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Ramaphosa slams municipalities for outsourcing all municipal work

01 September 2022

Durban — President Cyril Ramaphosa lashed out at municipalities that outsource all work while municipal employees get paid for sitting and doing nothing.

Ramaphosa was speaking at the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) and the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities National Conference on Local Governance in Sandton on Thursday.

Ramaphosa said the country had a problem where everything was outsourced from the provision of water bottles to the cutting of grass.

Ramaphosa said municipalities still retained employees meant to do that work but then outsourced the work to other role-players, entities or companies, resulting in double pay.

“They pay those they outsource to and they continue paying those that are being employed. Those that have been employed find the rug has been pulled from underneath their feet, and they sit and twiddle their thumbs and do nothing. And those (to whom) services have been outsourced at an exorbitant price, they just cream it off,” Ramaphosa said.

Reflecting on the state of the sphere of local government, he said he would meet the mayors of various municipalities soon, to discuss service delivery issues. Ramaphosa said when local government delivery failed, the impact was direct and devastating and it immediately had an overarching impact negatively on the lives of people where they live.

According to the latest State of Local Government Report, the number of stable municipalities increased from 16 to 31 across the country, with KwaZulu-Natal registering the most improvements.

Ramaphosa said recent reports from the auditor-general, the National Treasury and the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs showed most of the country’s municipalities were failing.

The national treasury classified two-thirds of South Africa’s 257 municipalities as being in financial distress with only 41 receiving clean audits in the past financial year.

“What this means is that any of our municipalities are unable to deliver basic services and are unable to build and upgrade clinics, hospitals and fix roads,” he said.

Ramaphosa laid the blame on political infighting and lack of skills, failure to adhere to legislative prescripts, poor governance and lack of accountability.

“Super corruption is causing instability in municipalities and this is eroding the provision of services to ordinary South Africans. This is a crisis of enormous proportions. Continuing along the current trajectory is neither viable nor sustainable. It threatens economic growth and investment.”

Ramaphosa spoke about doing away with the District Development Model so-called “parachute development”, where projects were conceptualised in offices hundreds of kilometres away, while important factors like the creation of local jobs and local enterprise development were not prioritised.

“We have seen the detrimental impact of ‘parachute development’ over the years, with important projects being stalled, subject to litigation and even sabotage,” Ramaphosa said.

“A municipal mayor in one of our provinces, on being appointed, found that all the services in the municipality that he was meant to run had been outsourced to six key players. On a monthly basis, they were earning millions and millions of rand. The mayor found the municipality was being overcharged, in certain instances to up to 200%.”

The SAHRC had discussions on the promotion of a safe and healthy environment: on climate change and human rights.

Source: Daily News

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