Government urged to extricate Kannaland from dysfunctional status

Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs has on called government stakeholders to work with the Kannaland Municipality to salvage the town out of its dysfunctionality status.

The Committee is currently conducting an oversight visit in the Municipality, located in the Garden Route District in the Western Cape.

The municipality is one of the 64 municipalities identified as dysfunctional in terms of the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs’ (COGTA) June 2021 State of Local Government Report.

The municipality has also been categorised as ‘distressed’ in the terms of the Western Cape Provincial Treasury’s own internal vulnerability criteria.

Yesterday, the committee met with the Mayor Jeffrey Donson, the Mayoral Council as well as executives from the municipality, Garden Route District, Western Cape Provincial Treasury. Executives from the South African Local Government Association and the national department of COGTA were also in the meeting.

In a statement, the Committee said it wants national and provincial COGTA departments, and National and Provincial Treasuries, to design a programme in terms of section 154 of the Constitution to support Kannaland Municipality.

“In the next follow up meeting between the committee and these departments, the committee has indicated that it will request updates from them on this programme and the support provided to this municipality.

“The committee has also made it clear that it is unacceptable for the municipality to adopt an unfunded budget for the current Medium-Term Revenue and Expenditure Framework period.

“This has been the practice in the municipality since the 2018/19 financial year. It has told the municipality that this is in breach of section 18 of the Municipal Finance Management Act, which stipulates that a budget must be funded from realistically anticipated revenues and accumulated funds from previous surpluses,” reads the statement.

The committee said it has also asked the Municipality to develop a concrete turnaround plan to extricate itself from a situation of a disclaimed audit opinion to a clean audit opinion.

“The committee has noted some gaps in terms of communication between the municipality and the provincial department of COGTA. The committee wants the two parties to close this gap and work together in order to get the municipality to a functional state,” it said.

Source: South African Government News Agency