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WC Provincial finance Minister pleased with Oudtshoorn’s Improving finances and governance

Oudtshoorn, 30 August 2017 – Western Cape Minister for Finance, Dr. Ivan Meyer has, during his oversight meeting on Tuesday, 29 August 2017, lauded Oudtshoorn Municipality for its status-quo report on its finances, management functionality and leadership.

“Oudtshoorn Municipality has certainly a good story to tell that gives hope for change to its citizens and stakeholders – also a story that gives hope to other municipalities such as Kannaland (a neighbouring municipality that is currently under Provincial Intervention in terms of Section 139 of the Constitution), that a change is indeed possible,” said Minister Meyer.

Mayor Colan Sylvester told the Provincial delegation that Eskom debt, which has now been reduced from last year’s R54 Million to current R6.2 Million, is going to be finally settled in October 2017, with Eskom agreeing to waive further interest on the outstanding debt. Minister Meyer was further told by the Municipality that total overdue creditors have been reduced from ± R110 Million to R 22.5 Million. All unspent conditional grants are cash backed. Liquidity position shows improvement with the municipality managing to service all its current operational expenses. Current ratio has improved from 0.4:1 to 0.7:1 as at 30 June 2017 indicative of debt being serviced and cash flow improvement.

The municipal Chief Financial Officer, Mr. Felix Lötter in his presentation highlighted the debtors’ collection rate that has exceed 96% for 2016/2017 as one of the key achievements. “Revenue enhancement strategy has been finalised with revenue enhancement efforts raising an additional R20 Million in revenue billed of which in excess of R16 Million has been paid,” Lötter added.

“Operating surplus generated for the financial year ended 30 June 2017 in excess of R70 Million. Statutory payments are up to date with the WCA R4.6 Mil and SALGA R3.7 Mil paid in 2016/2017. A positive bank balance of R27.7 Million as at 30 June 2017 compared to a R48 Million overdraft in 2015.”

“Although the Municipality will recover sooner on its cash flow, it would take about Four years for a full financial recovery,” said Lötter as he concluded his presentation.

Dr Meyer provided an overview of the 2017 Provincial Budget while unpacking the Oudtshoorn Municipality’s historic and current expenditure trends and budget allocations. He also elaborated on provincial infrastructure spend within the boundaries of the Municipality and to strengthen the working relationship and culture of intergovernmental cooperation between the Oudtshoorn Municipality and the Western Cape Government.

“A total of R 145 453 Million will during this current financial year be steered toward Oudtshoorn and its surroundings,” the Minister said. “This includes the Dysselsdorp road upgrade, Cango Caves Road reseal and Oudtshoorn-De Rust road upgrade.”

As a further vote of confidence in the Oudtshoorn Municipality Minister Meyer announced that an amount of R500 000 has been allocated to Oudtshoorn Municipality to lead an Eden District project aimed at defining and piloting a new business model for the management of municipal resorts.