Maritzburg Sun (South Africa)

PMB SPCA surviving solely on donations

- Jordan Erradu

The Msunduzi Municipali­ty’s debt of over R1 million to the SPCA is negatively impacting the SPCA’s ability to respond to the current rabies outbreak as they cannot afford to perform call outs and collect strays.

The Msunduzi Municipali­ty has not met its financial responsibi­lity to pay the SPCA their monthly pound fees as per their contractua­l agreement. The municipali­ty last paid pound fees on July 8, 2021. The total amount Msunduzi now owes the SPCA is R1 106 754,30. This includes the March 2022 pound fees, as these funds are due in advance.

By law, every municipali­ty has to have a functionin­g pound and the municipali­ty contracted the PMB SPCA to run the city’s pound for them. However, without the monthly pound fees, the SPCA cannot afford to perform these duties.

The SPCA desperatel­y needs the pound fees to cover travel costs and to take care of the animals, including veterinary treatment for those that are injured. The SPCA is now solely dependent on public donations to survive.

The situation has been further exacerbate­d by a serious outbreak of rabies in KwaZulu-Natal since last year. The SPCA has been unable to collect all stray animals, placing the lives of members of the public and other animals in danger.

Acting managers at the SPCA, Adele Koppeschaa­r and Asifa Mahomed, spoke out against the delaying tactics of the municipali­ty. “We have had no communicat­ion from Msunduzi and we have received no payment. Their promises to pay, and the request for invoices that are currently being verified, is just another stalling tactic, and one of several excuses we have received,” they said.

Neverthele­ss, the acting managers have pledged to help with strays if the animals are contained, as they have an officer and a vehicle available. Injured strays get top priority and the vehicle is sent out immediatel­y should one be reported.

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