By line: Andani Matumba

24 February 2022

Hopefully, the embezzlement of state funds will be a thing of the past in Govan Mbeki Local Municipality after the establishment of a new Municipal Public Accounts Committee (MPAC) with Cllr Ciska Jordan as the elected Chairperson of the Committee.

The committee is comprised of members from different political organizations who were elected by their respective leaders. 

According to Jordan, MPAC has a maximum number councillor allocation that is approved by the council and the maximum number is thirteen including the chairperson.

“As part of the political representation in the committee, we have five councillors from the ANC, four from the DA, three from EFF and one from the VFP.

I am quite pleased with the political party representation because this was a consensual agreement between political parties, therefore, we have good political representation in terms of the proportion and representation which they themselves voted for,” said Jordan.

The committee held its first meeting on 21 February, which continued to 22 February 2022, at the Council Chambers in Secunda to discuss the financial reports submitted by the Acting Municipal Manager, Ms Elizabeth Tshabalala and those reports did not present a good financial position for Govan Mbeki Local Municipality. 

The committee mainly dealt with the financial projections from quarter 1 and assisted with the presentation of the said report was Mr Ntshokoe Rampela from the National Treasury.

Rampela said, “From the analysis of the report, the operating revenue reflected to be 13% below target and the operating expenses at 15% below target.

Meanwhile, service charges are on a deficit of -24%.

Capital expenditure on projects varies from the actual budget by 72%.

This is not appealing at all more especially the fact that no one bothered to explain and gave reasons for the huge deficits.”

An estimation on the internal generated funds to be collected was R70,9 million and the municipality was only able to generate R2,6 million reflecting that there was barely collection for that quarter and this was unfounded.

Cllr Thabiso Mofokeng remarked that the report lacked narrations on the variations from management therefore neither of the deficits were explained.

He further requested that an explanation must be given by management on the municipal debtors more especially with regards to the business sector and the organs of the state.

“Organs of state and businesses owe the municipality a lot of money.

Some shopping centers are on the list of non-paying businesses.

Priority should never be given to businesses; they must pay their rates.

A proper lock system must be introduced to only allow the delegated employees to be able to cut off electricity so that no other person can be able to reconnect it either than the delegated employee.

It is like we are running a spaza shop here,” added Mofokeng

It was suggested during the meeting that due to the reflected amounts, an acceleration strategy should be presented by the municipality to the committee on how they are going to pay off their debtors and how they are going to enforce payment by creditors because it seems as though the municipality being run on a negative balance.