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Nene concerned about financial health of some municipalities

Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene says if the financial management challenges of municipalities are not properly addressed, it could lead to their collapse.

FILE: Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene. PIcture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene says he’s concerned about the financial health of some municipalities, especially their inability to pay creditors and bulk water and electricity bills.

In a written parliamentary reply to a question from Congress of the People (Cope), Nene says governance issues are at the heart of service delivery and financial problems.

In April, Nene was quoted as saying that some cities are on the brink of collapse, but he now says he wasn’t referring to any city, in particular.

Nene has clarified his comments made at an executive leadership seminar of city managers in April, at which he was quoted as saying that some municipalities need to be pulled back from the brink of financial ruin.

In his parliamentary reply, Nene says his remarks were made based on the broad observation of the Treasury over time. He adds if the financial management challenges of municipalities are not properly addressed, it could lead to their collapse.

In another parliamentary reply, Nene has revealed that 112 municipalities don’t have the money to cover their budgets for the 2017 financial year.

Nene says the Treasury is in discussion with the Department of Cooperative Governance to prioritise the municipalities that need an intervention because they are in financial distress and failing to deliver services.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)

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