by Melinda Hattingh, MPL – DA Constituency Head of Gamagara
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Date: 26 June 2018
The DA is calling on the Municipal Manager of Gamagara Municipality, Protea Leserwane, to expand the ongoing disciplinary action against Chief Financial Officer, Moses Grond, to include poor financial management and the subsequent non-payment of creditors, not least of all Eskom.
This comes after Eskom again published a notice informing the community that the electricity supply is scheduled to be interrupted from 12 July 2018, due to the municipality’s failure to honour its payment agreement. Gamagara currently owes Eskom over R63 million for the bulk supply of electricity, a part of which has been outstanding and in escalation since May 2016.
According to the MM, the municipality never received a letter from Eskom regarding the non-payment. This is a feeble excuse. Grond, as the CFO, should have been fully aware that the municipality had defaulted on their monthly payment to Eskom and that it had not been deducted from the municipality’s bank account.
Aside from Eskom payments, the municipality is also struggling to manage debt from other creditors, including Sedibeng Water. Stipends of ward committee members have also been paid late for months already. The municipal grader cannot be fixed because no service provider is willing to take on the job because of the municipality’s tendency to not pay. As a result, roads cannot be scraped.
The DA is fed up with financial information being purposefully withheld from Council by Grond. We have yet to see a financial statement from Eskom and monthly repayments are always shrouded in secrecy, as is the creditors-age-analysis.
Grond is currently undergoing disciplinary action for not preparing the required financial reports. As far as the DA is concerned, he should also be disciplined because of general financial mismanagement, particularly his failure to pay service providers.
In order to try and ascertain the true extent of Gamagara’s debt, DA councillor, Henriette du Plessis, has meanwhile submitted a motion requesting an accurate list of outstanding debt owed to creditors, like Rural Metro and Sedibeng Water, as well as third party creditors, such as pension fund and medical aid schemes. The next council sitting, however, is set to be rescheduled for sometime in July.
Gamagara is a prime example of poor ANC-led financial management.
Change will only come under a DA-government that treats the people’s money with care, pays service providers their dues and puts the people and service delivery first.
Melinda Hattingh, MPL
DA Constituency Head of Gamagara
082 494 6648
Shelley De Witt
082 847 1387