Rural municipalities in KwaZulu-Natal are calling for reforms in how municipalities are funded by national government.
The appeal is supported by the South African Local Government Association, SALGA.
They say the current system allocates more equitable share to urban municipalities that already have a sizeable revenue base.
Nongoma municipality mayor, Albert Mncwango says rural municipalities are simply not prioritised enough.
“Rural municipalities in particular who have no revenue base whatsoever are perpetually being made to be actually poor because the rural municipality are at the cold face of poverty, they’re at the cold face of unemployment and yet the funding that they are getting is a pittance when you look at the backlog on the infrastructure development. For instance, in Nongoma when you talk about the roads you are talking about gravel roads then what do you do when you have one grading machine. And we are a municipality with 23 wards now where do you start to maintain the roads in such a vast area.”
Meanwhile, Minister of Co-operative Governance Doctor Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma says they are in discussions with National Treasury to change the legislation governing municipal funding.
“The funding model was based on previous municipalities which were white municipalities that had revenue base. Some of the municipalities can’t collect revenue because there is no revenue base from which to collect, they survive on grants sometimes they default and unable to pay Eskom because the communities they serve are indigent whereas the previous municipalities were serving people who could pay. It is true that the funding model should change.”
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