The Lekwa Municipality’s current financial crisis led to calls for them to be placed under administration.
The Standerton Advertiser recently sent an e-mail to Ms Thobeka Mtshiselwa, communications manager, for comment and was answered via WhatsApp that Lekwa has not received any official communication as regards a section 139 implementation.
Section 139 refers to the Municipal Finance Management Act 56 of 2003 where lawmakers provided for the following set of circumstances. (1) If a municipality, as a result of a crisis in its financial affairs, is in serious or persistent material breach of its obligations to provide:basic services or to meet its financial commitments, or admits that it is unable to meet its obligations or financial commitments, the provincial executive must promptly- (a) request the Municipal Financial Recovery Service- (i) to determine the reasons for the crisis in its financial affairs; (ii) to assess the municipality’s financial state; (iii) to prepare an appropriate recovery plan for the municipality: (iv) to recommend appropriate changes to the municipality’s budget and revenue-raising measures that will give effect to the recovery plan: and (v) to submit to the MEC for finance in the province- (aa) the determination and assessment referred to in subparagraphs (i) and (ii) as a matter of urgency; and (bb) the recovery plan and recommendations referred to in subparagraphs (iii) and (iv) within a period, not to exceed 90 days, determined by the MEC for finance: and (b) consult he mayor of the municipality to obtain the municipality’s cooperation in implementing the recovery plan, including the approval of a budget and legislative measures giving effect to the recovery plan.
(2) The MEC for finance in the province must submit a copy of any request in terms of subsection (l)(a) and of any determination and assessment received in terms of subsection (l)(a)(v)(aa) to-
(a) the municipality;
(6) the Cabinet member responsible for local government: and
(c) the Minister.
(3) An intervention referred to in subsection (1) supersedes any discretionary provincial intervention referred to in section 137, provided that any financial recovery plan prepared for the discretionary intervention must continue until replaced by a recovery plan for the mandatory intervention.
Astral Operations Limited and Meadow Feeds have brought an application in the Pretoria High Court against the national and provincial government, as well as the municipality (case no 35106/2018) for executive intervention.
The applicants papers’ are based on Lekwa’s failure to honour the Eskom account, debt to the Department of Water and Sanitation and sewage spillages in town.
Read the complete article in the next edition of the Standerton Advertiser.