KZN Scopa chair slams ‘burger-eating mayor’

2010-07-14 00:00

NEWLY appointed chairperson of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) in the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature, Dr Makhosi Khoza, has lashed out at a KZN mayor who is alleged to have used public funds “to feed his burger and fried chicken appetite”.

According to Khoza, this is one of the discoveries made by the auditor-general in the financial audits reports for municipalities in the province for the 2009/10 financial year.

Khoza took over the Scopa portfolio committee from Mike Tarr, who was appointed Msunduzi mayor in March this year, following the decision of the provincial government to put the municipality under administration.

“I have learnt with utmost disgust about a mayor of a particular municipality in our province, who feeds his burger appetite with the public purse. The mayor is said to be nursing his love for Kentucky [Fried Chicken] and Steers burgers at the expense of the public.

“I am calling on all public officials to stop abusing the public purse. The available public resources far outstrip the basic services demands of our people.

“Every cent has to be saved, especially to address the water crisis in our province,” she said.

Khoza said she is meeting the concerned municipality’s Scopa to discuss what action will be taken against the “Burger Mayor”.

She could not reveal the name of the municipality for the time being “because legal action might be taken at the conclusion of the matter”.

She emphasised that after the legislature’s return from its winter recess, as the chairperson of Scopa, with members of the KZN Legislature and municipal Scopas, “we are going to work hard to ensure that we tighten all screws to stop the public purse from bleeding to death”.

“I assure the members of the public that I will soon get all the details and we shall name and shame people like this mayor,” she said.

In related news, members of the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature are set to embark on the “Mandela Week” activities ahead of the Mandela Day on Sunday by visiting various municipalities throughout the province from today (July 14) till Friday.

According to Speaker Peggy Nkonyeni, the purpose of the visits is to familiarize MPLs with challenges the municipalities could be facing in carrying out their duties.

“In terms of section 154 (1) of the constitution of the Republic of South Africa, provincial governments must support and strengthen the capacity of the municipalities. In our dedication and commitment to service delivery in this province, we want to actively engage municipalities to understand the challenges they face and areas in which they require assistance,” Nkonyeni said.

Nkonyeni said the visits will give the MPLs an opportunity to do what they would like to do for their constituencies on the actual Mandela Day which is on Sunday, July 18.

Mandela Day was created to inspire people from every corner of the world to embrace the values that have embodied Mandela’s life such as democracy, equality, reconciliation, diversity, responsibility, respect and freedom.

MPLs will visit various municipalities in the following districts: uMgungundlovu, uMkhanyakude, Zululand, uMzinyathi, uThungulu, uThukela, uGu, iLembe, Sisonke, eThekwini and aMajuba. They will be joined by MECs who are champions of various districts throughout the province.

Nkonyeni urged all the staff of the municipalities to be visited and their suurriounding communities to co-operate with the MPLs in order to make these visits a resounding success.

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