Umzumbe budget not ‘in crisis’

2011-08-03 00:00

UMZUMBE municipal mayor, Sydney Gumede rubbished reports that appeared in a Sunday newspaper this week identifying the municipality as one of the 19 in KwaZulu-Natal that is faced with a financial crisis.

In a media briefing held at the Kapenta Bay Hotel in Port Shepstone yesterday Gumede said, “I call upon all those who allege that the Umzumbe Municipality has corrupt practices to come forward with the evidence so that we can arrest this corruption. I would be very happy to meet them.”

The municipality is one of six that falls under the Ugu District Municipality that is involved in its own financial debacle.

The mayor was unhappy with the allegedly incorrect report on the municipality as it has thrown a negative spotlight on it.

Siyabonga Cele, senior communications officer for the municipality said that they were taken aback by the report as it was the first time they have heard that they are in a financial crisis. “This report has put a negative dent in our image. There were already people commenting on it on the radio so we called the briefing to address the issue before it escalates further.”

According to Cele, the municipality recently received an unqualified report from the Auditor General and they are by no means “struggling financially”. They think the speculation emanated from a meeting the municipality had with KZN MEC for Co-Operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nomusa Dube in Pietermaritzburg last month.

“The MEC called mayors from 13 municipalities identified to be struggling to that meeting. Our municipality was invited because the MEC wanted to see an action plan for matters of emphasis arising from an audit.”

According to Cele the MEC did not receive the annual report submitted by them which contained their plan of action. “At the meeting we presented the report to her and all is in order,” he concluded.

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