In a report tabled by the Auditor General (AG) on 9 July 2019, it was reported that irregular and wasteful expenditure had exceeded R500 million during the 2017/2018 financial year. This was coupled by an additional amount of R70 million, which could have been avoided through proper and decisive management, as well as unauthorised expenditure which surpassed R4,5 billion.
The AG within his report, listed “Management of Procurement and Contracts” and “Quality of Financial Statements” as being non-compliant.
The Office of the AG maintained that there is a severe lack of accountability within the Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality (MMM). It was held that the root causes of mismanagement by high ranking politicians could be attributed to instability, a skills gap, political interference and corruption.
According to the report, Human Resource Management has a vacancy rate of 43%. Transfers and Conditional Grants, such as the Urban Settlement Development Grant, which are meant to uplift communities totaled upwards of R150 million without any substantial changes being witnessed. This adversely affects the development of basic infrastructure such as water, sanitation and roads which speaks to the large number of pit toilets still being utilised within MMM.
Another area highlighted in the AG’s report are the late payments of creditors and suppliers. On average it takes the MMM 142 days to pay their creditors and suppliers despite legislative guidelines which stipulate that payments must be made within a 30 day period. Due to this service delivery is decreased immensely in some areas and is practically non-existent in other areas.
Furthermore, no provision is made within the budget for the maintenance and upgrade of water infrastructure. This is alarming to say the least given Mangaung’s current water situation. The report further confirms the notion that the MMM did indeed owe and still owes Bloemwater a significant amount of money, contrary to reports expressed by the Executive Mayor.
To date the N8 passage utilised by motorists is incomplete, together with other projects aimed at cutting costs for commuters from Thaba Nchu and Botshabelo. Again it is the poor that suffers at the hand of an ANC government.
The DA will continue to raise these issues and demand that the necessary investigations be conducted to hold politicians accountable. The DA will continue to emphasise the importance of implementing robust alternatives for the MMM, as already evidenced in the DA-run Western Cape.
Issued by DA