Depriving municipalities equitable share to hit poor hardest – Salga CEO


There is an African proverb which goes: when two elephants fight it is the grass that suffers. And in this context, the elephants are the local councils and the central government, on the one hand, and the grass are residents who need access to basic services.

South African Local Government Association (Salga) CEO Xolile George has warned the Central government that depriving municipalities “equitable share” would not impact on councilors but people who need basic services to live.

“The equitable share is the means of ensuring that the poor continue to be cushioned against the effects… of the triple challenges.… (It) is an unconditional grant that enables municipalities to provide basic services to poor households and… perform core municipal functions,” he says.

The central government has withheld the funds which were to be allocated to 60 municipalities countrywide because of their inability to pay Eskom and water boards on time. The municipalities owe Eskom a combined debt of R12.6 billion.

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