The residents of Nelson Mandela Bay can expect accelerated service delivery, biased to the poorest of the poor – thanks to the payment of the last Equitable Tranche of R234 million to the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality (NMBM) by National Treasury on 19 March 2019.
As things stand, National Treasury does not owe the City a cent as far as this matter is concerned for the 2018/19 financial year.
This follows the delayed payment of an Equitable Share allocation that was supposed to be paid in December 2018 and ended up being paid in February 2019, based on a number of compliance issues that the City had to clarify with National Treasury.
The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa requires that National Government makes allocations to municipalities in the form of Equitable Shares. An Equitable Share is an unconditional grant, availed for various purposes to municipalities, key among them subsidising the poor in terms of Free Basic Services.
“We are pleased that the full allocation due to the City has now been transferred to us. Now it is all hands on deck! This allocation is very important to the current administration, as it talks directly to the poorest of the poor. Our Assistance to the Poor Programme (ATTP) will now be able to touch many families, so they can keep the lights on and water coming out of their taps. This does not only talk to essential services, it also talks to the dignity of those families,” said Mayoral Committee Member for Budget and Treasury, Councillor Mkhuseli Mtsila.
The Equitable Share is paid to municipalities in three tranche payments, namely in July / December and March of each year. In the recent past, the fact that the City did not receive the second tranche in December 2018, as expected, had received much attention and publicity.
The reason for the non-receipt of the tranche related to compliance issues relating to, inter alia, the submission of the required m-SCOA related documents, amongst others. This was addressed through constructive engagements between the Acting City Manager, Acting Chief Financial Officer and National Treasury in January 2019. These engagements did not only serve as a platform for the City to give confidence to the National Treasury about the state of the institution’s financial administration, it also assisted in building solid working relations between the two entities.
“We can now confidently say that it is all systems go between us and the National Treasury. Good working relations between the two entities are critical for the acceleration of service delivery. Any delays in allocations negatively affect our planning and implementation. Going forward we will maintain these transparent and good working relations with National Treasury,” said the Acting Chief Financial Officer, Jackson Ngcelwane.
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