Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) minister Zweli Mkhize has urged leaders across the political divide in the Free State to put their differences aside and work towards improving their municipalities as most them are either distressed or dysfunctional.
Mkhize said while it's known that the biggest problem is low revenue collection due to a small collection base, local authorities should also encourage people to pay because in some cases, politicians promised that they will not pay for services.
Mkhize said this in Bloemfontein on Friday during a day-long meeting with provincial government leaders, mayors and municipal officers. The meeting was part of his countrywide visits to distressed municipalities.
"You're all responsible for turning things around regardless of your party," said Mkhize.
"We have a role to play and we are prepared to assist you, but are you ready for it? Put specific time frames to your programmes in order to measure progress. If it's not measured it won't happen. If it's not happening, nothing is going to change," he added.
At least nine municipalities and the Mangaung Metro were represented at the meeting as they have been identified as needing serious and urgent attention. These include: Mafube, Masilonyana, Maluti-A-Phofung, Kopanong, Letsemeng, Mantsopa, Nketoana, Tokologo and Mohokare local municipalities.
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