Cogta interventions fail in EC: Daily Dispatch

BABYSITTING interventions in ailing Eastern Cape municipalities are not working.

This is because some municipalities quickly regress to the bad state they were in before the provincial government intervened, the Bhisho legislature has been told.

This was a result of lack of skills transfer to backsliding municipalities, according to a report from the cooperative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) portfolio committee.

The report was adopted by the this week.

The report, tabled before a legislature sitting on Tuesday by committee chair Mninawa Nyusile, recommended that the department must first put in place proper structures and support before pulling out of the ailing municipalities.

Nyusile said although Cogta intervened in municipalities in terms of Section 154 or 139 of the Constitution, “the interventions are unsustainable and municipalities regress as soon as the intervention is withdrawn”.

“The department must ensure legislature that there are proper structures, support and personnel after an intervention is terminated so that there is sustainability and skills are transferred,” Nyusile told the legislature.

The provincial government has in recent years offered support to Nelson Mandela Bay Metro (NMBM), and the municipalities of Sundays River Valley, Ikwezi, Inxuba Yethemba, Ngqushwa, Lukhanji, King Sabatha Dalindyebo (KSD), Emalahleni, Alfred Nzo, O R Tambo, Makana, Gariep, Mhlontlo, Intsikayethu, Great Kei and Mbizana.

In his state of the province address last year, premier Phumulo Masualle allocated R130-million to help three ailing municipalities.

Makana, Inkwanca and KSD were placed under provincial government care when they could no longer run day-to-day operations on their own.

At the time Masualle said some of the money would be used to settle escalating Eskom electricity debts and help restart some of the infrastructure projects which had run out of money and stalled amid instability.

Despite Cogta MEC Fikile Xasa telling the legislature on Tuesday that Nyusile’s committee must not generalise “as the intervention has worked in Makana and NMBM”, political parties were united in the legislature debate in lamenting the failure of skills transfer during the interventions.

Both ANC MPL Ntombizodwa Xhanti and DA MPL Kobus Botha said it was critical for the department to make sure that skills were adequately transferred to officials in the municipalities before seconded officials pulled out.

Xasa said: “It is not all doom and gloom.

“Makana and NMBM are good models of how our interventions have succeeded.” —