Municipalities in Crises as cash drys up

Jeffreys Bay is not the only town in South Africa experiencing a decline in service delivery. The problem is widespread throughout South Africa and it has become risky for suppliers to conduct business with local government.
Only 7 out of 237 municipalities in South Africa were given unqualified (clean) audit reports in the 09/10 financial year by the Auditor General. The Kouga Municipality was one of the majority which did not receive a clean audit, with the report indicating that R 200 million was unaccounted for.

A sewage upgrade in Jeffreys Bay is long overdue.

Collection of money owed to municipalities is poor all around South Africa and about R 62 billion is owed by consumers.
In the Free State, the collection rate is 74 % and in Mpumalanga, the rate is 77 %.
The Kouga Municipality collection rate is probably in line with the above averages. This means the cash flow crises we are experiencing will not disappear overnight and there will not be funds to upgrade our creaking infrastructure.
The roads in Jeffreys Bay are in a critical condition. Maintenance like covering the roads with hot mix and tar fogs are not being done regularly, which means pot holes will appear when there is lots of rain. This we have witnessed over the past 2 months in the town.
Our sewage system is at 117 % of capacity and there is no budget to upgrade the network. Main Beach bears the brunt of this with sewage spills becoming the norm when capacity is breached. Aapies Draai has a semi permanent sewage dam and this is a ticking time bomb waiting to explode and impact the health of the residents of our town.

The chairperson of Parliament’s cooperative governance and traditional affairs portfolio committee, Solomon Tsenoli said that Councillors are directly and indirectly responsible for municipal resources and should promptly account for their use.
Just how is the Kouga Council going to extract us from the financial quagmire we find ourselves in?

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