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Opposition parties weigh in on Ramaphosa’s plan to fix struggling municipalities

The president used part of that speech to address the state of the nation's towns.

Parliament ahead of Sona 2020. Picture: Twitter/ParliamentofRSA

CAPE TOWN - Opposition parties have welcomed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s commitment to get the nation's municipalities back on track. The president delivered his fourth State of the Nation Address (Sona) in Parliament on Thursday night.

Ramaphosa used part of that speech to address the state of the nation's towns.

*IN FULL: President CyriL Ramaphosa's 2020 Sona

Municipalities are at the coal face of service delivery as they are most citizens’ first point of contact with government.

But, overall the nation's municipalities are struggling. Last financial year, only 7% of the country's 257 municipalities achieved a clean audit.

In his address, Ramaphosa announced a redoubling of efforts to get municipalities back on track.

But the Democratic Alliance (DA)’s Solly Malatsi was unconvinced.

“While there are positive steps in the right direction, they come a little too late,” Malatsi said.

The United Democratic Movement (UDM)’s Nqabayomzi Kwankwa was also sceptical.

“The ANC has failed dismally, I think we’ve always said there is a challenge of having these district municipalities that do nothing… they need to do away with that arm of government,” Kwankwa said.

The president revealed in his speech that there were 40 municipalities across the country that were under administration.

At the same time, Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia de Lille said her department would lead the charge in resourcing municipalities.

De Lille, a former mayor of Cape Town, said Ramaphosa’s plan was workable and would lead to job creation and better service delivery.

“We have put together a bankable project to raise more funding from the private sector to assist municipalities to maintain their infrastructure, but also to build new infrastructure. This is key as cities are the drivers of change.”

WATCH: Politicians react to Sona 2020

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