R138m in unspent funds returned to Treasury – DA NWest

Party says municipalities are bleeding funds meant for service delivery

North West municipalities return R138 million in unspent funds to Treasury: An insult to residents

1 November 2022

Note to Editors: Please find the attached soundbite in English by Freddy Sonakile MPL.

The DA is concerned by the rate at which municipalities in the North West province are bleeding funds meant for service delivery. In a response to questions posed by the DA, Provincial Treasury indicated that municipalities returned R138 million in conditional grant funding to the National Revenue Fund.

Fourteen municipalities in the province requested a rollover of R302 million of conditional grant funding. This means infrastructure development to the tune of R302 million was not realised in the 2020/21 financial year. This occurs in a province that has fallen victim to an excessive decay in existing infrastructure resulting in poor, and in some areas, non-existent service delivery.

Of those municipalities, only 9 were granted a rollover of 54% of the requested amount. Meanwhile, Moses Kotane, Greater Taung, Lekwa Teemane, Dr Ruth Segomotsi District, City of Matlosana and JB Marks municipalities were only granted a portion of their request. This means that they failed to indicate that these funds were committed to projects as per Section 22 of the 2020 Division of Revenue Act.

Some of the affected grants include:

The Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) worth R126,3 million;

Regional Bulk Water Grant worth R70,8 million and;

The Water Service Infrastructure grant worth R19,5 million.

Some of the affected projects include the Rustenburg Rapid Transit system - which 10 years later is yet to be completed. There is also the construction of Lerome Bulk Water Supply meant to service residents in Moses Kotane and the construction of community halls and road upgrades in Tswaing, Ditsobotla and Greater Taung municipalities.

According to Provincial Treasury, Lekwa Teemane is the municipality that lost the highest amount of its Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) allocation at 47%, followed by Kgetlengrivier and Kagisano-Molopo municipalities at 35% and 31% respectively. This totals over R42,5 million that has been forfeited which, according to Provincial treasury, will have a negative impact on service delivery.

It is also important to note that these are the same cash strapped municipalities that have failed to collect over R1,8 billion for services from government departments. It is now clear that the crippling of municipalities, and ultimately the provision of services, is an intentional move by the ANC-led government.

The DA calls on the North West Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) to summon Accounting Officers from the affected municipalities to account for the failure to spend the much-needed grants. And to further explain what consequence management they have taken against what is a clear crime against residents of this province.

Issued by Freddy Sonakile, DA North West Spokesperson on Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs, 1 November 2022