GPT has no plan in place to assist municipalities during Covid-19 pandemic
7 May 2020
The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng has learnt that the Gauteng Provincial Treasury (GPT) has no plan in place to assist municipalities during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Instead of formulating a detailed plan as to how municipalities will be assisted during this time, GPT has indicated that the municipalities must in the meantime repurpose the use of their conditional grants for Covid-19 emergencies.
Since the start of the lockdown on 26 March 2020 to help curb the spread of Covid-19 pandemic, smaller municipalities like Merafong have been struggling to collect revenue from its residents.
This municipality like many others under the ANC- led government which have had unfunded budgets such as Emfuleni Local Municipality, Lesedi Local Municipality, Mogale City Local Municipality and Rand West District Municipality are battling to pay for bulk services from Eskom and Rand Water.
It is clear that these municipalities do not have the skills to repurpose their budget and will need direction from GPT.
Furthermore, if these municipalities do not get financial assistance from the GPT they will be unable to provide basic services to residents.
Where we govern in the Western Cape, we have already allocated emergency Covid-19 budgets to the various municipalities.
The DA is calling on the MEC for Finance, Nomuntu Nkomo-Ralehoko to urgently allocate emergency Covid-19 budgets to the municipalities in the province, so that service delivery can continue without interruption.
Issued by Adriana Randall, DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Finance and e-Government, 7 May 2020