Challenges Faced by Sekhukhune District Municipality in Limpopo Province in Terms of Spending Municipal Infrastructure Grant Funds

20 Nov 2018

This article is based on a study that was prompted by the initiative of the cabinet of the South African government when they introduced the Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) in the year 2003. MIG was introduced as a new conditional grant for municipal infrastructure funding arrangement replacing all capital funding projects that were in existence. It was envisaged that the MIG programme would assist in providing all South African citizens with, at least, basic level of service by the year 2013. This set goal was not achieved by the year 2013, hence the service delivery protests that took place in Sekhukhune villages such as Ga-Mampuru and Ga-Mashabela, under the jurisdiction of Sekhukhune District Municipality (SDM), Limpopo Province. Despite the above-mentioned challenges of service protests, Sekhukhune District Municipality is one of the municipalities that continue to under-spend their MIG allocations on an annual basis. The aim of the study was to investigate the challenges faced by the SDM in terms of spending MIG funds to render effective services. Semi-structured interviews and self-administered questionnaires were used to collect data from the participants. The study found that the SDM is staffed with the right people with the minimum required qualifications and years of experience in most sections, except in the development and planning section; personnel training is not adequately done; there is political interference on administrative matters which result in the protracted procurement processes. The following recommendations are made: that members of staff without the requisite skills be engaged in training and development programmes; interference on administrative matters cease; there should be consequences for non-compliance on the utilisation of MIG funds; and that consultative meetings be held prior and post the approval of the IDP.