The DA has written to the Minister of Finance - Tito Mboweni, and Minister of COGTA - Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, raising our concerns over the Draft Budget tabled in the Maluti-a-Phofung Local Municipality (MaP) council last week.
It is our contention that this Draft Budget is simply an attempt to retain the equitable share payments received from National Treasury for the benefit of councillors and employees.
There is no indication in the budget of any meaningful attempt to turn around the bankrupt and dysfunctional municipality. There remains little hope for the residents of MaP, who have been suffering without running water, without electricity and with no basic service delivery for an extended period of time.
Additionally, the legality of proceedings within MaP are questionable. The Treasury Guidelines, as well as the generally accepted accounting practices and principles of budgeting have been flouted.
The document budgets for a deficit of almost One Billion Rand (R1,000,000,000.00), whilst the budgets fails to indicate any payment plan to address the debt in excess of Four Billion Rand (R4,000,000,000.00) which is owed to Eskom and the Water Board.
It remains clear that the administration initiated by the ANC provincial government in February 2018 has failed to improve the financial situation in MaP. The current collection rate in MaP leaves much to be desired at under 11,4%. To date, the ‘Consultative Committee’ under leadership of the Minister of COGTA, has been unable to develop a feasible recovery plan, despite being ordered thereto by the Bloemfontein High Court in October 2018.
Unfortunately, the DA are convinced that only through the dissolution of the current council and through the participation by residents in a free and fair election can council begin to adequately address the catastrophe that is MaP. The ANC can no longer hide away from their shortcomings. The residents must have their say now, to avoid the further manipulation of democratic and administrative processes in MaP.
Should the DA be successful in such an election, we would immediately appoint properly qualified senior managers and technical directors to all critical posts, ensure that funds are spent to properly to equip staff with the resources required to undertake their work, and ensure sound financial management. MaP can be turned around. Only the DA has the will and the capacity to do so.
Issued by The DA