Public want change in Msukaligwa Municipality

Community leaders, opposition parties and the public reacted negatively towards the Msukaligwa Municipality after the Auditor-General’s report and annual financial report were released.

The Highvelder reported last week on the AG’s concern about the municipality’s ability to continue functioning as it showed a loss with their current liabilities exceeding its current assets.

In the audit report, the AG was unable to determine and confirm if the municipality had accounted for all irregular expenditure and the expenditure was not investigated to determine if any person was liable for it, as required by the relevant act.

Some of the findings were that effective steps were once again not taken to prevent irregular expenditure on contracted projects for water, sanitation and the building of a substation, and the outstanding Eskom and Department of Water and Sanitation debt contributed towards a not so clean audit.

Also Read: Auditor-General report is bad news for Msukaligwa Council

It led to questions being asked about the continued functioning of the municipality and what should be done to ensure a turnaround.

No comments were received from the municipality and the ANC at the time of going to press, but the South African Communist Party (SACP) in the region came out guns blazing.

Their leader, Mr Mzwandile Zulu, said they were rejecting the annual financial report.

“Until people are held accountable and certain individuals removed, Msukaligwa will continue to fall short,” Mr Zulu also said.

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) council member, Mr Themba Soko, shared the point of view, saying the municipality must rid itself of incompetent people working in the offices.

Mr Soko suggested the community get involved, support change and participate in municipal issues, rather than watching from afar.

“The council leadership is failing to hold office bearers accountable,” Mr Soko said.

Mr Soko also said senior positions must be filled and internal controls exercised, alluding to the position of Director: Corporate Services that has been vacant since August last year.

“We must bring in specialists to work in critical positions and end the cadre deployment culture that is making us fail.”

Mr Soko concluded by saying an audit committee must be set up within the municipality to monitor officials and council to ensure clean audits.

The DA is leaving no stone unturned and called for the municipality to be put under administration.

Mr Herman Swart said the party will liaise with their counterparts in the provincial legislature to write a letter to the MEC for Cooperative Governance (COGTA), asking her to analyse the AG report.

When the Highvelder took to the streets to ask residents how they felt about the reports, most if not all, said change is needed.

Mr Comfort Mavimbela said the municipality has lost the community’s trust.

“Service delivery strikes have become the norm and people in power are insensitive towards it.

“ Every year it gets worse, we are doomed,” he said.

Mr Malvin Shabangu, who has challenged the municipality about service delivery through his forum, Reclaiming Ermelo, echoed Mr Mavimbela’s words, saying the municipality has failed dismally.

“It is up to us change the status quo.

“The youth is the future and at some point we have to say enough is enough and implement change by voting and holding the municipality accountable,” Mr Shabangu concluded.

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  AUTHOR
Amanda Mthembu
Journalist

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