DA to seek national intervention – MEC Motsepe failing on Bela-Bela

Desiree van der Walt MPL

DA Limpopo Spokesperson on Local Government

MEC of Local Government, Mr. Clifford Motsepe has not responded to the Democratic Alliance’s submission to place Bela-Bela Municipality under administration. On 28 May, we handed him a dossier of hard proof on the reasons why this municipality must be placed under administration and we have asked him to respond within 7 days.

The MEC chose not to respond, perhaps for reasons of political expediency.  However the longer the MEC takes on this issue, the deeper this municipality sinks into chaos.

It is now absolutely clear that this municipality needs intervention. In the dossier we gave to the MEC, we alluded to the following issues, which if not attended to service delivery will be hampered:

  • 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 exchanged under dubious circumstances in favour of a 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 are now left with no option but to write to the Minister of Cooperative Government and Traditional Affairs, Mr. Richard Baloyi and the National Council of Provinces to urgently intervene on this matter.

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