Municipality fails to pay salaries, financial audit is needed

By Jacques Smalle (MPL), DA Spokesperson for COGHSTA:

The DA will be writing to the MEC for Cooperative Governance in Limpopo, Makoma Makhurupetje, to launch an investigation into the financial chaos of Mutale Municipality after workers were not paid.

The general workers and officials embarked on a strike since the first week of this month after indications that they will not receive their remuneration this month due to bad financial management.

The municipality spends more than R20 million on salaries every month and the officials were also expected to be paid their annual bonuses this month.

The DA has already tabled a motion of no confidence against the Mayor, Sarah Rambuda, and the Municipal Manager for approving payments of more than R32 million to Law Firms without council’s approval.

The DA is not surprised by the bankruptcy of the municipality as the AG report released in the last financial year indicated the following:

  • R5 million of irregular expenditure in the last financial year cannot be accounted for;
  • R4 Million of unauthorised and wasteful expenditure is also recorded;
  • An estimated R31 million was underspent and returned to the national treasury during the last financial year, affecting service delivery and
  • The municipality has also failed to compile their financial reports for audit and paid more than R890 000 to consultants to do work that municipal officials were supposed to do

It is alleged that the Mayor deliberately ignored and delayed a council resolution to determine the upper limits of the salaries, allowances and benefits of different members of council.

Now , the Mayor, CFO and the MM are reported to be blaming each other for the financial mismanagement and the DA wants MEC Makhurupetje to intervene and place the municipality under administration with immediate effect.

Despite all the mismanagement, the political instability is centre stage in this municipality and is the direct results of the lack of basic services to the people.

It is clear that the municipality is failing to run their financial affairs and urgent intervention is required.

The DA is urging MEC Makhurupetje to establish an audit team to investigate the financial affairs of the municipality to ensure that transparency and accountability takes effect and that all officials and workers are paid within 48 hours.