By Desiree Van Der Walt MP, DA Constituency Head for Thabazimbi:
The DA has written to the Limpopo Premier , Stanley Mathabatha and MEC for Cooperative Governance, Makoma Makhuruptje, to urgently dissolve Thabazimbi Municipality council after the municipality has failed to pay its debts for two years.
Due to the failure to pay on time, one service provider this week was forced to take to High Court to recover the money. The DA is in a possession of the Gauteng division high court order listing vehicles and other properties that belongs to the municipality to be attached that are worth more than R5 million since last week.
During the repossession of the vehicles, it is alleged that the Mayor, Patracia Moshito and her driver fled the scene after realising that the Mayor’s car is also on the list.
It is most concerning that the list includes a refuse truck and two water trucks whilst communities in a daily basis are struggling without water and refuse are not removed.
Click here to see the court order.
The municipality is reported to owe several service providers more than R200 million after rendering services but the municipality failed to pay service providers for over two years now.
It is further alleged that the municipality is owing Eskom more than R80 million who is threatening to cut the power supply due to non payment.
Other service providers that are reportedly owed more than R100 million.
Recently , the ANC deployed a senior financial specialist for a period of three months to rescue and resolve the municipal finances. But nothing has improved.
It clearly indicates that both MEC for Treasury, Rob Tooley and MEC Makhurupetje failed to act swiftly in this troubled municipality and their rescue attempt is an electioneering gimmick ahead of next year’s municipal elections.
The financial crisis Thabazimbi Municipality is an indication that other poorly-managed municipalities will face the similar fate that will ultimately result in a lack of delivery of critical services to the people.
When the municipality must be taken to court to pay its debts, it is clear that the municipality has lost the ability to function as a government.
Our vision for South African is that government must always act honestly, transparently and in the best interests of the people by paying on time, collecting revenue and delivering services.
The DA urges MEC Makhurupetje , to urgently evoke section 139 (5) of the Constitution to dissolve the council and impose a recovery plan aimed at securing the municipality’s ability to
meet its obligations to provide basic services and to extent the necessary measures to solve this crisis.
The DA acknowledges the seriousness of this step. We are committed to dissolving the council in the interest of the people of Thabazimbi. We cannot allow the municipality to continue to fail.