‘Waste­ful’ N West mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties in the spot­light

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - POLITICS - BALD­WIN NDABA

NORTH West Premier Job Mok­goro’s de­ci­sion to place sev­eral of the prov­ince’s mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties – in­clud­ing the cap­i­tal’s Mahikeng mu­nic­i­pal­ity – un­der ad­min­is­tra­tion has re­ceived mixed re­ac­tions.

Mok­goro placed seven mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties, along with the Ngaka Modiri Molema district mu­nic­i­pal­ity, un­der ad­min­is­tra­tion on Wed­nes­day due to lack of gover­nance.

The pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment is set to take con­trol of these mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties by Septem­ber 1.

The af­fected mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties are: Kag­isano-Molopo; Ramot­shere Moiloa; Dit­sobotla; Kgetlen­griv­ier; Maquassi Hills; Naledi; Mahikeng and Ngaka Modiri Molema.

Mok­goro’s de­ci­sion has been crit­i­cised by the South African Na­tional Civic Or­gan­i­sa­tion (Sanco).

The DA has also asked him to con­sider fir­ing his MEC for lo­cal gov­ern­ment, Fenny Gao­laolwe, and fi­nance MEC Wendy Nel­son.

Sanco’s North West pro­vin­cial chair­per­son Paul Se­be­goe said: “The civic or­gan­i­sa­tion called for tougher ac­tion against waste­ful and fruit­less ex­pen­di­ture, which had in­creased from R3.19 billion to R4.29bn at mu­nic­i­pal level dur­ing the 2016/17 fi­nan­cial year.”

He said a fail­ure by all the mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties to achieve clean au­dits was a re­sult of al­leged loot­ing with im­punity and a col­lapse of gover­nance.

That sev­eral may­ors and ex­ec­u­tive may­ors of the af­fected mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties were serv­ing the pro­vin­cial ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee of the ANC was also a con­cern, he added.

“When the cen­tre is cor­rupt and ev­ery­one else be­low is cap­tured, the re­sult is that ser­vice de­liv­ery is com­prised,” he said.

There was an ur­gent need to re­view long-term con­tracts, bid pro­cesses, fi­nan­cial sys­tem and busi­ness mod­els in the mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties, added Se­be­goe, that “pro­moted cor­rupt prac­tices”.

The ANC’s pro­vin­cial spokesper­son Ger­ald Modise was not avail­able for comment.

The party, in the prov­ince, are en­gaged in an ex­ec­u­tive meet­ing in Rusten­burg, which ends to­day.

Mean­while, DA pro­vin­cial leader Joe McGluwa said the party has re­peat­edly called on gov­ern­ment to act against “ram­pant mis­man­age­ment within mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties” which has re­sulted in bil­lions of rand in waste­ful and ir­reg­u­lar ex­pen­di­tures., and the ANC in the North West has al­lowed it to con­tinue with­out con­se­quences.

“It was un­der the lead­er­ship of MEC Gao­laolwe and MEC Nel­son that the au­di­tor-gen­eral’s re­ports and rec­om­men­da­tions were con­tin­u­ously ig­nored, while al­low­ing politi­cians and mu­nic­i­pal of­fi­cials to get away with not sub­mit­ting the re­quired sup­port­ing doc­u­ments and not fol­low­ing sup­ply chain man­age­ment pro­ce­dures,” McGluwa said.

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