By Katlego Legodi
Gauteng Human Settlements MEC Lebogang Maile has painted a bleak picture of the state of municipalities in the province.
Maile says of the 11 municipalities including the three metros, only 2 municipalities- Midvaal and Ekurhuleni are in a healthy state. A committee of inquiry has been set up to investigate allegations of fraud, maladministration, and corruption in Gauteng municipalities.
The committee would start work immediately and was given three months to carry out its work. The MEC made the announcement on Tuesday where he was giving an update into the state of municipalities in Gauteng.
“The primary focus of the committee is to conduct an inquiry into the state of affairs in municipalities based on sound financial governance, Institutional capability and effective service delivery,” Maile said.
The terms of reference of the committee will be to inquire, make findings, report to the MEC, guided by the Constitution, relevant legislation, policies, and guidelines.
Maile cited the Auditor General’s reports and several forensic reports into municipalities that revealed among others irregularities and corruption, as the basis to launch urgent interventions. The ten men committee of inquiry will be chaired by Trevor Fowler and expected to sit for 3 months and come up with recommendations on how to return the municipalities to a healthy state.
“We urge all stakeholders, including business and civil society organisations to support our initiative of making local government work” Maile said.
The city of Tshwane has been flagged as the municipality that leads with cases of corruption and maladministration with the mayor emphasising that heads will roll if officials are found to be corrupt. Emfuleni, West Rand and Merafong have also been described as being on the edge of dysfunctionality with the MEC revealing that the municipalities are also receiving provincial interventions as per the country’s constitution.