Heads will roll because of ‘very horrible situation’ in municipalities

2014-02-05 13:15

The axe is set to fall on five Mpumalanga mayors and their municipal managers after their municipalities received disclaimers from the Auditor-General.

Premier David Mabuza has summoned the mayors and managers from Emalahleni, Msukaligwa (Ermelo), Bushbuckridge, Thaba Chweu (Lydenburg) and Mkhondo (Piet Retief) to a meeting on Tuesday next week where he is expected to fire them.

Last year, Mabuza instructed all municipal managers in the province’s 23 councils to sign resignation letters, stating they would automatically resign if their municipalities received disclaimers in the 2013/14 financial year.

A disclaimer of opinion could mean that documents were deliberately concealed from auditors to cover up wrongdoing.

Mabuza’s spokesperson, Zibonele Mncwango, said the premier told these mayors and managers during a 12-hour premier’s coordinating forum yesterday that they were at a “crossroads” and “reached the end” with him.

“They have been summoned to explain why their services should not be terminated,” said Mncwango.

According to him, municipalities that had regressed since the release of the 2012/13 audit outcomes were also summoned to the Tuesday meeting.

These include Mbombela in Nelspruit, Gert Sibande and the Nkangala district municipalities – which received unqualified audit opinions with findings.

Ehlanzeni district and Steve Tshwete (Middelburg) were again the best-performing municipalities, with clean audits.

The following municipalities got qualified reports: Lekwa (Standerton), Nkomazi (Malelane), Chief Albert Luthuli (Carolina), Dr J S Moroka (Siyabuswa), Emakhazeni (Belfast), Govan Mbeki (Secunda), Pixley Ka Isaka Seme (Volksrust), Thembisile Hani (KwaMhlanga), Dipaleseng (Balfour), Victor Khanye (Delmas) and Umjindi (Barberton).

Nkomazi and Lekwa improved from receiving disclaimers to qualified audit reports.

In a statement, Mabuza said: “It is one thing to come here and harp on one and the same thing, waste government money on food and water while there are no results, they [municipal leaders] will have to bring their mitigating factors because it cannot be life as usual.

“The fact of the matter is that the situation is very horrible. All the support from various government institutions in assisting the municipalities collectively came to zero.

“Come Tuesday, we are going to act on the basis of the findings. We have come to a point that we must act,” he said.

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