The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) has noted the NEWS24 article published on 18 October 2021 pertaining to the Out of Order Index. The index, like many other studies focusing on the local government sector, highlights challenges faced by numerous municipalities across a myriad of indicators with a specific focus on the 43 municipalities deemed to be on the verge of collapse. The index stratifies the municipalities in five provinces as follows: KwaZulu-Natal (22), Eastern Cape (9), Limpopo (7), Northern Cape (3), and North West (2).
Our own report on the State of Local Government to Cabinet is based on five Key Performance Areas; viz;
- Financial Management and
- Service delivery.
The report uses four categories to identify the extent to which each municipality needs support, namely;
Medium to High Risk (amber)
Low Risk (yellow) and
The State of Local Government Report identified 36 municipalities experiencing governance challenges, 63 municipalities having serious service delivery challenges and a total of 163 municipalities in financial distress. A total of 64 municipalities were identified with challenges across the key performance areas of governance, service delivery and financial management.
To this end, a CoGTA led multi-disciplinary Support Team comprising of national and provincial Departments has been mobilized to develop support packages for municipalities in the context of the District Development Model (DDM) approach. Researchers use different scientific approaches and methodologies to arrive at key conclusions, as such – the government methodology looked at the different indicators and arrived at different but related conclusions from News24’s Index.
The list below contains all the municipalities highlighted by the index to be on the brink of collapse by the News24 Out of Order Index. The government analysis of these municipalities came to a different conclusion in line with the data sets and indicators applied. In terms of the government report, the 43 municipalities mentioned by the index are medium to high risk and are being monitored and supported to avert further deficiencies. In line with the principles of the DDM which are expressed in both Sections 154 and 139 of the Constitution, the plans facilitate concerted and collaborative intergovernmental interventions to optimize impact and alignment.
The institutionalization of the DDM as an instrument integrated delivery founded on One Plan(s) is expected to be given impetus by the new administration coming in after the 1 November municipal elections.
Through the DDM, an all of government and society approach is employed to ensure service delivery and development in municipalities. Guided by the DDM, we want to ensure that municipalities are functional, able to provide basic services, manage their resources appropriately, adhere to good governance practices, raise and manage their own revenue and deal with issues of debt management adequately.
As CoGTA, we have developed a reliable state of Local government report which is informed by the National Treasury, Auditor General, Statistics South Africa, and provincial reports.
The table below is how our CoGTA report categorizes the 43 municipalities mentioned by the Index. It is should be noted that as per our report (CoGTA), none of the 43 mentioned municipalities are dysfunctional.
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