'This is what causes poor municipal performance': Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma

12 November 2020 - 13:36
Cogta minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma explained the pillars of a stable municipality at a meeting in eThekwini with mayor Mxolisi Kaunda.
Cogta minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma explained the pillars of a stable municipality at a meeting in eThekwini with mayor Mxolisi Kaunda.
Image: Sandile Ndlovu

Good governance, political stability, proper administration and financial management are some of the pillars of a stable municipality.

That's the view of co-operative governance & traditional affairs (Cogta) minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who paid an oversight visit to the eThekwini municipality on Thursday.

She was candid about what led to a lack of service delivery and protests.

“The local sphere is the centre of the sphere of governance. If governance, administration and finances are good you tend to have good service delivery, less protests, but if those three are not working properly then communities protest,” she said.

Dlamini-Zuma said her department had identified major causes of poor municipal performance, including political infighting among councillors.

“Lack of consequence management; inappropriate interface between the councillors and the administrators; poor oversight; and where there are coalitions, we see that they don’t work as well. When there is no unity in the council, it becomes unstable,” she said.

Municipal issues extend beyond politics, however, and the minister said this was one of the major contributors to a lack of progress.

“In administration we sometimes see high vacancy rates, even for very important portfolios like CFOs, technical services and planners. It takes long to fill those posts and sometimes when they do get filled, they are filled by people who do not qualify. Sometimes there is corruption in the filling of those posts,” she explained.

The minister also bemoaned the use of consultants to solve some municipal problems, who raked in millions but did not bring about any improvement.

“Financial management - where we get poor audit outcomes, some municipalities are in financial distress, but sometimes it is because their finances are not handled properly,” she added.

Dlamini-Zuma asked the eThekwini municipality, in the presence of mayor Mxolisi Kaunda, to rate itself against the four pillars of good governance, diagnose its problems and find solutions.

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