NCOP must summon underspending municipalities – DA

Willie Aucamp says money could have gone a long way towards addressing delivery shortfalls

DA wants underspending municipalities summonsed to NCOP

18 May 2022

Note to Editors: Please find attached soundbites in English & Afrikaans by Willie Aucamp MP.

Government’s unanimous condemnation of the failure of two Northern Cape municipalities to spend their Municipal Infrastructure Grants (MIG) must now culminate in concerted efforts to prevent a repeat of this situation.

Gamagara municipality spent 0% of its allocated R12, 273 million grant for the 2021/22 financial year, while Richtersveld municipality spent 0% of its allocated R14, 480 million.

Both these municipalities have communities that are in desperate need of infrastructure improvements. This money could have gone a long way towards addressing shortfalls with regards to water, sewerage, electricity and more. This money, however, is now lost to these municipalities forever.

This is a double whammy for the people of Gamagara and Richtersveld, as future grant allocations will now be significantly cut, due to them having not spent their allocated funds. This will have a knock-on effect on further infrastructure maintenance and upgrades and will directly affect local communities.

This is completely unacceptable and no excuses can be tolerated.

Gamagara and Richtersveld should not again claim to be under-resourced, when they fail to utilize allocated funds, as this is due to their own doing. Their inability to spend on infrastructure can be further attributed to the destructive effect of cadre deployment, which has resulted in inadequate skills, leadership and accountability within local government.

Given that my motion condemning this underspending was unanimously agreed upon during a sitting of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), I will further seek to get the support of the NCOP to summons these two municipalities to come and account.

It is time that officials who are not fit-for-purpose are booted out of local government because until all municipalities spend all of the money allocated to them for infrastructure development, infrastructure backlogs will continue to grow while the state of municipalities declines.

Issued by Willie Aucamp, DA Member of NCOP, 18 May 2022