The department of cooperative governance and traditional affairs has warned all its municipalities that “time for excuses is over and it is time to deliver”.

This emerged after a two-day meeting aimed at debating municipal finances and service delivery programmes.

The meeting, on Thursday in Mthatha, was addressed by cooperative governance and traditional affairs MEC Mlibo Qoboshiyane.

Qoboshiyane said his department needed a local government that optimised the full potential of its own people and an administration that was effective, people-centred and efficient.

Qoboshiyane said it was time for municipalities to value the money contributed by ratepayers.

“The roads we construct, the homes we build, the bridges we build, the services we deliver, the water and sanitation we provide to the people must never again be unfinished projects, we must complete these quality projects on time to benefit our people,” Qoboshiyane said.

He said the state of finances of municipalities across the province was not encouraging, with both commercial and domestic debt heavily hindered, which crippled the ability of the municipalities to deliver, especially the poor and rural municipalities.

Qoboshiyane said some municipalities had not implement revenue enhancement policies.

“The department of local government and traditional affairs and treasury have teamed up to respond to this situation and bimonthly meetings are held to evaluate progress. Bilateral sessions between owed municipalities and treasury also ensued,” said Qoboshiyane.

He said the process of verification, proof, timeous billing and reliable data from municipalities was also being strengthened.

“We are responding to the situation with the speed it deserves but we can’t do this without communities and commercial clients like businesses and departments paying their debts,” said Qoboshiyane, who early this month signed performance agreements with all 45 mayors.

DA spokesperson on local government Veliswa Mvenya said nothing could be achieved in local government if councillors were not monitored. Mvenya said the DA believed in accountable government to deliver services to all.

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