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Placing municipalities under administration failing to stop rot, MPs told

Deputy Cogta Minister Parks Tau made the admission on Tuesday night while the committee was being briefed on government interventions to bring crisis-hit municipalities back from the brink.

Deputy Cogta Minister Parks Tau. Picture: @NationalCoGTA/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - Putting failing municipalities under administration has failed to deliver results, Parliament’s oversight committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs has been told.

Deputy Cogta Minister Parks Tau made the admission on Tuesday night while the committee was being briefed on government interventions to bring crisis-hit municipalities back from the brink.

The committee heard how some municipalities had undergone multiple interventions in terms of the Constitution but had little improvement to show for it.

In the past financial year, provincial governments were forced to intervene in 46 failing municipalities, 22 of them in the North West and 10 in KwaZulu-Natal. Around 24 are still under administration, including the City of Tshwane.

Cogta Director-General Themba Fosi spelled out some of the problems likely to trigger an intervention in a municipality under Section 139 of the Constitution:

"[They] range from governance issues, where there is political infighting and instability and recently, coalition governments which also provide instability; issues relating to service delivery when there is failure to provide services to communities resulting in increased community protests, areas around financial management and administrative issues like high vacancies."

Deputy Cogta minister Parks Tau agreed with committee members who noted the interventions were failing to stop the rot at municipalities.

"In fact in most instances, interventions instituted have not yielded, at the end of the intervention, the requisite result. And that there have been repeat interventions without resolving the underlying issues that are impacting on the municipality."

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