During yet another heated virtual council meeting of the Madibeng municipality on Monday, the Madibeng mayor and a number of councillors protested against the announcement that the municipality was once again placed under administration.
North West MEC of Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), Boitumelo Moiloa, presented the close-out report of the administrator, Advocate Monnapula Motlogelwa during the meeting.
A few councillors loudly rejected the MEC’s announcement with one saying that the MEC cannot decide to place the municipality under administration as it has to be accepted by council.
“I cannot wake up one morning and decide to place Madibeng under administration. This is a decision by North West provincial Executive Council and the minister is aware of it,” MEC Moiloa retaliated.
The MEC was supposed to start off the virtual council meeting with the presentation of the administrator’s close-out report but a few councillors managed to delay the meeting for over an hour with objections to the government’s intervention in the municipality.
During a chaotic virtual council meeting of the Madibeng Municipality on 31 July, COGTA announced that it was one again placing the municipality under Section 139 (1) (b) administration.
The former administrator, Advocate Monnapula Motlogelwa, was reappointed.
During his presentation of the close-out report on Monday he told council that upon his return in August, he was surprised to find that senior officials who were suspended when he left on 30 June, were back in their positions.
Some of the pressing concerns in his report include the lack of cash flow, irregular expenditure, security contracts at double the cost, abuse of disciplinary processes and municipal officials not paying their municipal bills, to name a few.
Regarding the municipality’s fleet of vehicles that was recently immobilised due to non-payment, Motlogelwa said there were serious allegations against a senior manager and a head count had to be done of the vehicles.
Another concern was that the municipality bought fuel from a contractor that charges R2 more per litre than the actual fuel price.
Another issue that has to be addressed was the outstanding debt of members of the Brits Industrial Association. Bridgestone, for instance, owes the municipality over R100 million for electricity.
“They have now offered a R50 million settlement but it is not acceptable,” he said.
During a virtual Municipal Finance Management Act public hearing with the municipality in July, the Chairperson of the Municipal Public Accounts Committee (MPAC), Cllr Diale Diale said it is disturbing that the municipality was placed under multiple administrations but it never yielded any positive results. “There is no consequence management, even for people who transgressed supply chain management policies. Officials implicated in corrupt activities or matters such as VBS were suspended for a short period but later reinstated. We are prohibited from probing the municipality as a public accounts committee.”