By George Michalakis, DA Free State Permanent Delegate to the National Council of Provinces:
Senior municipal officials across several Free State municipalities have received ‘performance’ bonuses of more than R7 million during the 2013/14 financial year. This was revealed in reply to a written question I submitted to the national COGTA minister, Pravin Gordhan.
The DA would have no objection to the payment of performance bonuses if any of these municipalities actually performed in the delivery of quality basic services to the people. Sadly, the reality is that service delivery and good governance in all Free State municipalities are deteriorating rapidly.
The Mangaung Metro paid out the most in bonuses, R3,446,358 million, while it owes Bloem Water in excess of R52 million.
The Fezile-Dabi District Municipality paid out almost R1,2 million in bonuses while all its local municipalities collectively owe ESKOM more than R400 million.
In the Lejweleputswa District Municipality the collective ESKOM debt is more than R590 million yet is found R756,701.00 to reward its senior municipal officials.
The Nketoana Local Municipality owes ESKOM R49 million and another R690,000.00 to water boards, but the municipality could gladly pay out bonuses of more than R600,000.00.
It is unfortunate that the ANC in government’s main objective has become the lining of pockets for its most loyal cadres. The ANC continues to prioritise its own self-interest above the interests of the poor and the marginalised.