Past mayor on ‘budget’ meeting

2016-06-08 06:00

Sir, THE Umvoti Municipality was to hold the annual budget meeting for 2016/17 financial year. The meeting was scheduled to take place on Friday 27 May at 2pm, but rumour has it that it only started around 3pm and whether the “standing orders” were followed is another matter of concern.

The issue at hand is that our ratepayers and the public need to know the areas of concern in the budget as the burden will fall on their shoulders.
There is a huge salary bill, which means a big slice of the budget goes to pay salaries. The IFP has warned officials and council about the employment of staff without scientific and need assessments done by the municipality.

In 2011 the new council had around 200 staff, including contract or casual seasonal workers. In 2016 the municipality has around 500 permanent staff, excluding contract or seasonal employees.

There are important issues that have been outstanding in regard to Cogta MEC, Dube Mchunu's recommendations on forensic investigations on senior officials. Nothing has been done to implement the recommendations.
Secondly, the cases on the theft of municipal assets and the looting of property have not been finalised­.

The issue of the procurement of the plant and equipment (R23 million's worth) and the resolution to investigate this by the Hawks and other agencies has not been finalised­.

In addition there is the query about the mayor's security guards, the terms of reference for the contract and what the value of that contract to date is, as well as the contractual appointment of the acting head of department - status and time-frame.

All these issues outlined, including the organogram, have a big impact on the budget.

I wish to place on record that the IFP is of the opinion that this council, if not monitored, will soon be bankrupt.

Petros M. Ngubane

Alderman: Councillor and past Umvoti Mayor

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