Put a stop to these wasteful Amatholes

17 January 2021 - 00:00 By Editorial

The dire situation in the Amathole District Municipality, whose seat is in East London in the Eastern Cape, may seem an isolated incident, but it is a sign of what is wrong with how our municipalities are run. Amathole this week said it could not pay salaries to its staff, its 1,670 councillors and traditional leaders for the next four months because it has no money.

This is no surprise. The municipality has been imploding for a while. In November it was reported to have sought a bank overdraft of R64m to pay salaries. Before that it had virtually doubled its staff complement. Now it has gone begging to the national government for relief: R330m for salaries and separation packages. There is a strong likelihood that this plea will not be its last...

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