Involved in corruption? Beware, says Mthethwa

Corrupt municipal officials will be caught because the law enforcement agencies are ready to deal with graft, acting local government minister Nathi Mthethwa warned on Tuesday.

“We would like to warn those who are involved in corruption and those who are planning to get involved that they will be caught,” said Mthethwa.

He was speaking during the first day of the South African Local Government Association (Salga) conference at Durban’s Inkosi Albert Luthuli convention centre.

Mthethwa, who is also Minister of Police, urged councillors to fight corruption without fear, saying the police were more than ready to arrest the culprits.

Mthethwa told delegates it was an undeniable truth that some municipalities faced problems of corruption, weak financial management and weak ability to deliver services.

“We need to decisively deal with corruption without fear or favour. Corruption is an ill that has to be removed from our midst as it serves to deny citizens what they rightfully expect from government,” he said.

Weighing down on the poor
The cost of corruption was huge on poor people and would have disastrous consequences if it was not addressed.

“The public rating of councils is very low. We can’t just ignore such perceptions. We need to work together to strengthen the capacity of our municipalities so that they can deliver.”

The local government sphere was perceived to be incompetent, disorganised and riddled with corruption and maladministration, Mthethwa said.

According to the pamphlets distributed at the conference, corruption in the public sector, local government and the private sector risks failure in the delivery of services and compromises relations between citizens and the state.

It was important that municipalities performed maximally because they were at the coal face of service delivery, he said.

“We need to make the sphere of local government a pleasant one. It is a sphere where a person [councillor] has to be a minister of everything. When people are angry, they direct their anger at them [councillors],” he said.

Waiting for the ‘living reality’
Local government faced major challenges such as the reduction of unemployment, more access to better quality basic services and strengthening community participation.

“The priorities in the elections manifesto are not mere promises aimed at attracting votes, only to be shelved after the elections. These priorities must become our point of reference and the living reality for all the people.”

eThekwini municipality mayor, James Nxumalo, said it was important for Salga to coach struggling municipalities.

“Improving the capacity of municipalities is very important because people are becoming impatient.”

New Salga leaders are expected to be elected during the conference. — Sapa

We make it make sense

If this story helped you navigate your world, subscribe to the M&G today for just R30 for the first three months

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.”

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Latest stories

WATCH: The Costly Impact of GBV

New research report delves into assertions that the private sector is the missing link in the fight against gender-based violence

South African mines are getting safer, experts say, even though...

There has been a 14% decrease in deaths at mines this year compared to last year

Here comes the opera: Joburg Theatre presents Don Giovanni as...

Top international cast members to perform Mozart’s Don Giovanni with music by the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra

Legal options running out for Julian Assange

Tug of war over the extradition of WikiLeaks founder to the US enters final stages, with London’s high court set to make a final decision in September
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×