Municipalities in Limpopo – non compliance with legislation

Concern is expressed with the many municipalities in Limpopo who did not comply with section 71 of the Municipal Finance Management Act. Me Roné Hennop, chairperson of the Local Government Committee of TAU SA North, said that the National Treasury lists the names of the municipalities that have failed to conform to the legislative requirements outlined by section 71 of the Municipal Finance Management Act (Act No. 56 of 2003) for the reporting period ending 31 March 2009. The following municipalities have not submitted electronic returns on their conditional grant spending for the period ending 31 March 2009 in terms of section 74(1) of the Municipal Finance Management Act, 2003. Hennop requested members of organized agriculture in the following municipal areas to follow up on the report from National Treasury and enquire whether those municipalities put remedial or corrective steps in place and if not, why not. Limpopo – 21 municipalities: Makhuduthamaga, Fetakgomo, Greater Tubatse, Greater Sekhukhune District, Greater Tzaneen, Ba-Phalaborwa, Maruleng, Mopani District, Musina, Mutale, Thulamela, Makhado, Vhembe District, Aganang, Molemole, Polokwane, Lepelle-Nkumpi, Capricorn District Municipality, Thabazimbi, Bela Bela, Mogalakwena The following municipalities in Limpopo failed to submit signed returns on their Conditional Grant spending for the period ending 31 March 2009 in terms of Section 74(1) of the Municipal Finance Management Act, 2003 (Act No. 56 of 2003): Makhuduthamaga, Fetakgomo, Elias Motsoaledi, Greater Tubatse, Greater Sekhukhune District, Greater Giyani, Greater Letaba, Greater Tzaneen, Ba-Phalaborwa, Maruleng, Mopani District, Musina, Mutale, Thulamela, Makhado, Vhembe District, Blouberg, Aganang, Molemole, Polokwane, Lepelle-Nkumpi, Capricon District, Thabazimbi, Lephalale, Mookgopong, Modimolle, Bela Bela, Mogalakwena, Waterberg District Hennop asked members of the committee to find out from municipalities whether all the positions in the finance departments per municipality were filled and how many consultants are working in the same department. She said it is urgent to get a clear picture whether after 1994 appointed officials are able to do the job. It is unacceptable that very expensive consultants are employed while municipal officials are not able to do the job. Tax payers cannot continue to pay for both. The non compliance report is just one small indication of the chaos in the financial management of municipalities. She urged members to find out what municipalities are doing to rectify the non compliance. She said it is especially of concern when District Municipalities are part of the non compliance group. The role and need for district municipalities must urgently be reviewed. The basic principles did not change. Tax payers are paying for a service that must be rendered in a cost effective way. Paying for expensive officials and expensive consultants to do the same job is not acceptable. She urged members to make sure that the budgets for the 2009/10 financial years do not include expensive contracts to expensive consultants when officials are appointed and in place.