DA-run municipalities come out tops again – ready to share lessons through a Best Practice Summit on Municipal Governance

Issued by Eleanore Bouw-Spies MP – DA Shadow Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA)
25 May 2023 in News

Please find attached a soundbite by Eleanore Bouw-Spies MP.

The 2022 Municipal Financial Sustainability Index (MFSI) by Ratings Afrika has once again re-affirmed an established fact in South Africa’s local government sector – DA-run municipalities in the Western Cape and Midvaal, in Gauteng, are the best run municipal administrations in the country. DA governments are bucking the national trend of decline and offer the best hope of good services and good value for ratepayers’ money.

While this is a cause for celebration for residents who live in DA-run municipalities, we are equally concerned about the welfare of South Africans who live in badly run ANC municipalities, some of which are on the verge of collapse. Service delivery, prudent financial management and investment in infrastructure are all in free fall, with no possibility of a turnaround.

It is for this reason that I have taken the decision to write to the Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Thembi Nkadimeng, and the acting head of the South African Local Government Association (SALGA), Mthobeli Kolisa, requesting that they convene a “Best Practice Summit on Municipal Governance”. DA-run governments that have been cited for good governance will then use this platform to share best practices and key lessons on how to improve governance outcomes in failing ANC municipalities.

The MSFI made the point that Saldanha Bay and Midavaal managed to emerge as the top run municipalities because of key attributes, which include:

  • Sound long-term financial strategies;
  • Well-entrenched financial policies;
  • Good budgetary practices – self funded operating and capital budgets;
  • Strict financial control and discipline; and
  • Good revenue collection close to 95%

At metro level, Cape Town remains head and shoulders above the other metros as it is the only financially viable metro – eclipsing other metros by a considerable margin of 68 to 41. According to MSFI “Cape Town’s high score is an operating surplus of R1,8 billion and cash reserves of R9,4 billion that can be utilised for infrastructure development and provide a considerable buffer to absorb financial chocks.”

In prioritising a better quality of life for residents that is supported by an efficient and clean government, the Western Cape has shown that there is a clear correlation between good governance and better service delivery outcomes.

Using the DA municipal governance model as a baseline, the Best Practice Summit on Municipal Governance will benefit immensely from key lessons on financial sustainability, professional municipal administration, service delivery project management and public procurement best practice.