Residents in Gauteng are bearing the brunt of the lack of service delivery due to monies not being paid to municipalities in the province. The DA is very concerned that service delivery has become virtually non-existent in a number of municipalities as the Gauteng Provincial Government (GPG) is not paying municipalities the money it owes.
The DA has learnt that the GPG owes municipalities in the province R402 022 039 for property rates and municipal services as at March 2021.
This information was revealed to me by the MEC for Finance, Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko in a written reply to my questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL).
Life is already very hard for residents with some municipalities being subjected to load reduction by Eskom on a daily basis.
This trend of the GPG owing money to municipalities is extremely concerning given that the local municipalities in the province with the exception of Midvaal has tabled unfunded budgets and struggle to provide proper service to the residents, this includes water and electricity supply.
This money could have been used by municipalities to pay their debt owed to service providers mostly Eskom and Rand Water.
It is unacceptable that people are suffering when millions of rands is owed to local municipalities who are unable to provide continuous services to the residents in their area.
This puts additional strain on our people who are forced to make alternate arrangements to ensure that they are able to cook, work from home and run businesses.
Residents’ lives are also put in danger when there is no electricity making them vulnerable to crime.
Furthermore, GPG should make arrangements with the municipalities in terms of how this debt will be paid so as to relieve these municipalities from financial strain and so that service delivery can resume.
I will be engaging with the MEC for Finance on this matter to find out what measures are been put in place to ensure that this R402 022 039 that is owed to municipalities for property rates and municipal services is paid as a matter of urgency as this status quo cannot be allowed to continue.
Questions will also be tabled in the GPL, to ascertain exactly why it is taking 120 days for municipalities to be paid, what percentage of the amount is owed is been disputed and how long it will take to resolve this issue.
Our residents deserve better, and we will continue to put pressure on the GPG to prioritise service delivery.
Local Government Elections are coming up in 2021! Visit check.da.org.za to check your voter registration status.