District acts on rescue plan

2007-12-16 00:00

The plan — which was due to be approved on Thursday but was delayed for consultations — is aimed at rectifying the poor financial state of the municipality.

The municipality is one of six in the province that have had to receive the intervention of the provincial treasury, which prepared a recovery plan to help it in achieving financial, legislative and corporate governance compliance. The adoption of the recommendations was on Thursday delayed following an ANC caucus meeting, a move which infuriated opposition parties in the council.

However, a special full council meeting was convened on Friday, at which the recommendations were adopted by the council.

This was welcomed by opposition parties. Democratic Alliance councillor Rodger Ashe said his party was pleased that the recommendations had been adopted by council.

“What is important now is to ensure that the council sticks to the programme because, these are very stringent recommendations,” said Ashe after the meeting.

The Inkatha Freedom Party concurred with the DA, saying it was also pleased that the ruling ANC had seen a need for these recommendations to be adopted urgently.

“However, there are some questions that we still need answered. We would like to know from the CFO [chief financial officer] why it took so long for the problem in the municipality’s finances to be identified.

“We would also want to know how we arrived at the situation where we have a monthly expenditure of R20 million because we do not see where all that money went to,” said IFP councillor Patrick Bhengu.

The recommendations include reducing the council’s monthly financial expenditure from R20 million to R3,7 million and that the mayor enters into urgent discussions with local municipalities about the recovery of water revenue. It was also recommended that council place a moratorium on filling all new and vacant posts.

bmbanjwa@witness.co.za

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