The bureaucratic snarl-ups that are bedevilling the Nelson Mandela Metropole’s cash flow need to be unshackled. Officialdom on the side of the province and the Metro must pull out all stops to ensure money flows into the municipal coffers as quickly as possible.

R214 million is due to the Nelson Mandela Metropole from the provincial government. However, part of the total of R214 million is an amount of R101 million owed for bridging finance in regard to housing. This has not been paid due to the Metro not meeting certain requirements.

Click here for the answer from the MEC for Local Government and Traditional Affairs, Sicelo Gqobana:

mec reply nmmm outstanding million

Similarly R40 million is outstanding for the primary healthcare subsidy due to a service level agreement for the municipal financial year only being finalised yesterday. As a result thereof the municipality has not received its primary healthcare subsidy for two quarters. This is bureaucratic bungling at its worse.

The Department of Roads and Public works owes the Metro a total of R50 million for maintenance on provincial classified roads over the last three years. In the legislature next week the MEC for Roads and Public Works will have to provide an answer to this by means of a question I have tabled for oral reply.

The Department of Education also owes the Metro an amount of R23.2 million as at the end of October. The Department of Education only paid the Metro an amount of R2.2 million in October, which is a fraction of the amount owing.

What must the Metro do to get this money? The only drastic measure it can take is to cut off service to schools, with the learners being the victims. On the other hand if they don’t pull out all stops to get in their cash, service providers to the municipality will remain unpaid with the huge damage that this inflicts on their businesses and employees. The Department of Education needs to meet its commitments so innocent learners don’t end up becoming a political football.

On the one hand the Metro needs to get its act together and ensure that all the necessary agreements and conditions for funding are put promptly in place. On the other hand the province needs to live up to its own norms by paying the Metro what is owed to it within 30 days.

The Democratic Alliance will continue to raise these issues to ensure action.

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