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By Peter Mothiba

SANCO Tshwane regional chairperson Veli Khoza
SANCO Tshwane regional chairperson Veli Khoza

City of Tshwane Municipality believes it has put forward a strong case to the National Treasury to mitigate its under-performance on projects and programmes worth over R2 billion.

Last week the National Treasury informed the municipality that it would withhold an amount of over R2 billion from the City of Tshwane’s allocated grant.

This as it was apparent that the municipality was under-performing in implementing various programmes and projects that are funded by the National Treasury.

“City of Tshwane would like to confirm that as promised, we made our submissions to the National Treasury and we believe we have a made a strong and compelling case that the National Treasury should not halt the third tranch of our grant funding,” said the municipality’s spokesperson Selby Bokaba in a video recording released to the media on Friday.

On Sunday Bokaba released another statement wherein he expressed confidence that based on their submissions, the Treasury won’t halt the allocated funding to Tshwane Municipality.

‘In our submissions, the City informed Treasury that it has developed recovery plans to ensure accelerated expenditure of the grant funds and explained that what had contributed to unsatisfactory performance as of December 31, 2023,” explained Bokaba.

He mentioned the following factors as the reason behind the municipality’s under-performance regarding the implementation of the envisaged projects and programmes: 1. Migration from old financial management systems to new financial management systems.

2. Reduction of the Urban Settlements Development Grant ( USDG) and Informal Settlements Upgrading Partnership Grant (ISUPG) during the second quarter as directed by the National Treasury.

3.Prolonged, unprotected labour strike which impacted heavily on the implementation and monitoring of projects.

4. Delays in in the initial stages of procurement process.

5. Delays in the appointment of contractors to provide electrical cables and spares, as well as lead times in the supply and delivery of materials for electricity projects.

“The City has assured all the above-mentioned inhibiting factors have been resolved and that performance on all the grants will be enhanced within set time frames,” enthused Bokaba.

Be that as it may, some political parties and community organisations have raised an uproar over this latest development regarding submissions made by the municipality to Treasury.

“The Executive Mayor and the City of Tshwane should be ashamed of what is unfolding in the public arena regarding under-spending,” said South African National Civics Association Tshwane Regional Chairperson Veli Khoza.

Although the municipality has given motivation to National Treasury for apparent failure to spend the allocated funds, we are unhappy because 60 to 80% of the municipality’s budget doesn’t benefit majority of people in townships like Mamelodi, Atgeridgeville, Mabopane, Soshanguve, Ga-Rankuwa and Soshanguve,” lamented Khoza.

SANCO still emphasises that Mayor Cilliers Brink must resign.

This as we strongly believe that his administration only needs budget funds for corrupt activities,” he said.

Xiluva Party Gauteng Coordinator Norman Mohale said: “As Xiluva we think Treasury must intervene swiftly by developing necessary resources and expertise to address the issue of unspent grants in the municipality.”

“It is crucial for the municipality to prioritise the well-being of the people of Tshwane,” said Mohale.

Public funds must be used effectively for the benefit if those they are intended to benefit,” he said

“As the United Democratic Movement we acknowledge the pressing needs of the people of Tshwane for services like water and sanitation.

It is deeply concerning that the DA-led coalition will have to return funds intendent for service delivery back to the Treasury.

We call for transparency and accountability in the way public funds are managed, so as to ensure they are effectively used for the betterment of the citizens,’ said UDM national Secretary General Yongama Zigebe.

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