Western Cape Finance Minister, Dr Ivan Meyer and a delegation from the Provincial Treasury which included the Head Official, Mr Zakariya Hoosain and the Deputy Director General for Fiscal and Economic Services, Mr Harry Malila recently completed financial executive oversight visits at municipalities in the Central Karoo and Eden districts.
In terms of the Municipal Finance Management Act, the Provincial Finance Minister must conduct financial oversight of municipal finances and provide support to municipalities in need of support.
Beaufort West Municipality
The delegation met with Mayor Japie van der Linde, Deputy Mayor Delene Slabbert and Speaker Euna Wentzel to discuss assistance regarding the financial recovery plan of the municipality. Minister Meyer thanked the Acting Municipal Manager, Mr Kosie Haarhoff, on a sterling job. Mr Haarhoff was seconded from the Western Cape Government to assist the municipality. Mr Pietie Williams was appointed as the Implementation Manager of the Integrated Recovery Plan at the Beaufort West Municipality on 2 August 2017.
A report will be tabled by the Municipal Council on the proposed action plans to improve the financial performance of the Municipality.
The Municipality will also implement a weekly cash management committee. Plans are also under way to deal with debt management and to ensure that service providers are paid within 30 days.
Challenges that the Municipality is dealing with include the impact of the drought and water losses in Beaufort West.
R500 000 will be transferred to the Municipality to ensure that the Annual Financial Statements are GRAP (General Recognised Accounting Practice) compliant and the Fixed Asset Register.
The session with Mayor Barry and Speaker Aletta Theron focused on the financial recovery plan for the municipality and the challenges faced by the municipality were also discussed. Although there are still numerous challenges to overcome, the municipality is starting to do the right things.
Minister Meyer pledged his and the Treasury Department’s support to assist the municipality to improve their financial management.
“The Provincial Treasury is committed to working with Kannaland Municipality to turn things around. It won’t happen overnight but over time, the leadership of the municipality and good financial governance, change will be visible” said Meyer.
An amount of R1.3m will be transferred to the Municipality of which R800 000 is for Accounting Support and R500 000 to assist with the Financial Recovery Plan implementation.
The Provincial Treasury met with the Mayor, Municipal Manager and Speaker of the Municipality to present a financial recovery plan. It was decided to develop a joint action plan and to present this plan to the Council for adoption.
“The financial situation needs immediate action and further cost cutting measures and revenue enhancement strategies must be implemented. Further work will be done in the coming weeks through a weekly cash management meeting that will be instituted and to improve the debt collection ratio” said Meyer.
The Provincial Treasury Supply Chain Management team will also visit Laingsburg Municipality in September 2017 to assist with some of the challenges.
Minister Meyer congratulated the Mayor of Oudtshoorn, Mr Colyn Sylvester for the improvement of the financial performance and good financial governance.
“The cash flow of the municipality has significantly improved, creditors are being paid and the debt collection ratio now stands at 96%. The improvements are noticeable but there still remain challenges with infrastructure, maintenance and repairs which is being addressed by the Engineering Department” said Meyer.
The delegation together with the Mayor of Oudtshoorn also visited the Transnet Phelophepa Health Care Train which brings health care to rural communities throughout South Africa. It is a partnership between Transnet, the Western Cape Health Department, local schools, clinics, farmers, local businesses and municipalities which also lead to job creation for local communities.
R500 000 will be transferred to the Municipality. This allocation will assist in the development of a financial sustainability for municipal resorts within the Eden District.
Financial oversight visits to municipalities, working together to make progress possible, BETTER TOGETHER.