Ivan Meyer encourages Oudtshoorn to implement Financial Recovery Plan
Following a meeting on Monday between the Mayor of Oudtshoorn, Colan Sylvester and the Western Cape Minister of Finance Ivan Meyer, the provincial government has undertaken to give its full support for plans to resolve the financial troubles of this beleaguered Municipality.
Assistance will be offered in so far as the municipality adheres to the agreed Financial Recovery plan, as agreed to by Council recently.
The meeting focussed on some of the challenges faced by the newly elected Council. Mayor Sylvester said:
“The new Council is committed to repairing the damage caused by previous administrations. Today’s meeting is another step towards securing the necessary support to equip Council to deliver on the agreed Financial Recovery Plan.”
Minister Meyer said it was important that Oudtshoorn Municipality is given the necessary support that would lead to financial sustainability, good financial governance and ultimately quality service delivery to the people of Oudtshoorn.
Minister Meyer said: “I have listened to Mayor Sylvester and have full appreciation for the mammoth task he faces. The Western Cape Government is therefore fully committed to providing the necessary support to tackle the financial and service delivery risks the municipally currently faces”.
The Western Cape’s support is in line with the provisions of Section 34 of the Municipal Finance Management Act 56 of 2003.
“Oudtshoorn needs to take its rightful position as the jewel of the Karoo. Today’s meeting with the Mayor is another step towards reversing the damage caused in the recent past.”
Minister Meyer further called on the Mayor to take the tough decisions necessary to ensure that wastage is eliminated and greater efficiencies are unlocked in the budget.
“Municipal budgets are being squeezed by austerity brought on by financial mismanagement. Mayor Sylvester and his Council therefore need to display a united front against corruption and commit to good financial governance and effective service delivery.”
Sylvester expressed his satisfaction with the outcome of the meeting which resolved that:
- The Mayor and his Mayco be cognisant of the financial, governance and leadership challenges faced by Oudtshoorn Municipality
- Mayor and Mayco commit to improve financial management and corporate governance
- Mayor and Mayco to explore opportunities to enhance service delivery and socio-economic development
- Mayor to provide political guidance over fiscal and financial affairs of the municipality in accordance with Chapter 7 of the MFMA
The Western Cape Government would in turn provide:
- Guidance in terms of legislative prescripts (circulars, guidelines and regulations), provision of applicable reporting templates and frameworks.
- Hands-on, on-location involvement i.e. assistance in compiling quarterly performance reports, draft budget preparations
- Formal budget and governance reviews and assessments
- Accredited training initiatives, interactive workshops and forums. Financial support: Business plan development to qualify for Western Cape Financial Management Support Grant (WCFMSG) support and
- Research to inform municipal planning processes.
Minister Meyer stressed that Oudtshoorn’s recovery will not happen overnight:
“There is a need to adopt a medium to long term approach The new planning cycle however offers the Oudtshoorn council the ideal opportunity to a instil culture of accountability, sound financial management and good governance practices.”