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81 experts deployed to distressed municipalities

Of the 81 experts in the technical support team, 36 are civil engineers, 14 electrical engineers and 16 are town and regional planners.

Minister Zweli Mkhize, Deputy Minister Andries Nel and Municipal Infrastructure Support Agent CEO Ntandazo Vimba with some of the recently appointed engineers and town planners deployed to distressed and dysfunctional municipalities. Picture: @NationalCoGTA/Twitter.

PRETORIA - Cooperative Governance Minister Zweli Mkhize has announced the deployment of 81 engineers and town planners to help distressed municipalities address service delivery.

The minister made the announcement at a briefing in Pretoria on Monday which was attended by some of the professionals.

Mkhize announced during his budget speech earlier this year that only 7% of municipalities were classified as functioning well while almost a third were completely dysfunctional.

The minister says over the past five years, R3.4 billion in municipal infrastructure grants were given back to Treasury because it was not spent because of a lack of expertise in smaller municipalities.

“We identified 55 municipalities that had no engineers. You cannot run infrastructure, water and sanitation, electricity and roads without engineers. But because they couldn’t afford, we needed those procured by Cogta at a national level.”

Mkhize added: “They will be able to plan their infrastructure, implement it and maintain it. And that will solve the problems where people have complained about service delivery lapses as the municipality had no way to solve it, simply because they didn’t have the right expertise or a good enough base to be able to employ such professionals.”

He says the intervention focuses on three main areas: governance and administration, financial management, as well as service delivery.

Of the 81 experts in the technical support team, 36 are civil engineers, 14 electrical engineers and 16 are town and regional planners.

The programme will run until April 2021.

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)

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