DA requests MEC meeting over Thabazimbi financial collapse

judge gavel
judge gavel

THABAZIMBI – The DA is seeking an urgent meeting with MEC for Cooperative Governance , Makoma Makhurupetje, to request her to place Thabazimbi Municipality under administration with immediate effect. This came to light in a media release by Jacques Smalle, DA Provincial Spokesperson for Limpopo. In the media statement it was mentioned that they have written a request on Tuesday to the MEC for an urgent meeting, without delay.
DA LP for Limpopo, Me Desiree van der Walt, confirmed in a telephonic conversation to Kwêvoël that a meeting with the MEC was scheduled for today, Friday 23 October, and that she will report on the outcome of this meeting as soon as all the relevant facts were available.
For the second time in two months, the Sherriff repossessed desks, chairs and IT equipments leaving all municipal Thabazimbi Local Municipal officials idle, whilst services have been halted due to non payment of service providers.
The repossession of office equipments comes after another service provider opted to take the legal route after the municipality failed to pay an outstanding account of over R50 million.
This occurred despite the financial take over by the department of Cooperative Governance and Provincial Treasury in September 2015.
Last month the Sheriff confiscated vehicles which included a refuse-removal truck , two water trucks and other properties that belongs to the municipality believed to worth more than R5 million.
Furthermore, the municipality is embroiled in a legal battle with Anglo American Platinum mine for increasing their rates and taxes from R660 000 to R114 million per annum, that is from R55000 to R9.5 million per month without consulting with the mine and the affected communities.
Notwithstanding the provincial intervention to save this crippled malfunctioning municipality, it is clear that the municipality still faces multiple claims for non payments to various service providers.
Contractual obligations and money owed by the municipality to service providers are simply not settled as required by section 38(1)f of the PMFA and treasury regulations 8.2.3.
The DA has already called for the MEC of COGHSTA and the MEC of Treasury to invoke section 139(2) & (3) of the constitution to place the municipality under administration and to dissolve council to no avail.
There is simply no management discipline and this hugely impacts negatively on the operational, financial management as well as service delivery to the residents of Thabazimbi.
“Our vision for South African is that government must always act honestly, transparently and in the best interests of the people by paying on time, collecting revenue and delivering services” said Smalle.
The DA will give notice to file a PAIA application to obtain multiple forensic audits being withheld by the municipality and to urge MEC Makhurupetje to implement strong disciplinary actions against those who were responsible for the financial collapse of the municipality.