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South Africa: KwaZulu-Natal Premier Evaluates Service Delivery
Source: www.SAnews.gov.za
Source Date: Thursday, November 14, 2013
Focus: Institution and HR Management
Country: South Africa
Created: Nov 14, 2013

“The municipality’s capacity to spend on its Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) has improved, as it spent 92.4% of its 2012/13 allocated MIG budget of R25.4 million. There is also tremendous progress in respect of its three-year medium term expenditure framework commitments for its MIG, which is now above 100%.

“This means the municipality is in a state of readiness with regards to future capital projects. This will enable the municipality to implement projects without delay, as its project management capacity has been improved through enhanced capacity and focus,” Mchunu said.

He said the intervention has enabled the municipality to ring-fence infrastructure funding, so that it does not utilise MIG funds for operating costs.

Waste management has been one of the municipality’s major service delivery weaknesses, as it operates illegal waste dump sites. Apart from the huge penalties amounting to millions of rands that were about to be imposed on the municipality by the Department of Environmental Affairs due to non-compliance with environmental laws, the state of health of the communities in close proximity to the dump sites was also at high risk.

“It is heartening to note that a Waste Management Unit has been established to deal with such issues. The unit is currently undertaking an Integrated Waste Management Plan, and municipal by-laws in this regard have been developed and the public participation process has been finalised. A Clean Town Summit has been held recently and clean-up campaigns have been conducted,” said Mchunu.

During the past festive season, the sewerage crisis in Nordale, Honeydale and KwaMsane reached unbearable levels, and the affected community members were subjected to live in squalor.

To address this, uMtubatuba municipality approached Umkhanyakude district municipality, as water and sanitation services form part of district functions. While the water and sanitation challenge is not yet over in Umkhanyakude in general and in uMtubatuba in particular, Mchunu said progress was being made.

“The issue of the provision of water and sanitation services to the community is critical. I wish to report that a contractor is now due to commence with relaying a sewer pipeline. The cost thereof will be R1.2 million. Some households in certain areas had no water metres but these metres will be installed by the end of December.

“To address the sanitation crisis in KwaMsane, the sewer pipeline needs to be replaced as the infrastructure is heavily depressed there. Vandalism manifesting itself in illegal water connections by some households committed on the water pipeline from KwaBhoboza to KwaMsane reservoir has seriously compromised water supply to the area,” the premier said.

UMkhanyakude district municipality has set aside a budget of R6 million to install a new water pipeline.

Mchunu said an intergovernmental solution would have to be found as a matter of urgency to address the R10 million budget shortfall on this project.

“Cogta will have to play a coordinating role in this regard. As the municipality does not have a comprehensive infrastructure plan, the provincial Treasury’s crack team has been mandated to develop a plan for uMtubatuba. This will enable the municipality to address its infrastructure needs in a more coherent and sustainable manner. Operations and maintenance will receive focal attention,” Mchunu said.
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