Mix up of R60 000 at guest­hou­se

Knysna-Plett Herald - - News - S­te­fan Goo­sen

The Knys­na mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty has laun­ched an in­ter­nal au­dit fol­lo­wing the al­le­ga­ti­on of a lo­cal guest­hou­se ma­na­ger that the mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty o­wes R60 000 in un­paid ac­com­mo­da­ti­on fees.

Ac­cor­ding to Wer­ner Eras­musLe Gran­ge of On the Es­tu­a­ry Guest­hou­se, he has been st­rug­gling to get pay­ment, al­le­ging that the mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty ma­de a book­ing with him for 13 SA Ai­r­for­ce pi­lots du­ring the Knys­na fires in Ju­ne.

“We al­re­a­dy had three fa­mi­lies staying with us f­ree of char­ge, al­ong with a crew from Wor­king on Fi­re (WoF) that was get­ting a re­du­ced ra­te for the 12 rooms t­hey we­re u­sing. W­hen Tou­rism pho­ned on 9 Ju­ne as­king us if we had spa­ce a­vai­la­ble, we told them w­hat was left and t­hey said a woman from the mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty would con­tact us,” said Eras­mus-Le Gran­ge.

Eras­mus-Le Gran­ge said 10 mi­nu­tes la­ter a la­dy from the mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty pho­ned as­king if t­hey had spa­ce for the pi­lots. “She spo­ke to my re­ser­va­ti­ons as­sis­tant who first con­fir­med a re­du­ced ra­te with me be­fo­re gi­ving it to the woman. T­his was the lo­west pos­si­ble ra­te we could gi­ve. The pi­lots ar­ri­ved the sa­me day and on­ly left on 17 Ju­ne. T­hey occu­pied 13 rooms,” said Eras­mus-Le Gran­ge. The WoF crew book­ed out on 18 Ju­ne and the three fa­mi­lies left on 4 Au­gust.

Du­ring the pi­lots’ stay, Eras­mus-Le Gran­ge said, he in­cur­red a lot of ex­tra ex­pen­ses by going far beyond w­hat was ex­pected of the guest­hou­se. “We was­hed their li­nen and clot­hes f­ree of char­ge and pro­vi­ded them with jui­ce and wa­ter throug­hout their stay, al­so f­ree of char­ge - the­se are just so­me of the ex­tras we of­fe­red,” he said.

But to get pay­ment for the pi­lots’ ac­com­mo­da­ti­on, has pro­ved im­pos­si­ble, said Eras­mus-Le Gran­ge.

He has been sent from pil­lar to post, not on­ly to get pay­ment, but to find so­me­o­ne who could con­firm the book­ing in the first pla­ce.

“First I was told the book­ing was ne­ver ma­de, then the sto­ry chan­ged and I was told the per­son who ma­de the book­ing was un­der the im­pres­si­on it was all f­ree. All the whi­le being sent from one per­son to the next. Why would my re­ser­va­ti­on as­si­tant ha­ve con­fir­med a re­du­ced ra­te with me if it was f­ree?”

As on 24 Au­gust, the bill, In­clu­ding in­te­rest, for the pi­lots’ stay, ca­me to R62 570.

Knys­na mu­ni­ci­pal ma­na­ger Kam C­het­ty said the mat­ter has been re­fer­red to an in­ter­nal au­di­tor to in­ves­ti­ga­te.

P­ho­to: S­te­fan Goo­sen

On the Es­tu­a­ry guest­hou­se ma­na­ger Wer­ner Eras­musLe Gran­ge.

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