15 Oct 2010
Predictably the shocking lack of municipal service delivery has been blamed on a shortage of artisans in South Africa. John Botha, general manager of the Production Management Institute claims the reason that municipalities cannot do their jobs is because they don’t have qualified people.
At least R2-billion allocated to local government remained unspent last year even though many municipalities around the country are battling to overcome infrastructure problems or maintain essential assets such as water purification works.
Frustrated property owners throughout South Africa have increasingly complained about a lack of service delivery in almost every one of the 283 local authorities in the country and there appears to be little hope on the horizon that efficiency levels in municipalities will improve.
Botha says that the main reason for the poor levels of service delivery is that councils do not have properly qualified people to do the essential maintenance work needed to keep the local authorities running smoothly.
South Africa currently produces about 5 600 qualified artisans a year across all disciplines compared with a target of about 12 500 set by the Department of Higher Education and Training. The country apparently needs between 50 000 and 80 000 artisans at the moment.
“Artisans are urgently needed to keep our lights on, keep our water flowing and drinkable and ensure that our basic infrastructure such as sewage systems and storm water drains are kept in working order,” says Botha.
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It is true that the lack of artisans is a problem to the municipalities, but the reality is often not told due to narrow reasearch methodology employed by the researchers of this problems.
Please note that the municipalities serves as a life line of every citizen, namely water & sanitation, electricity, roads and collection of rubbish. Most of these services are not paid for by the residences and currently the municipalities are owed billions of rands and the ratio is climbing. Often that is caused by residences simply not paying for services, job losses and reccession.
The writer might not have covered all the possible causes of service delivery, funding to municipalities. - Sibusiso Morare
Paddy HartdegenFreelance columnist at property24.com.
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