Maile has no plans to support municipalities to procure electricity from IPPs

Our residents are once again suffering through another round of load-shedding simply because the State-Owned Entity (SOE) Eskom is just not up to the task of providing a regular supply of electricity to the country.

In addition, it is very worrying that the Gauteng Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) has no intention of assisting municipalities in the province to procure electricity from Independent Power Producers (IPPs).

This information was revealed to me in a reply to my written questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL) to the MEC for COGTA, Lebogang Maile. According to the MEC, the department will not be providing any support to municipalities as Section 154 of the Constitution makes provision for municipalities to do this on their own.

However, given the current state of our municipalities especially the local and district municipalities, it would be prudent for MEC Maile, to provide any assistance they may need to procure additional electricity that will at least provide some protection from load shedding.

Procuring electricity from IPPs is of vital importance, especially since the MEC for Economic Development, Parks Tau admitted that around 122 500 jobs have been lost in this province to the continued load-shedding.

The DA is demanding that MEC Maile together with other municipalities follow the lead taken by the City of Johannesburg Mayor, Mpho Phalatse in holding an energy summit. This is crucial if we want our struggling municipalities like Emfuleni and Merafong to become financially more secure as a continued supply of electricity is crucial to keep the wheels of any economy turning.

Government underfunding of municipalities places strain on struggling ratepayers

Underfunded mandates are putting a severe strain on district and local municipalities in the Gauteng Province.

An underfunded mandate occurs when national government gives the local and district municipalities less money as opposed to what they spent on providing a service from their budget so they need to absorb the additional costs which they can’t really afford to do.

I recently had a very disturbing telephonic conversation with the MMC for Finance of the West Rand District Municipality, Cllr. Brian Blake who indicated that having an underfunded mandate is not sustainable for the municipality.

They had to spend R104 million on fire services, an underfunded mandate, whilst the role of a district municipality is mainly to assist and capacitate local municipalities to enable them to provide and sustain the provision of services in their area, to promote economic development in the district and to serve as infrastructure development agents.

This has a severe impact on the delivery of basic services and in some instances also critical services provided by the Fire Department.

Not to mention that the West Rand district municipality faces various challenges with regards to the maintenance and upkeep of their own municipal buildings and where budget is lacking due to them funding a fire service for which they are not compensated.

According to a recent reply to my questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL) regarding underfunded mandates the MEC for Finance, Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko indicated that for fire services, the West Rand District Municipality has spent R104 million, however they have only received R7 million from National Government, on condition that it be used specifically for one fire engine.

See reply here  

This is extremely concerning as it means that residents will have a longer waiting time if there are multiple fires that break out in their area putting their lives and homes at risk.

It is unfair that our residents now need to suffer because local and district municipalities need to dig deep into their budgets to ensure that critical services are delivered to our residents.

The DA will take this fight of underfunded mandates up on behalf of our local and district municipalities by using the mechanism in place at provincial and national government.

We will continue to put pressure on the MEC for Finance and the MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Lebogang Maile to ensure that all municipalities are able to deliver services unhindered.

Incompetent MEC Maile fails to implement urgent measures to rescue collapsing Gauteng municipalities

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng notes with great concern that the Gauteng MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), Lebogang Maile has once again failed to implement the urgent measures needed to rescue the collapsing Gauteng municipalities.

This information was revealed in the Gauteng Department of COGTA’s annual report for the 2019/2020 financial year.

According to the annual report, three municipalities namely, Emfuleni Local Municipality, Merafong Local Municipality and Lesedi District Municipality were earmarked for functional statutory council committees. However, the target was not achieved because the research on the functionality of the statutory council was not finalised.

The department had a target to support Merafong Local Municipality to develop the Capital Expenditure Framework (CEF) together with the Integrated Urban Development Framework (IUDF) levers and this target was not achieved. The department states that this target was not achieved because of the challenges to appoint the service provider.

Furthermore, the department failed to meet its target to support Emfuleni with repairs and maintenance of the sewer pump stations. This target was not achieved because the department missed the deadline to transfer funds to the implementing agent namely the Ekurhuleni Water Care Company (ERWAT).

The reasons given for the department’s failure to meet its target relates to project and financial management, in which it seems the department is incapable and inefficient.

It is high time that MEC Maile prioritises fixing the challenges facing these municipalities that were caused by his own cadres.

The residents of these municipalities continue to suffer as service delivery has collapsed and these municipalities are facing serious cash-flow problems. This department is failing to support our local and district municipalities which are plagued by enormous challenges ranging from failing to settle their water and electricity debts, and some are bankrupt and unable to pay employees’ salaries.

This department lacks a political leader to drive the core mandate of the department; MEC Maile is incompetent and must be held accountable for his department’s failures.

We will continue to put pressure on MEC Maile to ensure that those targets that were not met in the previous financial year are prioritised during this financial year. We will also continue to monitor the work done by this department to ensure that they provide much needed support to our municipalities.

Gauteng Provincial Government Departments owe ANC-led local municipalities over R89 million

The Democratic Alliance (DA) is shocked to learn that the Gauteng Provincial Government Departments owes ANC-led local municipalities over R89 million for utilities.

This was revealed to me by the Gauteng MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), Lebogang Maile in a written reply to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature.

According to MEC Maile, Gauteng Provincial Government Departments owe R89 503 016,41 to the following local municipalities; Emfuleni Local Municipality, Lesedi Local Municipality, Mogale City Local Municipality and Merafong Local Municipality.

The money owed to these local municipalities is for utilities and is overdue by over 120 days.

Emfuleni is owed a large sum of money compared to other municipalities with a total of R49 647 977,72 of which Gauteng Department of Education is owing R 11 265 058,46, the Gauteng Department of Health owes R18 347 003,51 and the Gauteng Department of Human Settlements owes R257 297,44.

Merafong is owed a total of R14 217 599,21, Mogale City is owed R12 996 983,23 and Lesedi is owed R12 640 646,25.

Most of these municipalities have unfunded mandates and they have no money to render services to their residents. This money owed to them could help to ease their financial pressure.

The embattled Emfuleni is struggling to pay debt owed to Eskom and Rand Water as well as to deliver basic services such as sanitation and refuse removal.

The DA calls on MEC Maile to intervene and engage with various departments that owe these municipalities monies to make payment arrangements as soon as possible.

We will continue to monitor the progress of the payments of these debts by the Gauteng Provincial Departments to these four municipalities.

The Gauteng Provincial Government must lead by example in paying for utility debt owed to municipalities so that residents can follow suit.

Gauteng Provincial Departments Owe DA Municipalities R443 Million

DA Governed Municipalities Owed

Gauteng Provincial Government departments owe DA governed municipalities in the province R443 million, money desperately needed to address the service delivery backlog left behind by the ANC.

Of the R613 million owed to all municipalities across the province, 72% of this will be split between the cities of Johannesburg, Tshwane and Mogale City.

The departments of Infrastructure Development, Health, Education, Roads and Transport, Social Development and Human Settlements have failed to live up to their obligations to transfer funds which they received as grants from National Treasury to municipalities in the province.

This table outlines the amounts owed to various municipalities by the departments responsible:

Functioning Local Government

Most notably are the amounts of money owed by the Department of Infrastructure Development. In a province where in-migration is unparalleled more than anywhere else in the country, the need for new infrastructure development is paramount.

It is impossible for municipalities to roll out quality services if the funding required to do so is not available. Without it, business comes to a halt and residents are denied access to the heartbeat of democracy – functioning local government.

The DA will pose questions to Gauteng Premier David Makhura and request that he provide a timeline of when these funds will be paid to the relevant municipalities and what steps will be taken to avoid this from happening in the future.



Media Enquiries:

Bronwynn Engelbrecht MP

DA Member in the NCOP

082 376 1022

COGTAHS Annual Report 2014/15 Debate

Speech by: Fred Nel MPL

“Local government is the engine room of service delivery”

  • No performance assessments were done during the year under review.
  • The ICT strategy remains uncompleted and as an important backbone of modern strategic implementation.
  • Intergovernmental relations remain an area of lip service rather than concrete implementation of the legislative framework.
  • Too many of the department’s strategic objectives are dependent on outside bodies, mainly municipalities, to implement.

The full speech can be obtained here.


Speech by: Lebo More MPL

“Gauteng COGTAHS department asks more questions than provides answers”

  • Paying service providers within 30 days is still a problem that needs to be sorted out.
  • Small and emerging businesses find it tough to survive in an environment where they are expected to continuously render services whilst payments are forever delayed.
  • The DA believes in a government that is efficient. A government that responds to the needs of the people.

The full speech can be obtained here.


Media enquiries:

Fred Nel MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs

083 863 2427


Lebo More MPL

DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Petitions & COGTAHS

082 450 0815

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Gauteng Legislature Prevents DA From Participating in NCOP Debates

NCOP Provincial Week

The Office of the Speaker of the Gauteng Legislature is deliberately attempting to prevent DA delegates from participating in debates at the National Council of Provinces.

On 30 July, NCOP Chairperson Thandi Modise invited provincial delegates to attend NCOP plenaries on 4 and 6 August, and to participate in debates on International Mandela Day and the Reports of the NCOP Provincial Week.

Click here to view the letter.

However, the invitation was only sent to the DA on Sunday morning, and came to the attention of our personnel this morning.

Deliberate Sabotage

The DA has already written to the Deputy Speaker, Mr Uhuru Moiloa and expressed our protest over what we believe is a deliberate attempt at sabotaging the DA’s participation in debates of much consequence.

Two weeks ago NCOP delegates were taken on a sanitised tour of the West Rand to inspect service delivery projects that had little to do with its mandate of advancing the developmental agenda of municipalities.

Had it not been for the DA’s efforts to add more site visits to the programme, delegates would have seen very little evidence of municipalities on the brink of collapse.

Shutting Down Opposition Parties

The DA has long held the view that a great divide exists between the ANC of today and what it was during the presidency of Nelson Mandela.

The repeated attacks on the judiciary, the media and the Public Protector, as well as the state capture of institutions to protect the President at all costs are clear signs that the ANC will do anything and everything to strengthen its grip on power.

Shutting down opposition parties from carrying out their constitutional mandate of oversight and robust debate, is further testimony of this hegemonic behaviour.


Media enquiries:

Mike Moriarty MPL

DA Chief Whip in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature

082 492 4410

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