Rescue plan

Rescue plan for | News24

A spill of raw sewage spotted on (03/23) has stagnated in the yard of this unidentified resident at Joe Slovo, Ward 4, Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality. Photos: Teboho Setena

Interventions to save the collapsed Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality continued. The latest sees the Minister for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA), Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and President Cyril Ramaphosa leading the charge to revive the bankrupt ANC-led municipality. Dlamini-Zuma’s investigative task began on Monday (04/04) with strategic engagements with the Free State Government Executive and Mangaung Council. This continues with a meeting with the corporate sector tomorrow, Thursday (07/04).

The culmination of the engagements will see Ramaphosa address the public at a Presidential Imbizo (rally) on Saturday (09/04) at the Dr Molemela Stadium in Bloemfontein. “The contributions of these commitments of the minister will be consolidated and treated within the framework of the problems of the presidential Imbizo.”

“The commitments aim to highlight challenges and unblock any blockages to service delivery in line with the District Development Model (DDM), which is a whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach that enables planning, integrated and responsive implementation and budgeting through the One Plans,” said COGTA Department National Spokesperson Lungi Mtshali.

Ramaphosa and Dlamini-Zuma’s efforts come as the bailout plan for the broke Mangaung municipality since December 2019 proves futile. Measures saw the municipality placed under administration and the appointment of an administration team. It consisted of the following members: Adv. Mzwakhe Mofokeng (Office of the Prime Minister), Masechaba Sesing (Provincial Accountant General and CA), Dineo Mokheseng (Provincial COGTA)

Ernest Mohlahlo (Acting Manager Public Works and Infrastructure) and Thomas Lindelo Mkaza. The lamentable inability of the metro authorities to pay its creditors, collect revenue and provide basic service prompted the municipality to be placed under conservatorship.

More than two years after the interventions, the struggling municipality is still trapped in the doldrums, struggling to recover its fiscal capacity. Evidence of this is the deterioration of service delivery, the inability to follow the revised payment plan.

Due to the grim situation, Mangaung Municipality’s long-term global scale was twice downgraded by rating agency Moody’s to junk status. Protracted administrative problems fueled a steady wave of public discord from a disgruntled community and fierce criticism from opposition political parties. It saw Olly Mlamleli ousted as Executive Mayor at the end of 2020 and Adv. Tankiso Mea was sacked as city manager in May last year.

They justified their criticisms by referring to the late Auditor General Kimi Makwetu’s report on the financial ruin of the municipality amid a bailout placed under provincial administration.