IFP KZN Requests COGTA MEC to Place Newcastle Municipality Under Administration

The IFP in KwaZulu-Natal calls on the KZN COGTA MEC Nomusa Dube Ncube to use her constitutional power to place the Newcastle Municipality under administration.

According to the Ratings Afrika’s latest Municipal Financial Sustainability Index, indicated that the Newcastle Municipality is one of the worst performing municipality in KwaZulu-Natal as it scored 21 points.

Since the new council was inaugurated in 2016 the financial position has steadily worsened with an increase in current liabilities of several hundred million Rands while the cash available remains low. In the beginning of July 2018 the outstanding account for Eskom was R194m as the account had not been paid for six months and the agreement with Eskom was not met. Above, that other creditors stood at R160m while total creditors were R407m and the cash stood at R30m.

For the financial years of 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19 the first tranche of the equitable share was used to pay the creditors of the previous year. This indicated that the budget was unfunded. In spite of this spending council spent the approved budget as if this money was still available.

It is high time for this council to be dissolved. It is a well-known fact that if it was an IFP-led municipality the MEC would have called for this municipality to be dissolved, but because it is an ANC-led municipality the MEC is hell-bent on protecting her comrades.

The Chief Financial Officer and the Municipal Manager must answer and be held accountable for this mess. Newcastle municipality is in dire need of competent leadership. It is becoming increasingly clear that the provincial government has no answer for the governance crisis in Newcastle.

The IFP has submitted written questions to the KZN MEC of COGTA to ascertain what she has done about the dysfunctional municipality.

Issued by:
Hon. Blessed Gwala MPL
IFP Leader in the KZN Legislature
078 290 5842