Struggling municipalities that face serious financial problems can be turned around through collaboration with the business sector.
For starters, municipalities must fix their billing systems which are riddled with inherent systemic deficiencies.
Municipalities across the country are having a plethora of financial challenges that impede service delivery.
The provision of service delivery to communities by municipalities is a non-negotiable constitutional imperative.
In order to turn the situation around for the better, municipalities should consider working with the Business Sector with a view of unlocking and unblocking the challenges.
The challenges bedeviling municipalities have made it hugely difficult for businesses to thrive in such an environment.
In fact, some businesses have already decided to move from municipalities that are distressed and therefore unable to deliver basic services such as water, sanitation, electricity, and trafficable roads.
It is therefore critically important that municipalities should forge working relations with the Organized Business Sector and enter into Social Partnership Pacts to enhance service delivery and attract investment.
The Debt Books of many municipalities are hugely pregnant as a result of a series of debts that these municipalities have.
It should be mentioned that some of these municipal debts are irrecoverable due to a variety of reasons.
Which is why municipalities should seriously and practically consider writing these debts off.
The Finance Departments of municipalities should establish teams of dedicated employees to analyze and dissect these debts in order to clean their Debt Books.
This process should be executed clinically with brutal honesty in that irrecoverable debts are isolated and written-off.
There are businesspeople in these municipalities who are prepared to assist to improve service delivery whose assistance should be embraced.
Municipalities should have an Open-Door Policy that encourages inclusiveness and partnerships thereby making it easy for the Business Sector to participate.
For it is true that the attraction of Foreign Direct Investment can only happen in a business-friendly environment.
The established Organized Business Sector has a moral obligation to ensure that the Local economy benefits the local populace.
That it is essential that the Local populace, especially the youth, must be empowered with skills and knowledge that will enable them to make a meaningful contribution in the mainstream economy.
Businesses should be alive to the fact that unemployment has a negative bearing on the stability of a municipality.
High-rate unemployment leads to high-rate crime thereby causing serious family dysfunctionalities wherein the youth is overpopulating prison communities.
The new Local Government Councils throughout the country should initiate discussions with the Business Sector in order to have Social Pacts that will drive Local Economic Development and intensify service delivery.
These Social Pacts should, among other things, make a Clarion Call to all and sundry to participate in the affairs of the municipalities.
Councillors should spread the message of responsible citizenship which implores residents to take ownership of municipal property and protect such property from vandalism and other forms of criminalities.
*Benzi Ka-Soko writes in his personal capacity as an Independent Political Consultant and Researcher.*