Toilets and water in Extension 6 are first in line as officials rush to spend millions in infrastructure grants before the end of June.
Toilets and water in Extension 6 are first in line as officials rush to spend millions in infrastructure grants before the end of June. And the municipality's directors are under severe pressure from their new boss to spend every last cent: Municipal Manager Pravine Naidoo says it would be "criminal" for Makana not to use its capital budget.
With just two months to go, the Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) spending is still at 44% according to municipal spokesperson Mncedisi Boma.
"We are confident that they will spend the money within two months. All local municipalities in the district were called in a meeting to look at spending trends in the MIG fund. We had to present a plan on how we will make sure the grant is spent," said Boma.
The MIG fund is a grant from National Treasury given to the municipality to spend purely on infrastructure projects, such as the building of toilets. Makana still has to spend more than R16m of their allocation for this financial year. Money not spent in a financial year is not automatically rolled over to the next year, but has to be specially motivated for.
Boma said Makana had appointed implementing agency MBB Consulting as a project manager, to facilitate infrastructure projects.
"The agency will facilitate two key projects that will be done: the internal reticulation in Extension 6 and the building of toilet structures, also in this area."
He said the agency had appointed local contractors who will work on the Extension 6 project and a Service Level Agreement (SLA) had been signed with the local contractors. "The bulk of the grant will be spent in these two key projects and the rest on Makana's Kop and Foley's Ground," Boma said.
Asked about the capital budget spending to date, Boma said Municipal Manager Pravine Naidoo had expressed concern about the slow spending on capital projects.
"The MM has been worried about this. He called a senior management meeting for all directors to explain their plans to spend and identify the bottlenecks.
"We were then given a clear instruction that he will not tolerate departments underspending on the capital budget," Boma said.
"He said it was criminal in the public service to save money, because it is unlike the private sector. We were such an instruction… no stories," Boma said.