Molefe 2015 No political efforts were made at the time to reverse the

Molefe 2015 no political efforts were made at the

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Molefe, 2015) No political efforts were made at the time to reverse the ideological position for the non-payment of services, a “cease fire strategy”. These were serious defects that were later to cause unbearable consequences leading to total collapse in service 11
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delivery and rapid scourge of maladministration and corruption. (Matei & Matei, 2009; Gert Sibande District IDP, 2016; Skenjana, 2019) 2.1.2 Description of research setting or context The Province is subdivided into three municipal districts of Gert Sibande, Nkangala and Ehlanzeni (Figure 2) which together make up a total of seventeen local municipalities. The majority of municipalities are in the Gert Sibande district area with a total of seven, namely Mkhondo, Dipaleseng, Dr Pixley Ka Isaka Seme, Govan Mbeki, Chief Albert Luthuli, Msukaligwa and Lekwa, followed by Nkangala totalling six namely Victor Khanye, Emalahleni, Steve Tshwete, Emakhazeni, Thembisile Hani and Dr JS Moroka wherein the last two mentioned municipalities are from former KwaNdebele homeland government whilst Ehlanzeni has four municipalities which are City of Mbombela, Thaba Chweu, Bushbuckridge and Nkomazi where the last two listed municipalities were established from former Gazankulu and KaNgwane homeland governments respectively. (Municipal Demarcation Board Reports, 2000, 2005, 2010, 2015, 2019) Figure 1: Map of South Africa Figure 2: Mpumalanga Map 12
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showing MP location showing districts and local municipalities Source: Google Maps 2.1.3 Aspects connecting to the physical research setting or context Signs of weaknesses and distress were already showing by 2006 where the state of service delivery was in disarray. This was further confirmed through the Auditor-General (2006; 2007; 2008; 2009; 2010) reports, yearly stating poor performance and excessive regression in financial management. The continued deterioration led to the assessment of the state of local government which was finalized and a report published by late 2009. The Report (2009) found that challenges such as huge service backlogs, poor communication and accountability, poor political-administrative interface, corruption and fraud, poor financial management, intra- and inter party political issues, insufficient municipal capacity due to lack of skills, poor leadership and violent community protests, to name just a few. Bushbuckridge, Thaba Chweu, Emalahleni and Msukaligwa municipalities were identified in Mpumalanga with such developmental challenges. A broad national LGTAS was put in place in 2009 with a five-year target of 2014 to improve the state of local government through municipal turnaround strategies (MTAS) (SLGR, 2009; LGTAS, 2009; Mofolo, 2012; Mbanga & Jooste, 2013; Meyer & Venter, 2014). During 2018, Thaba Chweu, Emalahleni, Lekwa Govan Mbeki and Msukaligwa municipalities were still identified as distressed municipalities with similar symptoms as were identified in 2009. (Kanyane, 2010; COGTA Report, 2018) The fact that some municipalities still remained under distress as others improved brings to question why new ones joined the 13
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distressed cohort few years down the line. Were the MTAS
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  • Summer '19
  • Maria Yvonne Dy

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