Jacques Smalle MP
DA Limpopo Provincial Leader
The DA is set to open a case of mismanagement of public funds against Polokwane municipality officials at the provincial offices of the Hawks in Limpopo on Monday.
This after the latest Auditor General’s report tabled yesterday at the Council meeting revealed financial mismanagement of epidemic proportions. This municipality received a disclaimer of opinion for the financial year under consideration for reasons which suggest the need for a probe by the criminal investigation agencies.
The A-G found that goods and services below R200 000 were procured in contravention of the law, without obtaining at least 3 quotations. To make matters worse tender awards were made to service providers whose directors or shareholders were officials of the same municipality.
How is it possible that significant payments alluded to by the AG were made to individuals who are no longer in the employment of the municipality? The A-G was as a result unable to verify the correctness of employee costs of R399 million.
Furthermore service of 1219 consumer accounts for pre-paid electricity were not recorded in any statements. This must be probed to establish whether there was no connivance between municipal officials and those consumers to avoid the latter to pay electricity.
There were no supporting documents for financial transactions to the value of R13 million. This is in addition to the unauthorised expenditure to the tune of over R140 million in excess of the approved budget.
Municipal Finance law is very clear on this: it criminalises such mismanagement in that it provides that an accounting officer or other municipal officials are guilty of an offence if they fail to take reasonable steps to implement the municipality’s supply chain management or they fail to take reasonable steps to prevent unauthorised expenditure or corruptive practices.
The DA firmly believes that the AG’s findings provide a clear basis for such gross mismanagement. The Criminal Investigations Agencies must now step in and bring to book all those officials, past and present, responsible for this state of affairs, including those municipal officials who did business with the municipality without permission.