Defaulting municipalities spent R4 billion on irregular expenditure – Kevin Mileham

DA says astronomical figure shows just how poorly ANC has run finances of these municipalities

Exposed: Defaulting Municipalities R4 billion in irregular, wasteful and fruitless expenditure

23 January 2017

The Auditor General’s (AG) MFMA reports for the 2014-15 financial year indicate that over R4 billion was inappropriately spent on unauthorised, irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure by municipalities which have since defaulted in payments to Eskom.

This astronomical figure demonstrates just how poorly the ANC has run the finances of these municipalities, with little care for the money that should be spent on delivering services to the people, and growing the economy to create jobs.

According to the research conducted by the DA based on the AG report, some of the worst performers include:

Madibeng (Northwest): R 1.5 billion
Naledi (Northwest): R 354 million
Emalahleni (Mpumalanga): R 329 million
Mkhondo (Mpumalanga): R 280 million
Renosterberg (Northern Cape): R 136 million

This was a crisis long in the making. Despite every indication in audit reports that these municipalities were sinking, neither the ANC, nor the Provincial Departments of Cooperative Government and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), nor the National Minister of COGTA, Des van Rooyen, did anything about it.

In fact, Minister van Rooyen, as revealed in a reply to a DA parliamentary question in February last year, was not considering any intervention. The approach, it seems was just to sit on his hands and do nothing, even in the face of provincial government inaction.

The DA has already requested a joint meeting between the Portfolio Committee on COGTA and the Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises. Last week, I also wrote to the AG to request a systematic investigation into the finances of these municipalities.

I will now also be writing to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts to probe the disastrous financial mismanagement which preempted this crisis, and demand accountability from all those who sat idly by while the people’s money was being wasted.

This must include summoning the increasingly absent Minister and the relevant provincial MECs so that Parliament can remind him that he has an important job to do.

We will not sit back and allow vital services to be interrupted to over 3,2 million South Africans across the country. It is high time the ANC stopped sleeping behind the wheel, and took responsibility.

Issued by Kevin Mileham, DA Shadow Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, 23 January 2017