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Municipalities reprioritise billions meant for basic services to fight COVID-19

The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) has briefed Parliament's Cogta committee on the R20 billion additional funding to municipalities on Thursday.

FILE: Parks Tau. Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Municipalities are reprioritising billions of rand meant for certain basic services to help lessen the impact of COVID-19.

The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) has briefed Parliament's Cogta committee on the R20 billion additional funding to municipalities on Thursday.

The briefing follows the publishing of new level four regulations announced by Cogta Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma on Wednesday night.

Municipalities are at the coal face of government's efforts to help mitigate the impact of the virus by providing shelters and basic services like water and sanitation.

Cogta deputy minister Parks Tau said municipalities would now be allowed to re-purpose their municipal infrastructure grants, to help fight COVID-19.

“Grants such as the municipal infrastructure grant and the urban settlement development grants, there have been provisions made to repurpose these grants.”

Chief director for municipal finance Mbulelo Sigaba said municipalities had already been subsided with R54 billon for basic services…

“Municipalities have already been subsidised with R54 billion for free basic services to poor households, so this R20 billion is in addition to this.”

The entire stimulus will now be presented to Parliament before the money is appropriated to municipalities.