Thaba Chweu’s weird spending

2013-10-13 10:00

The cash-strapped Thaba Chweu municipality in Lydenburg, Mpumalanga, has been paying a security company to guard rubbish at a landfill site.

A provincial task team sent to Thaba Chweu also found security companies guarding an electric transformer and a police station.

The Mpumalanga cabinet sent the task team to help the municipality get back on its feet. It has received disclaimers of opinion from the Auditor-General for the past four financial years.

The municipality currently owes Eskom R160 million in unpaid bills and says it has no money to settle the debt. It is also facing court challenges from other unpaid service providers.

The issue of security companies came up during the task team’s first briefing last week, a task team member told City Press.

“This has never been heard of … that security guards must look after rubbish they want to get rid of in any case,” he said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

An ANC councillor, who asked not to be named, said Thaba Chweu was spending about R32.4 million a year on security services – including the unexplained 24-hour protection of two councillors’ homes by a company that council found was not even properly registered.

Thaba Chweu spokesperson Themba Sibiya declined to answer written questions.

In a terse written response, Sibiya said: “We received your queries and discussed it with management. We must further inform you that there will be a media briefing tomorrow …

“The task team, led by the acting municipal manager (Tumelo Ratau) will give an extensive report on the state of the municipality and also allow interaction with yourselves.”

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