Clover shuts down SA's largest cheese factory due to poor service delivery
Dairy group Clover is spending R1.6 billion to move what is the country's biggest cheese factory from Lichtenburg in the North West, to Queensburgh near Durban.
The decision was forced because of the poor level of basic services provided by the Ditsobotla Local Municipality, says Clover.
Earlier this year, poultry producer Astral Foods took government to court over service delivery issues in the Lekwa (Standerton) Municipality in Mpumalanga.
Bruce Whitfield interviews economist Karen Heese from Municipal IQ, which monitors and assesses "all of South Africa’s 257 municipalities".
Clover's decision to pull out of North West sends a strong message that the province needs to hear, she says.
It's actually spent a lot of time of late fighting against Kgetlengrivier residents who took control of water. Arguably, during that time they should have been wooing Clover.Karen Heese, Economist - Municipal IQ
The very sad part, of course, is the 330 individuals who will be losing their jobs... For the local economy it's very serious and speaks quite poorly not only about the municipality but of the entire inter-governmental system that's meant to support the municipality.Karen Heese, Economist - Municipal IQ
And all this because of "useless" municipalities, or is that too strong a term? asks Whitfield.
If we just look at service delivery the stats are very clear - about 30% of your expenditure (the little that there is) is irregular, unauthorised and fruitless... It is a very dysfunctional place, by all accounts.Karen Heese, Economist - Municipal IQ
Potholes aren't the issue - there actually just aren't roads to have potholes in!Karen Heese, Economist - Municipal IQ
There's raw sewerage, electricity and water are intermittent, so it's an unacceptable environment not only for businesses to operate but people to live.Karen Heese, Economist - Municipal IQ
There's a particularly dysfunctional case in that municipality where you have two mayors, neither of whom is willing to step aside for the other.Karen Heese, Economist - Municipal IQ
Listen to Heese discuss how situations like these accelerate urbanisation and hollow out our secondary cities:
Source : https://www.123rf.com/stock-photo/potholes_road.html