Municipalities will no longer be allowed to spend funds on alcohol, catering for internal meetings, on procurement for luxury vehicles and the appointment of consultants to perform municipal functions.
This comes as new municipal cost containment measures are set to take effect from July 1.
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni, in consultation with Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, published new stringent measures to cut down wasteful expenditure at local government level.
According to the regulations, the contracting of consultants will be limited and only be made use of in cases where the municipality has no requisite skills or resources to perform the function.
This is one of the troublesome factors that have in the past been listed by the auditor-general as a wasteful expenditure by municipalities across the country.
Before appointing a consultant, municipalities will, as of next month, have to negotiate payments, set a cost ceiling, and reach an agreement that the consultant will help with in-house training of municipal staff.
The regulations also introduce a limitation in terms of the value of the vehicles to be procured and the management thereof by municipalities and municipal entities.
Travel and subsistence allowances are also being limited.
According to the regulation, this will provide a threshold for the purchasing of air tickets, provides limitations on international travel and the hiring of vehicles.
“Entity officials or political office bearers must, as a first option, use municipal fleet vehicles where viable, before incurring costs of hired vehicles,” the new regulations states.
Mboweni has further outlined that the issuance of credit or debit cards linked to municipal bank accounts to public office bearers or the board of directors of municipal entities, must be limited.
This would mean such officials must make use of their cash, their personal credit cards or arrangements made by the municipality or entity and request reimbursements in terms of the municipal policy.
– OFM News