15 December 2009
By Thomo Nkgadima
Nokeng tsa Taemane local municipality in Cullinan outside Pretoria is in a brink of collapse. The Gauteng Provincial government Finance and Economic Affairs presented a damning audit report about the state of affairs of the council in an urgent special council meeting recently.
This follows many countless series of protests and rampage by disgruntled residents accusing municipal authority of inefficiency. Their action was fueled by many years of broken promises to provide basic services. At the time the council was facing allegations of financial irregularities.
The report uncovered that the municipality is hopelessly insolvent and recommended that the council must be put under an administrator.
According to the report, weak compliance with legislation such as unrealistic budgeting, poor financial management, salary increases without council resolution and malicious reporting to council authority that resulted in poor service delivery to communities without attempt to address these problems were amongst the many causes of the state of financial paralysis in the municipality.
The council received an amount of R12.5 million cash injection from provincial government to address cash flow problems being experienced in an effort to save the sinking municipality.
However, an amount of R9million was overdrawn from council account without council resolution. But the council owed R27, 4 million to various creditors and has spent an amount of R24, 2 million allocated for capital budget to cover operational expenditure.
An amount of R5million was also allocated to municipality to help pay salaries of employees and councilors since June.
According to Jan Boshoff, a councilor for Nokeng tsa Taemane municipality, the council does not have suitable qualified staff with necessary skills to assist with turnaround strategy of the municipality and speed up the backlog of service delivery.
During time of this going to print, municipal mayor Anna Digoro‘s cell phone was off and countless messages were left on her phone and she never returned her call.