Political instability and weaknesses in governance are two of the primary causes of poor service delivery at municipal level and are some of the lessons learned in the “Back to Basics” (B2B) programme during the first two years of its existance.
Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Des van Rooyen said a lack of citizen engagement was also found to be a common factor in those municipalities that were performing poorly.
He said municipalities that had problems in terms of functionality were taken over politically and administratively with the aim of improving services.
“We also introduced S154 interventions or support packages to municipalities such as the Nelson Mandela Bay, Buffalo City, Thabazimbi, Oudtshoorn and Mogalakwena, among others.”
He said the inability of municipalities to collect monies owed to them is also a bone of contention.
“The debt owed to municipalities was R117 billion as at December 2016. Another key issue is the continued support provided to municipalities to honour their debts to creditors such as Eskom.”
Van Rooyen said they need to position municipalities to offer a better quality of life to all citizens.
“We also need to ensure that municipalities are primed as centres of local economic development,” he said.
“Stats SA’s 2016 community survey highlighted the improvement in the delivery of basic services. Access to piped water in a dwelling stood at 44,4%, in the yard at 30% and 15% of households had access outside the yard,” the minister said.
Van Rooyen said 60.6% of households had access to flushing toilets that are connected to a sewerage system. “Of this, 45.6% have access to toilets in the house while 49% of toilets are located in the yard.”