by Melinda Hattingh, MPL – DA Constituency Head of Lohatla
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Date: 28 May 2018
The DA will request SARS to conduct a lifestyle audit on former acting Municipal Manager of Gamagara Municipality, Moses “Maserati” Grond, who is also the institution’s Chief Financial Officer. This comes after the ANC has sprung to the defense of Grond.
The DA last week pointed out that Gamagara Municipality, under the management of Grond, is in poor financial health and struggling to deliver services, collect revenue and pay their debts. This is substantiated by an increasing pool of evidence, including chronic instability as a result of the prolonged acting appointment of the MM.
Gamagara Municipality was recently rated as the worst performing municipality in the province by Ratings Afrika. According to the Auditor General, Gamagara also incurred the most unauthorized expenditure in the province, amounting to R374 million, along with wasteful and fruitless expenditure amounting to R54 million, of which 94% consisted of penalties owed for overdue accounts to Eskom, the Water Board and SARS.
Shocking increases in its debt levels and the municipality’s inconsistency to honour payment agreements, has been further aggravated by a growing inability of the municipality to collect outstanding debt due to its useless billing system. Gamagara has also been dogged by a chronic overflow of sewage due to a two year lull in the maintenance of the pump systems, which has even seen the Green Scorpions lay criminal charges against the municipality.
In short, Gamagara is undeniably a ticking time bomb.
The spokesperson of the Office of the Mayor, Kamogelo Semamai, should therefore know better than to say that the DA has no basis for calling for a bold intervention in this municipality.
Semamai should also know better than to base the DA’s exposure of Grond’s pitiful leadership on race.
It seems that Semamai’s attempt to turn this into a racially orientated spat is because he has run out of ideas to defend the disastrous outcomes of the ANC’s policy of cadre deployment that saw Grond placed in positions of power in the first place.
The DA will not be drawn into a misguided debate with Semamai.
The DA stands by its position that the financial mismanagement and subsequent poor service delivery in Gamagara can be traced directly back to Grond.
We also stand by our position that Grond, in his former capacity as acting MM and his current position of CFO, does not care about the people of Gamagara. The DA will write to SARS, requesting that Grond undergoes a lifestyle audit. The public deserves to know whether he has utilized their rates and taxes for personal gain.
Grond must be held accountable for everything that has transpired under his leadership.
If the ANC really cared about service delivery, it would turn its back on cadre deployment and rid government of criminals and the corrupt. It is, however, increasingly clear that Ramaphosa’s ANC is no different to the ANC of Zuma. The ANC remains all too comfortable to turn a blind eye to maladministration and corruption instead of cutting the culprits out of government and out of the ANC. This is because the ANC is rotten to the core and no superficial change in leadership can change that.
Only Change by a DA-run government in 2019 and 2021 respectively, will build a capable municipality that can restore Gamagara to its former glory.