Municipalities failing to function due to corruption: Political Analyst

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The dysfunction of many municipalities in the country can be blamed on corruption, says political analyst Dr Dale McKinley.

His comment follows the recent announcement to Parliament by Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma revealing that more than 60 municipalities in the country have been declared dysfunctional 43 of which needed to be put under mandatory administration. Furthermore, over 100 others are at risk of a similar fate due to financial distress.

“The people are secondary, service is secondary, professionalism is secondary, the public service is secondary. So, this is the problem. Fundamentally, we have politics that is divorced from the democratic dispensation, a democratic service, the rise to the surface is as a result of that,” says McKinley.

PODCAST | COGTA says many municipalities are dysfunctional and under financial distress:

Minister assures that legislative efforts are being made to fix the issues facing municipalities

During her speech at the Vote 3 & 15, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs 2022 Budget Vote on Tuesday, Minister Dlamini-Zuma told Parliament that the Municipal Systems Bill had been passed by the National Assembly and referred to the President for assent. This Bill will regulate the processes concerning the appointment of municipal managers and managers directly accountable to them. It also establishes competency criteria for these appointments and prohibits those who occupy such offices from holding political positions.

On November 1, 2021, the Local Government Municipal Structures Amendment Act came into effect. The Amendment Act established an enforceable revised Code of Conduct for Councillors which will allow the MEC to remove a councillor from office for a breach of the code of conduct.

The Local Government: Municipal Structures Amendment Act 3 of 2021 which also commenced in November 2021 introduced amendments barring Municipal office-bearers, such as mayors from being members of the Municipal Public Accounts Committee (MPAC).

The Ministers asserted that a number of the governance challenges that are facing municipalities will be addressed by the legislative interventions being made government.