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01 April 2019

The Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union (Imatu) on Thursday
said it is concerned by reports that municipalities are failing to spend
allocated infrastructure grants.

This comes after Minister of FinanceTito Mboweni, this week confirmed that 44
municipalities had their municipal infrastructure grants reallocated to
other municipalities.

Imatu said the minister confirmed that Nelson Mandela Metro forfeited
R29.4-million from the grant on public networks while Ekurhuleni lost R90-million, City
of Johannesburg R46-million and
eThekwini R58-million. Newcastle in KwaZulu-Natal forfeited R56-million
and Madibeng in North West lost R60-million.

“Over and above budgeted projects and maintenance, municipalities are able to
apply for conditional grants to develop, maintain and refurbish infrastructure

“These municipal infrastructure grants are meant to be
tied to a specific project or purpose. However, we
routinely see this money used for other expenses or in some cases not spent at

“South African municipalities are collectively owed R139-billion
from residents alone. It seems inconceivable that income-strapped
municipalities are not adequately utilising their grant allocations,”
Imatu deputy president Keith Swanepoel said.

The trade union said that many South African municipalities are reliant
on these grants to upgrade and maintain water and sanitation servicesroads, public buildings and a
number of other services.

“The concerns of aging infrastructure and inadequate maintenance were highlighted and
discussed at Imatu’s Mid-Term Conference in October 2018. We have developed
reporting mechanisms to assist our members to record breakdowns in service delivery. 

“If members are unable to perform aspects of their work due to
resource shortages, incorrect equipment or unsafe working
conditions we request that they log these incidents with their regional

“If we cannot resolve the problem at a municipal level, the union
will escalate the concern to the Department of Cooperative Governance and
Traditional Affairs.

“Many of the problems reported stem from poor planning,
unmaintained infrastructure and underfunded
budgets,” Swanepoel said.

Imatu said it believed that political leaders and municipal officials
alike should be able to demonstrate how their decisions align with
constitutional mandates and their municipality’s integrated development plan.

“Leaders must be answerable to the communities they serve, especially when these communities are not receiving basic services with little hope for future development.”http://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article/union-concerned-by-municipalities-failure-to-spend-infrastructure-grants-2019-03-29

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