Tsa Taemane council dissolved

2010-10-07 07:22

The Nokeng tsa Taemane (Rayton) municipal council has been dissolved due to its financial crisis, the Gauteng housing department has said.

“The resolution ... (yesterday) was prompted by the fact that the financial situation of the municipality has been and still is in crisis,” MEC Kgaogelo Lekgoro said.

The municipality had failed to turn around its position, even after an “aggressive financial recovery and support plan” imposed by the province.

The plan was a collaboration between Treasury and the Development Bank of SA.

The dissolution meant the functions of all councillors would now cease and give way to administrator Kayoom Bhyat.

The municipality includes urban areas such as Rayton and Cullinan, rural residential areas such as Roodeplaat, agricultural land and conservancies and townships such as Refilwe. It falls on the border of the Limpopo and Gauteng provinces.

Lekgoro said Bhyat had a “wealth of experience in local government finance”.

Bhyat would be helped by a team of experts in infrastructure support, finance, legal and project management.

Court case
Last week an appeal by the Nokeng tsa Taemane municipality – against a high court finding setting aside assessment tariffs for two financial years – was upheld in the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein.

The High Court in Pretoria had set aside the assessment tariffs determined by the municipality for areas in its jurisdiction for the financial years 2003/04 and 2004/05 respectively.

The application was brought by the Dinokeng Property Owners’ Association, a voluntary group representing landowners and residents within the municipal boundaries.

The DA blamed the municipality’s crisis on ANC administration.

Party MP James Lorimer said the municipality, which was run by the DA between 2001 and 2006 before being lost to the ANC, presented a “compelling” case study ahead of the municipal elections in 2011.

“The DA administration in Nokeng was characterised by frugality and a can-do focus on actual municipal governance, service delivery and development,” Lorimer said.

“By contrast, Nokeng is now in a state of crisis.”

Lorimer said Eskom had been about to cut off electricity to the municipality when the DA took control, with the council owing Eskom about R11?million in interest.

Lorimer said 1?970 RDP houses were built during the party’s tenure using provincial grants, but two weeks ago the province presented a letter to ANC political leaders ordering the bankrupt municipality to be placed under administration.

“Indications are that the situation with regard to electricity payments to Eskom is once again dire,” Lorimer said.

The auditor general also had declared much of the municipality’s spending “fruitless and wasteful”.

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