This week Zweli Mkhize delivered his first budget vote speech as the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs.
He told parliamentarians that local government – meaning municipal government – is an important sphere of government because it is closest to the people. South Africa has eight metros, 44 district municipalities, and 205 local municipalities. And the vast majority are underperforming. Mkhize revealed that only 7% of South Africa’s municipalities are classified as well functioning. Roughly a third are reasonably functional, another third almost dysfunctional, and the remaining third are dysfunctional or distressed. South Africa has seen multiple service delivery protests. In KwaZulu-Natal, a number of councillors and municipal staff have been gunned down. And municipalities in five provinces owe Eskom nearly R14 billion. Fears are also mounting that up to 15 municipalities could collapse because they are unlikely to recover their R1.5 billion investments at VBS Mutual Bank. The Reserve Bank placed VBS under liquidation in March after it was revealed that its main source of the fund was illegal short-term municipal deposits. To discuss we’re joined by Dr. Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Zweli Mkhize.
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