Investigation needed into R744m in unauthorised expenditure in PE - DA

Kevin Mileham says ANC Mayor Benson Fihla has requested that council approve the write-off of this sum

DA calls for forensic investigation into Nelson Mandela Bay's R744m unauthorised expenditure

16 February 2014

The DA has written to the Auditor-General (A-G), Kimi Makwethu, to request that he urgently institute a forensic investigation into the R744 million in unauthorised expenditure incurred by the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality (NMB) in the 2013/14 financial year.

Last year, the A-G awarded the metro with a qualified opinion and stated that the amount of R744 million might not be the full unauthorised expenditure incurred. A forensic audit must now be carried out to obtain the full figure of unauthorised expenditure. 

The DA is concerned that Mayor Benson Fihla has, through a report tabled in a special council meeting in January, requested council to approve the write-off of this R744 million (R743 928 574) in unauthorised expenditure.

The DA has and will continue to oppose any attempts by the NMB council to cover up financial mismanagement by moving to write-off this expenditure. 

Instead, a forensic audit needs to be done to determine the full extent of this financial mismanagement, so that those responsible can be held to account. 

It is vital that state officials begin to take the rights steps to procure finance for projects in accordance with the regulations and prescripts. Section 32 (2) of the Municipal Financial Management Act (MFMA) allows the metro council to recover funds from those who acted in contravention of the act. In addition, section 173 of the MFMA provides for disciplinary proceedings to be initiated into any official or political office bearer responsible for permitting unauthorised or irregular expenditure, whether deliberately or negligently. It is incumbent on the council to utilise these powers at all times.

The residents of Nelson Mandela Bay Metro deserve better. The ANC is running this municipality into the ground and should not be allowed to sweep hundreds of millions under the carpet that would otherwise have gone toward basic service delivery for residents. 

Statement issued by Kevin Mileham MP, DA Shadow Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, February 16 2015

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