Merafong money in NW hands

aAnna Majavu

aAnna Majavu

Parliament is worried that Merafong's finances will continue to be controlled by the North West after its transfer to Gauteng next month.

The concerns emerged yesterday after MPs heard that the North West will continue to hold the purse strings until April 2010.

The Treasury said last month that the budget for Merafong had already been allocated to that province for the next financial year.

"Teachers in Merafong will still be paid by the North West because the budget will be there. The provinces will have to enter into protocols [to ensure that service delivery is not interrupted]," the Treasury's Kenneth Brown said.

But MPs told officials from the Department of Provincial and Local Government they needed "assurances" that North West would continue to deliver services to the community which rejected it.

"If people say they have been shabbily treated, how is it possible for them to get the share they never got in the first place?" asked ANC MP Madala Mzizi.

Merafong goes back to Gauteng at the end of this month after years of conflict between the government and the community.