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Municipalities across the country have received their share of the R33.9 billion first tranche of the Local Government Equitable Share (LGES).
Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs spokesperson, Lungi Mtshali, confirmed that the tranche was transferred to the primary bank accounts of the municipalities.
In a statement, the ministry said the LGES allocation will be transferred in three tranches during the current local government financial year, which begins in July.
The transfer of the LGES to all municipalities is premised on Section 216 of the Constitution. The section provides for National Government to transfer resources to municipalities in terms of the annual Division of Revenue Act (DORA) to assist them in exercising their powers and performing their functions.
Mtshali explained the equitable share provided funding for municipalities to deliver free basic services to poor households and subsidises the cost of administration. It also covered other core services for those municipalities with the least potential to cover these costs from their own revenues.
“The basic services component of the LGES provides a subsidy of R488.42 per month in 2022/23 for the cost of providing basic services to each of these poor households,” said Mtshali.
The subsidy included funding for the provision of:
- Free basic water (six kiloliters per poor household per month) (R168.22 per household below the affordability threshold).
- Energy (50 kilowatt-hours per month) (R107.04 per household below the affordability threshold).
- Sanitation (R115.95 per household below the affordability threshold).
- Refuse removal (R97.20 per household below the affordability threshold).
“The allocation to municipalities will assist them in, amongst other things, delivering free basic services to poor households through, for example, indigent support programmes. These programmes ensure that qualifying households, who are unable to pay for certain basic services, and have access to water, electricity, sanitation and refuse removal receive these services for free or at greatly reduced rates,” he added.
Moreover, he said COGTA Minister, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, called on those households who are unable to pay for basic services to contact their local municipalities to determine if they qualify to be beneficiaries of their local indigent support programme.
The Minister has further urged municipal councils to ensure that Municipal Public Accounts Committees (MPACs) are established and fully functional to facilitate the proper oversight of expenditure in municipalities, as stipulated in the Municipal Structures Act.
Furthermore, Mtshali said the Department will continue to coordinate National and Provincial government support for local municipalities to deliver basic services and implement better audit mechanisms. The department, he said, “is coordinating and collaborating with sector departments to support municipalities, as envisaged by Section 154 of the Constitution, through the District Development Model (DDM) approach”.
However, revenue collection remains a critical determinant of the financial viability of municipalities. Citizens are still responsible for paying municipalities for the services they receive.
“We urge citizens to pay for the services they receive so that municipalities can collect revenue and provide quality services to the communities, as municipalities need to have access to adequate sources of revenue to enable them to undertake the functional responsibilities assigned to them,” he concluded.
The question now stands, how much did Newcastle Municipality and neighbouring municipalities receive?
- Newcastle Municipality – R466 902
- eMadlangeni (Utrecht) Municipality – R36 076
- Dannhauser Municipality – R108 935
- Amajuba District Municipality – R201 814
- uPhongola Municipality – R169 597
- AbaQulusi (Vryheid) Municipality – R187 464
- Okhahlamba (Bergville) Municipality – R149 733
- Inkosi Langalibalele (Estcourt) Municipality – R218 092
- Alfred Duma (Ladysmith) Municipality – R285 377
- Endumeni (Dundee) Municipality – R60 247
- uThukela District Municipality – R539 912
- Nquthu Municipality – R169 636
- uMzinyathi District Municipality – R435 007
With budgets now pouring in, accountability is required. Therefore, we will as always, hold the municipalities responsible, ensuring our Newcastillian community reaps the rewards thereof.
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