Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, says the COVID-19 pandemic will most likely lead to more local government entities becoming unviable.
She delivered the keynote address at the National Council of Province’s virtual Local Government oversight week.
The aim of the week is to shine a light on how capable and financially sound municipalities can be achieved.
Dlamini-Zuma says before the pandemic, 55 municipalities were unviable. Following the effects of the pandemic, the number has increased to 125. She adds that things could get worse.
“With COVID-19, I must say, even those who were able to raise adequate revenue that may be eroded because of loss of employment from the citizens and therefore inability to pay for services and we may see a higher number of people becoming indigent.”
In the video below, Dlamini-Zuma says the pandemic has had a negative impact on municipalities’ finances:
She argues that the pandemic is the ideal vehicle to do things differently. “We also see it as the need for a caring development state which must address the social and economic condition of masses of people. The state must act beyond an enabling environment; it must be an active participant.”
Dlamini-Zuma also called on citizens to continue to practice COVID-19 protocols. “Individual and collective will determine whether we a have second surge and how it will be. Experience in other countries like Spain and France shows that the second wave is more severe than the previous one. Let’s do all we can to avoid this from happening in SA.”
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