‘Rogue unit’ to blame – Lungisa
Nelson Mandela Bay councillor Andile Lungisa says he will write to finance minister Tito Mboweni to report what he called a “rogue unit” at the National Treasury.
This follows a letter from the Treasury’s inter-government relations deputy directorgeneral, Malijeng Ngqaleni, on Wednesday, warning the city against spending loan funding on anything other than capital projects.
The letter was sent to acting city manager Peter Neilson less than 24 hours after a plan was presented to the council to divert more than R300m in loan funding meant for infrastructure towards settling legal bills and summer season festivities.
Speaking from his office on Thursday, Lungisa said the letter from the Treasury was tantamount to interference and that he would take it up with Mboweni.
“The letter is clear interference in the affairs of Nelson Mandela Bay,” he said.
“The official who wrote that letter needs to answer to National Treasury and also to this municipality whether this official is running a rogue unit.”
Lungisa said it seemed that there were officials in the Treasury who were in the pockets of the opposition in the metro because the contents of Ngqaleni’s letter were the same as objections raised by the opposition during Tuesday’s council meeting.
“We can’t have a municipality run by officials from National Treasury because that undermines the local authority,” Lungisa said.
Meanwhile, acting municipal manager Peter Neilson assured the National Treasury in a response to Ngqalani on Thursday that there would be no amendment to the business plan unless full and proper processes were followed.
“I have requested the MMC for finance [budget and treasury] to convene a special meeting to consider the appropriate methods of amending the business plan so that it remains in line with the loan conditions,” he said.