MEDIA STATEMENT: KZN COGTA MEC HLOMUKA WELCOMES IMPROVEMENT IN ETHEKWINI’S FINANCES DURING SURPRISE VISIT TO METRO
Tuesday, 25 March 2021
KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Sipho Hlomuka has welcomed the recent improvements in the eThekwini Metro’s collection rates which now stand at pre-lockdown levels.
The municipality was one of the most affected in the province as a result of the outbreak of Covid-19 in 2020 which saw a sharp decline in its revenue and cash flows.
The municipality suffered a loss in revenue of about R3-billion and had an 88% collection rate during the 2019/2020 financial year. Most recently, the municipality’s overall revenue collection has improved to 95% which is at pre-lockdown levels.
This morning, MEC Hlomuka together with Senior Management from the Department met with the Executive Committee of the municipality and its senior management from whom he received a comprehensive report on the metro’s current status. As part of the robust engagement areas were identified by Cogta officials that the City still needs to improve on.
This engagement was preceded by an unannounced visit with eThekwini Mayor Cllr Kaunda to the Florence Mkhize frontline service delivery centre where the delegation inspected the level of services provided to residents. During this engagement, the MEC and Mayor interacted with residents who had come to make use of services rendered in this building.
This visit forms part of the assessment that is being conducted by the department which is looking into billing and other complaints from consumers and ratepayers with the aim to identify root causes and ensure that the municipality is able to respond to its communities and apply the Batho Pele principles.
Hlomuka and Kaunda also conducted a clean-up campaign earlier in the day when they visited Isipingo where they led efforts to clean the small town and to encourage residents to take care of their surroundings.
Speaking during the clean-up campaign, Hlomuka encouraged residents to be part of the solution by not littering as litter clogs drains which then leads to localised flooding during heavy rains. The delegation also visited Zuzumqhele High School where it handed over 56 full set uniforms to deserving learners. Hlomuka and Kaunda also planted trees on the school property as part of efforts to encourage learners to take care of the environment.