 2012 to pay their services debts to municipalities or face service cuts. Addressing a closed intergovernmental relations meeting in Burgersdorp as part of the two-day Executive Council Outreach programme, Premier Kiviet asked the Joe Gqabi Municipality and its four local municipalities to cut off provision of services to Departments that have not paid what they owe by the end of September 2012.
Provincial Government Departments owe Joe Gqabi Municipalities a total amount of R9.1million for services such as rates, electricity, water and refuse removal. The amount include Elundini Local Municipality that is owed the largest amount at R4.79 million, followed by Senqu Municipality at R2.7million, Gariep Municipality at R1.07 million and lastly the Maletswai Municipality at R1.07million. Premier Kiviet said she gave a similar directive in Buffalo City Municipality when serious concerns were also raised about non-payment of service charges by Provincial Government Departments.
During the closed session the provincial government and the Joe Gqabi District Municipality shared information on progress and lack thereof in service delivery as well as suggested solutions to take development efforts to a higher and better level in the District Municipality that has only 5% contribution to the provincial Gross Domestic Product. The Premier appreciated progress made over the past three years in improving audit outcomes of the Joe Gqabi District Municipality and its four local municipalities which moved from one unqualified audit with two disclaimers and an adverse opinion to three unqualified and two qualified audit findings by the AG in 2011/12 financial year.
The District Municipality was also praised by the Auditor General for "very encouraging (audit) outcomes". The Premier also appreciated political stability that cascaded to administrative stability with all municipalities having employed competent Municipal Managers and Chief Financial Officers and signed performance agreements with all of them.
Although so much still has to be done to improve the quality of lives in the Joe Gqabi District Municipality, areas of good progress include the reduction of poverty from 79% to 63%, 19% improvement of numbers of households earning above R3500 per month to 31%, interventions to ensure quality water supply including an R18 million investment in water treatment projects and monthly checking of water quality, a R7.4 million injection to the Joe Gqabi Development Agency for revitalisation of the Aliwal Spa for enhancing tourism and economic development.
Among the challenges emphatically raised for Provincial Government further intervention are the:
- possible amendment of the funding model for the District Municipality to move beyond population size to cater for massive backlogs in among others water infrastructure that needs over R259million and road infrastructure that needs over R4billion; and
- Massive unemployment through among others declaring the Joe Gqabi and Chris Hani District Municipalities special economic zones (SEZs) that focus on agricultural production and processing in order to create sustainable jobs.
Addressing also a stakeholders session, Premier Kiviet urged local leaders to be innovative and collectively develop unique local strategies for fighting poverty, underdevelopment and unemployment using their strengths. She urged them to see and exploit business opportunities and follow great examples from many parts of the world. She warned those older than 35 years of age not to wait for hard-to-find job opportunities, but to rekindle the spirit that characterized precolonial societies where people were enterprising and more self reliant. She said they should revive the spirit that was destroyed by colonialism, repression, destruction of people's means of production that forced people to sell their labour as there can be no continued justification of waiting for jobs and government grants 18 years after the attainment of freedom and democracy.
The Premier criticized businesses that claimed to know work, won tenders and delivered shoddy work which resulted in for an example delays in delivering over 5000 housing units in the District Municipality, some contractors had to be dismissed, replaced or provided with additional contractors to speed up the construction of houses.
Premier Kiviet will today 29 August 2012 lead an inspection of a Pilot Train House Project, handover two of the 140 completed housing units to needy families, inspect a Thusong Service Center as well as a home for the aged before addressing a public meeting in Mzamomhle Community Hall in Burgersdorp.
Other clusters of MECs will visit, inspect and launch other projects in Ugie and Aliwal North today. Transport, Roads and Public Works MEC Thandiswa Marawu will launch a site for Amathuba Jobs Portal and an Expanded Public Works Programme in Ugie together with MEC Xoliswa Tom of Sport Recreation Arts and Culture. They will then address communities in a public engagement session to be held in Ntokzweni Community Hall in Ugie.
MECs Pemmy Majodina of Social Development and Special Programmes as well as MEC Mandla Makula of Education will visit the Aliwal North Hospital and a burnt down school for children with disabilities in Aliwal North before addressing communities in an imbizo to be held in Joe Slovo Hall.
The Joe Gqabi Executive Council Outreach Programme is the last leg of the 2012 Exco Outreach Programme that has already covered the Cacadu District Municipality, Nelson Mandela Bay Metro and Buffalo City Metro Municipalities. The seeks to break barriers to communication between various spheres of government, stakeholders and communities in an effort to speed up service delivery.
Issued by Communications - Office of the Premier
Enquiries: Manelisi Wolela 0836260304
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