Madibeng Mayor pleads ignorance of R30 million VBS investment
10 September 2018
The Democratic Alliance (DA) in North West is calling on Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), Zweli Mkhize to deliver on his promise and urgently intervene in the Madibeng Local Municipality.
Despite a letter to COGTA earlier this year, urging intervention, Madibeng is still operating outside all legislative frameworks and rules.
The lack of leadership and mismanagement of funds was again emphasised during the municipality’s appearance before the Provincial Public Accounts Committee (PPAC) on 7 September 2018, where they had to account for the R30 million invested with VBS Mutual Bank, for which no council resolution had been taken.
Mayor Jostina Mothibe pleaded ignorance to the money invested with VBS, stating that she only became aware of this investment when the funds needed to be utilised for service delivery, clearly indicating that she had no intention of taking any responsibility for the mess this municipality finds itself in.
We believe that the mayor’s ignorance could have been prevented, had the municipality adhered to Section 71(1) of the Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA) which stipulates that “The accounting officer of a municipality must by no later than 10 working days after the end of each month, submit to the mayor of the municipality and the relevant treasury, a statement on the state of the municipality’s budget reflecting certain particulars for that month and financial year”.
It is therefore clear that Mayor Mothibe should be held accountable for this municipality’s dire financial situation, as she failed to provide political guidance over the budget process and priorities, as prescribed to mayors in the MFMA.
It is further no secret that the mayor had been implicated in several corrupt activities taking place at Madibeng, of which the monthly lease of R141 000 for her car is but one.
It is shocking that a car of this exorbitant amount is prioritised while the municipality owes Eskom more than R40 million and Rand Water about R60 million. This excessive indebtedness is also telling of the mayor’s lack of leadership and political will.
We can no longer stand by and watch the mayor continue her extravagant lifestyle with the people’s money. The time of reckoning has come and the mayor must be investigated and charged for the gross mismanagement of funds.
Knowing that Madibeng is one of the worst performing municipalities in the country, it is shocking that it was not placed under Section 139 with the other eight municipalities in the province and the DA wants to know how this municipality managed to sidestep such intervention?
The North West is ready for change that only a DA-led government can bring. We are working for the kind of change that respects the people’s money and spends it on development and service delivery.
Issued by SP Motswenyane, DA North West Spokesperson for Provincial Public Accounts, 10 September 2018