Mid-term review of municipal performance: Thaba Chweu
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Due to maladministration, Thaba Chweu municipality was under administration in 2005 and was placed again under administration in 2009. It is a legacy problem that has compromised on the effectiveness and integrity of the municipality, of which the current caretaker administrator is keen to change. The overall aim of the administrator is to restore the confidence and professional integrity of the municipality across its varied stakeholders ranging from service providers/private sector, communities and government. A recurrent theme that emerged in these discussions is the need to 'institutionalize sustainable reforms' that would ensure effective service delivery to the community as part of its renewed vision and purpose. One key problem the municipality faced was its flawed financial governance systems which partly led to loss of income due to inability to collect rates. As a result of the institutional reforms implemented thus far, the municipality has achieved notable outcomes which are slowly changing the perception of its stakeholders with regard to its operational integrity. Stakeholder confidence has increased overtime and this is largely due to the consultative nature of the reforms implemented in the municipality. Stakeholders such as the mining sector have volunteered to assist where needed and this level of support is notable across community formations such as the youth groups. Tangible changes such as the refurbishment of the Hydro Electric Power Unit, improvement in water quality programmes and the establishment of a town planning section were hailed as a huge achievement of the municipality. One key change that was proposed with regard to institutional reforms is the need to deplore both financial resources as well as human resources in instances where municipalities are placed under administration. The reform agenda undertaken by the key personnel tasked with reforming the ailing municipality is achievable if accompanied by financial resources. A municipality that is on the brink of bankruptcy can hardly fund any of its much needed reforms despite having the personnel resources to do so. This was cited as an over arching limitation with regard to the pace of reforms expected in municipalities that are placed under administration.