OPINION

How will NDZ's District Model stop Emfuleni from going bankrupt? – Cilliers Brink

DA MP says a R492m default judgment had been obtained against municipality

How will NDZ's District Model stop Emfuleni from going bankrupt?

15 October 2020

The Emfuleni Local Municipality in Vereeniging and Van der Bijlpark has been under the administration of the Gauteng provincial government since 2018.

But the province only found out that a R492 million default judgment had been obtained against Emfuleni when the municipality’s bank account was attached last week.

The bank account is now frozen, because the judgment debt far exceeds the amount of the judgment debt. The municipality’s other accounts are now at risk of attachment.

This will mean that Emfuleni will not be able to pay bulk service providers for the water and electricity it provides to residents.

Parliament’s portfolio committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) is currently on an oversight visit in Emfuleni.

Yesterday Bongani Gxilishe, HOD of CoGTA in Gauteng, told the committee that MEC Lebogang Maile only found out about the R492 million claim last week.

This despite court processes being served on the municipality in March and June, and MEC Maile supposedly meeting with Emfuleni’s administrators on a weekly basis.

MEC Maile’s ignorance of this dispute reveals the rank incompetence at the heart of the Gauteng provincial government.

Far from saving Emfuleni Gauteng’s intervention in the municipality has precipitated its collapse. The national government can no longer ignore the situation.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) will asking Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the national CoGTA minister, what steps the national government will be taking to prevent the total collapse of Emfuleni.

To date her District Development Model, which is supposed to improve intergovernmental cooperation and coordination, has made no difference to the lives of Emfuleni residents.

Issued by Cilliers Brink,DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Cooperative Governance & Traditional Affairs, 15 October 2020