North West’s Ditsobotla municipality can’t pay its staff salaries for May

North West's Ditsobotla municipality can't pay its staff salaries for May
North West's Ditsobotla municipality can't pay its staff salaries for May

Africa-Press – South-Africa. The ANC provincial leadership in the North West says poor revenue collection by the Ditsobotla Local Municipality is to blame for its inability to meet financial obligations which include paying staff salaries for May.

Ditsobotla needs help to meet its financial obligations and provide basic services to residents.

It is one of the most poorly-run municipalities in the North West, with most residents living without access to running water.

The municipality was dissolved in 2022, and fresh by-elections were held. The ANC had campaigned hard, with President Cyril Ramaphosa pledging to residents in the area in early December that infighting by ANC members would be resolved.

But despite the ANC’s return to power in the municipality, things have remained the same.

An internal memo to the municipality’s staff stated they should not expect their May salaries.

The municipality’s acting manager Mamrena Lehoko said it was putting systems in place to try and cushion the financial burden.

“We regret to inform you that the municipality is unable to make payment of salaries for May until further notice shall be issued on the date of payment,” Lehoko’s letter dated 22 May stated.

At the weekend, Cogta MEC Nono Maloyi told News24 that the provincial government had sent staff to assist the municipality.

“We are seized with ensuring that our municipalities and the provincial government are stable. We have sent a team to Ditsobotla Local Municipality from both Cogta and provincial treasury to go and assist,” the Cogta MEC said.

Maloyi said the bulk of Ditsobotla’s financial problems stemmed from provincial government departments operating in the municipality owing it money.

He said the municipality would pressure those departments to pay its debts urgently.

“Our biggest problem in Ditsobotla is revenue collection. The municipality needs to collect from consumers, so we have said that the team must first ensure that they assist with enhancement programmes they are doing.

“The municipality owes Eskom and the water boards a lot of money. We have applied to the national government that there must be debt relief and we are assisting the municipality in complying. As we speak, the provincial departments and national departments owe the municipality over R50 million,” Maloyi said.

“One of the things that we are doing starting next week is to ensure that every department pays the municipality what is owed to it for it to meet its obligations.”

Maloyi added:

Ramaphosa and his ANC leadership team visited the North West at the weekend. The ANC is on a mission to give marching orders to its provincial deployees on governance concerns.

As he did in 2022 while campaigning in the area, the president said that ANC divisions compounded problems in the municipality.

“The problem that we see here is that there are divisions, and those divisions spill over to the government, and communities are the ones who suffer,” said Ramaphosa.

“While at the provincial level, we have seen a great commitment to turning around governance, municipalities remain our greatest challenge. Unspent budgets are a crime to our people and squabbles that leave communities without services undermine our efforts to demonstrate to the people that the party can provide good governance.”

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