State of Lekwa and JS Moroka cause for concern in Parliament

State of Lekwa and JS Moroka cause for concern in Parliament
CRIPPLED: A once great municipality has been brought to its knees due to corruption and malfeasance. FILE

The JS Moroka municipality has been asked to take responsibility for R1.3 billion of taxpayers’ money spent in unauthorised, irregular and fruitless expenditure.

Parliament’s committee on co-operative governance has discussed the states of JS Moroka and Lekwa municipalities, asking that something be done to correct the situations as things continue to worsen in the Siyabuswa and Standerton municipalities.

Committee chair Faith Muthambi said in Lekwa the municipality got a Covid-19 donation of R1 million but only spent R300 000 despite residents in some areas having no water.

Muthambi said the committee also heard that water tankers at the municipality were gathering dust, owing to financial inability by the municipality to hire drivers.

ALSO SEE: EFF challenges JS Moroka appointments

Friday 4 September the committee was briefed by the office of auditor-general Kimi Makwetu about audit issues at JS Moroka, battling to run its finances since the 2016/17 financial year to date.

In a statement Muthambi said JS Moroka representatives were present during the sitting and told the parliamentary committee that they had suspended their financial officer since 2018.

The municipality was busy investigating issues of corruption and were at their final stages, hence the suspension of the financial officer.

The committee now wants JS to account for a sum of R1.3 billion spent in unauthorised, irregular and fruitless expenditure. 

SEE ALSO: Mpumalanga municipalities hire consultants to do work of employed staff

Muthambi said as a committee they want the municipal manager to account for the money spent on consultants.

Issues raised – 

– The municipalities must produce a detailed report on how they spent their Covid-19 money

– The Lekwa municipality was asked to submit to the parliamentary committee a list of all water tankers and their location

– The committee also heard about problems of “political instability that grossly affects service delivery in the municipality since 2018” as well as how people were affected by a serious lack of water, sewage spillages, potholes and problems of electricity.

– Finance MEC Pat Ngomane told the committee that his department and that of co-operative governance MEC Mandla Msibi will deal with the issues and try to improve the conditions there.

“Mr Ngomane told the committee that the financial recovery plan (FRP), which is part of the national and provincial governments’ intervention strategy to assist municipalities to become financially stable and provide services to communities on a sustainable basis has not been institutionalised in Mpumalanga,” Muthambi said.

(edited by MLM)

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