Desiree van der Walt MPL
DA Limpopo Spokesperson on Local Government
I will today be handing over a dossier to Local Government MEC, Mr. Clifford Motsepe which contains incontrovertible documents on why Bela-Bela Municipality should now be placed under administration.
MEC Motsepe, in light of these documents, must act now to prevent further dereliction of services in this municipality.
We have not taken the decision to submit this dossier lightly. We are left no with no choice but to act in the interests of all residents impacted by the breakdown in delivery of basic services. We hope that intervention in the municipality will improve the quality of life for Bela-Bela residents.
Chronic mismanagement and the complete breakdown of the relations between the officials in this municipality have led to serious repercussions:
- National Treasury has withheld budget allocations amounting to this millions to this municipality as a result of its failure to comply with treasury regulations. According to the letter (14/12/2012) from Treasury advising the MEC about the decision to halt funds, the municipality failed to comply for the past 3 consecutive years inspite of being warned.
- Contrary to the Treasury recommendations which said that this municipality should appoint a full-time municipal manager, they have simply put a newly appointed CFO (barely 20 days after his appointment) to act as the municipal manager.
- This has again left the municipality without a CFO after an 18 months period without one, leading to this municipality earning an adverse opinion, and debt escalating to R126 million.
- There are serious and yet unresolved matters of corruption relating to a piece of land belonging to the municipality that was swooped under dubious circumstances with politically connected individual who is facing troubles with the law.
- Service delivery, a letter from the rate payers shows, have virtually collapsed with sewages over spilling in many parts and potholes abounding.
- The Executive Committee in this municipality has failed function due to consistent failure to attend meetings by ANC councillor Mr. Nhlapho.
- During a special Council meeting on Friday 24 May, the Council removed the only opposition member on Exco, a move to weaken oversight. It then stripped the ruling party’s own members of Exco of all their delegated powers thus making Exco meaningless.
- The mayor is also stripped of all his powers which now leaves him a mere “ceremonial mayor”.
We hope that with this concrete evidence of impropriety, the MEC will invoke his powers under the Constitution and place this municipality under administration.