Gert Sibande District Municipality (GSDM) signed a memorandum of understanding with three local municipalities, including Msukaligwa Municipality, recently.
The other two municipalities are Dipaleseng and Mkhondo.
The memorandum comes after the GSDM established a municipal support unit in the finance department to assist local municipalities that are facing challenges with financial management issues.
During his 2018 State of the District Address, the executive mayor of GSDM, Mr Muzi Chirwa, indicated that the current municipal financial management approach required a serious turn-around commitment to good and clean governance.
He indicated that although GSDM had used financial service providers to assist municipalities, it had come at a huge cost and at no skills transfer to the municipal staff.
It was for this reason that a decision was made for the establishment of an in-house unit.
The unit comprises senior managers who must provide support to the three municipalities for six months, starting from July until December this year. However, the period may be extended where circumstances warrant.
The main aim is to build capacity in the municipalities identified to perform their functions and exercise their powers where such a capacity is lacking and in order to improve audit outcomes as well as financial viability.
The managers in the unit will advise and assist in financial management matters and the municipality will assign any task to the employee relating to the financial management where there is a need to perform.
GSDM also recently received senior officials from the Municipal Infrastructure Support Agency (Misa) consisting of a civil and electrical engineer who will be assisting with project management, operations and maintenance.
In addition, a town planner has been assigned to assist GSDM and the municipalities and will provide technical support.