The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality has been ranked the worst performing of the eight Metros in South Africa in terms of aggregate revenue collection (at 85% of budgeted revenue) as well as worst performing in terms of expenditure (at 83.2% of budgeted expenditure).
These statistics form part of National Treasury’s preliminary report of Local Government Revenue and Expenditure Results released this week.
The Treasury report gave a range of aggregate trends. According to the report the adjusted capital budget for all metros in the 2018/19 financial year was R38.1 billion, of which 77.5% or R29 billion had been spent as at 30 June 2019.
This means that while residents are desperate for service delivery, the current UDM, ANC, AIC, UF, EFF coalition government is unable to collect revenue due to the Metro or to fully spend the money it does collect.
The sad state of affairs is compounded by repeated warnings from National Treasury that no roll-over of grant funding to the Metro will be approved unless there is a permanently appointed Chief Financial Officer.
As a result the Metro stands to lose about R500 million in roll-over Grant Funding. Instead of calling a council meeting to appoint a Chief Financial Officer, the Speaker of Council placed the Council in recess for an unprecedented 5 week period.
While these figures are subject to a final auditing process by the Auditor-General (AG), there can be no doubt that the Municipality’s finances are unstable and steadily declining. This in turn will contribute to deteriorating service delivery and economic growth that is desperately needed to create jobs.
The current poor state of affairs is in stark contrast to the positive financial position the Metro experienced while under a DA-led coalition government.
According to Business Tech in 2017, the Metro became the second most trusted Metro in the country. The National Treasury report on the State of Local Government Finances and Financial Management found that Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality was tied in first place for the best financial health in the 2017/18 year, while the DA-led coalition was still in government.
The Democratic Alliance is committed to fight for clean and transparent governance in the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality and will ensure that residents receive the services they deserve.