Parliament commended the Joburg and Tshwane metros for having increased their expenditure on key service delivery areas after the underexpenditures incurred under the previous ANC-led regimes.
This emerged as officials made presentations to the select committee on appropriations in parliament yesterday.
Led by speaker Vasco da Gama, with city manager Ndivhoniswani Lukhwareni at his side, a delegation of Joburg officials had to account for the underexpenditure.
Committee chairperson Charel de Beer was concerned about the underexpenditure at both municipalities on urban development grants, which are crucial for urban improvement.
The grants included the Integrated City Development Grant (ICDG), the Public Transport Network Grant, the Neighbourhood Development Partnership Grant (NDPG) and the Urban Settlements Development Grant.
All these occurred before the Democratic Alliance (DA) took over from the ANC after the 2016 local government elections.
The Joburg officials cited procurement delays, land acquisition glitches, contractual performances of service providers and the local government elections having delayed projects.
De Beer said the officials said that although expenditure outcomes for the first three-quarters of the 2016/17 financial year ranged from 50%-55% for these grants, “they managed to increase this to above 90%, with the exception of the ICDG and NDPG grants, where the municipality has faced a number of challenges”.
“The municipality seeks to address these challenges through the appointment of [financial service consultancy] PricewaterhouseCoopers.”
Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga said the officials cited procurements and land acquisition. Tshwane also added community unrest as a major contributing factor to the underexpenditure of urban grants.
The committee noted that in both metros, spending performance during the third quarter of the 2016/17 financial year was not satisfactory. – firstname.lastname@example.org