Money for poor remains unspent

CONDITIONAL grants left unspent by most Limpopo municipalities have been returned to the National Revenue Fund.

CONDITIONAL grants left unspent by most Limpopo municipalities have been returned to the National Revenue Fund.

This has also stifled effective service delivery in the province.

A report by the provincial treasury shows that for the first quarter of the 2008-08 financial year the Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) by the national government to municipalities , totaling R132million, were not spent and ended up being returned to the NRF.

The MIG was approved by the cabinet in 2003 and is aimed at providing people with basic services by 2013 by financing basic infrastructure for the poor.

DA leader in Limpopo Desiree van der Walt said yesterday they had discovered that the Makhuduthamaga municipality had scored the highest percentage (38 percent) of expenditure on the Financial Management Grant. The lowest was the Mopani district municipality with 0 percent.

She said the BaPhalaborwa, Capricorn, Greater Sekhukhune, Polokwane and Vhembe municipalities had to return more than R10million each of unspent conditional grants to the NRF.

"To compound the situation the grants for the Integrated National Electrification Programme showed zero percent spending across all municipalities for the period under consideration. The only exception is the Greater Tzaneen municipality standing at a 0,42 percent spending rate," Van der Walt said.

She said she would approach Minister for Provincial and Local Government Sicelo Shiceka, who is responsible for the fund, to establish what steps he would take to overhaul "this lack of spending".

Van der Walt said as far as the Neighborhood Development Partnership Grant was concerned all municipalities fared at less than 30 percent spending rate.

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