Polokwane Municipality fails to spend R57.4m earmarked for vital projects

In a city with the fastest growing economy in South Africa with a population of almost 500,000, the provision of basic services such as water, sewage, electricity, road construction and human settlements is essential.

But it seems that this is not the case of the municipality of Polokwane, economic center and capital of Limpopo.

Clear evidence of this is that the council failed to spend R57.4 million intended to help fund vital projects to benefit its own citizens. The municipality made a request to the Treasury on 31
August 2021, for the conditional rollover of unspent grants. The rollover request was for R76.5 million, of which only R19.5 million was approved and R57.4 million was denied.

The total funds that did not meet the requirements for a rollover include the following: R4.6 million from the Water Services Infrastructure Grant (WSIG); R22.3 million from the Integrated Urban Development Grant; and R29.7 million from the public transport network grant.

The citizen understands that the reasons why the Treasury refused the deferrals involve problems with the late appointment of contractors; and lack of documentary evidence of commitment, such as service provider appointment letters for projects.

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According to the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA), the criteria for rolling conditional grant funds required that unspent funds be allocated to identifiable projects and that there be evidence that contractors or service providers had been appointed for the realization of projects. . This must have taken place before March 31, 2021.

“This means that the projects that were earmarked under these grants will no longer continue. He raises concerns about whether the municipality will be able to remedy the [service delivery] situation,” the DA Councilor of Tiny Chidi Municipality said on Tuesday.

Chidi said that the AD was particularly concerned about the R4.6 million from the WSIG that would now be lost as the municipality faced serious water problems. She said the party will ask for the management plans in order to mitigate the refused turnover of funds.

She said that at the next public hearing of the Municipal Public Accounts Committee, the DA will try to determine if the situation will impact other projects and if the municipality’s plans to deal with the crisis of the water will be affected.

“The DA believes the municipality’s failure to spend the R57.4 million allocated to help the people of Polokwane is an example of the ANC’s incompetence and failures,” Chidi said.