The Ikwezi Municipality is unable to pay salaries of staff and councillors for this month. This is not the first time that this municipality has had difficulty paying these obligations.
I am in receipt of an email from the Municipal Manager of Ikwezi wherein he writes that there is expected to be a delay of up to 48 hours before the payment is made.
I have referred the matter to the HOD of the Department of Local Government and Traditional Affairs, adv. Stanley Khanyile, for his immediate attention and action.
Furthermore I am calling for an investigation into this matter and in all cases where our provincial municipalities are in financial distress in the province.
Part of this investigation must be a workable plan as to how Ikwezi and other cash strapped municipalities such as Gariep and Kouga can generate income and become financially self-sufficient.
It emerged during the budget vote of the Department of Local Government in the Legislature last week that apart from the two Metro municipalities in the province, no municipality in the province had property valuators in their service.
This malaise is unacceptable and the charging of property rates for individuals and businesses, however small, is one way such municipalities can be assured of regular monthly income.
It is unacceptable that due to financial misstatement, high unemployment and low income fin such communities that municipalities must grind to a halt to the extent that basics such as salaries cannot be paid.
It is hoped that the payment of salaries in Ikwezi Municipality will take place forthwith.