Govt warned against taking over struggling municipalities

The Financial and Fiscal Commission says the national government is not necessarily better at delivering services than the provincial governments themselves.

Professor Nico Steytler. Picture: Dullah Omar Institute

CAPE TOWN - The Financial and Fiscal Commission says national government should avoid automatically taking over the functions of provinces which are struggling to deliver services.

While acknowledging the importance of placing the troubled North West province under administration, the commission has recommended that the state should not have a blanket approach to increasing the role of national government in delivering services at a provincial and local level.

The commission briefed the media on Monday on its annual submission for the Division of Revenue to Parliament.

The Financial and Fiscal Commission says the national government is not necessarily better at delivering services than the provincial governments themselves.

The commission advises Parliament and state organs on how money collected by Treasury should be allocated fairly and equitably across all three spheres of government.

The commission’s professor Nico Steytler said: “It ties up with the question about North West and the intervention, the argument is that, yes, there is a crisis in the North West. All the requirements of the Constitution for intervention in terms of Section 100 are present but the point will then be not all provinces are problematic.”

The commission has also noted how one of the biggest threats to financial sustainability and service delivery is fraud and corruption and has called for improved systems.

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)