Municipalities in the Eastern Cape racked up an astounding R 130 million in legal fees during the 2011/12 financial year.
This amount was more than double the costs of R 60,45 million recorded in 2010/11.
Until there are real consequences for poor performance by municipal officials, the citizens of the Eastern Cape can forget about decent service delivery.
“I will be asking the MEC for Local Government, Mlibo Qoboshiyane, to answer in the House during oral question time in the Provincial Legislature on 19 June 2013 what action has been taken against employees in municipalities who through negligence caused litigation and how this can be prevented in the future” said Dacre Haddon from the Democratic Alliance.
Kouga pays R 4,2 million in legal fees
From the 24 municipalities that reported their legal fee costs, King Sabata Dalindyebo Municipality recorded the highest legal costs of R 9,86 million.
The beleaguered Kouga Municipality ran up legal fees to the tune of R 4,2 million. (These fees were incurred by the municipality defending the actions of wrongfully suspended official Fred Dennis which cost them R1, 5 million and recently the wrongful suspensions of two other officials.)
The exorbitant legal costs incurred by municipalities, caused by negligence and incompetence, mean less money for service delivery.
“I will next week be asking for a full disclosure of details of every legal matter against municipalities during the budget meeting of the department and how we can resolve these matters quickly with minimal further cost.
It is clear that the anger in communities over the lack of accountability in their municipalities by the ruling party can only be addressed if they, as voters, take the first step by making their voices heard by voting DA in 2014” added Haddon.