DA wants EMLM un­der ad­min­is­tra­tion over R58m un­der­spend­ing

The Rep - - NEWS -

THE DA has in­di­cated its con­cerns about the de­te­ri­o­rat­ing fi­nan­cial sit­u­a­tion at the Enoch Mgi­jima Lo­cal Mu­nic­i­pal­ity (EMLM).

DA cau­cus chair­man Chris de Wet said the quar­terly bud­get mon­i­tor­ing re­port tabled by ex­ec­u­tive mayor Lindiwe Gunuza-Nk­wentsha on Mon­day, and which re­flects the fi­nan­cial ad­min­is­tra­tion of the mu­nic­i­pal­ity for the last quar­ter of the 2016-17 fi­nan­cial year, and the per­for­mance of the full fi­nan­cial year, re­flected that the au­thor­ity had un­der­spent by R58-mil­lion, which rep­re­sents 47% of the an­nual cap­i­tal bud­get.

“This means that R58-mil­lion of the al­lo­cated and bud­geted funds to be spent on in­fra­struc­ture like elec­tric­ity sup­ply, roads and main­te­nance etc was not used dur­ing the 2016-17 fi­nan­cial year. This comes at a time when our mu­nic­i­pal­ity and towns are tee­ter­ing on the brink of col­lapse.”

De Wet said the state of af­fairs could “be solely at­trib­uted to the gov­ern­ing ANC be­ing un­able to gov­ern our mu­nic­i­pal­ity and its ci­ti­zens. We are all suf­fer­ing as a re­sult of their mal­ad­min­is­tra­tion”.

The un­spent funds al­lo­cated from cen­tral gov­ern­ment would have to be re­turned, re­sult­ing in the poor­est res­i­dents of the com­mu­nity suf­fer­ing the most.

A fur­ther con­cern, he said, was the un­der-col­lec­tion by 25% of bud­geted rev­enue which rep­re­sented R161-mil­lion.

“This un­der-col­lec­tion will in­evitably put huge strain on the re­serves and re­sources of the mu­nic­i­pal­ity. It should also be noted that, although the mu­nic­i­pal­ity in­her­ited cash re­serves of over R150-mil­lion from the old Lukhanji Mu­nic­i­pal­ity, there is cur­rently noth­ing left. The fi­nan­cial vi­a­bil­ity of the mu­nic­i­pal­ity is at se­ri­ous risk.”

De Wet said the ex­pen­di­ture re­flected dur­ing the last quar­ter of the fi­nan­cial year was also dis­turb­ing with the mu­nic­i­pal­ity pay­ing out R3.1-mil­lion for fuel in April, May and June.

With this amount, 30000km could have been trav­elled ev­ery day, in­clud­ing Sat­ur­days and Sun­days, of the en­tire five months. In ad­di­tion, an amount of R1.8-mil­lion was paid out to travel agen­cies, rep­re­sent­ing about R20 000 ev­ery day.

The mu­nic­i­pal­ity, in ad­di­tion to its monthly salary bill of R18.3-mil­lion, also paid a fur­ther R1.9- mil­lion in over­time. “From the afore­said, it is clear that the ad­min­is­tra­tion has all but lost con­trol over ex­pen­di­ture, and it has now be­come a free-for-all.”

De Wet said the DA had con­sis­tently op­posed all forms of mal­ad­min­is­tra­tion and over-ex­pen­di­ture, but that due to the on­go­ing in­ter­nal fac­tional fight­ing within the rul­ing party, and a gen­eral lack of lead­er­ship and ex­per­tise, the ANC had al­lowed EMLM to de­te­ri­o­rate to the brink of fi­nan­cial col­lapse.

“This leaves the DA with no al­ter­na­tive but to con­sider ap­proach­ing the rel­e­vant MEC to place the mu­nic­i­pal­ity un­der ad­min­is­tra­tion. This might be the only way to save the Enoch Mgi­jima Mu­nic­i­pal­ity from bank­ruptcy and to­tal col­lapse.”

EMLM had not re­sponded at the time of go­ing to press.

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