Mayor owes his council R277?000

2010-09-29 00:00

THE R277 000 owed by uMngeni Mayor Edward Dladla on oustanding rental, telephone and electricity bills will take him more than 10 years to settle.

Dladla’s enormous bill was disclosed by the Democratic Alliance yesterday following a reply to its parliamentary question.

The party’s KZN spokesperson on co-operative governance, George Mari, said that it was beyond comprehension that a senior public representative can run up outstanding bills of such magnitude while service delivery within municipalities grinds to a halt due to lack of funds.

Speaking to The Witness, DA uMngeni Municipality chief whip Moira Grueneberg said Dladla has signed an acknowledgement of debt and agreed to pay R2 000 a month interest free.

“If Dladla only pays R2 000 a month it will take him 11 years to settle this bill.

“We are appalled by this because it is going to take a long time for Dladla to settle this bill,” she said.

Dladla did not deny the allegations. “I am aware of that and I have made prior arrangements with uMngeni Municipality as well as the Co-operative Governance MEC, Nomusa Dube, to settle this outstanding bill,” he said.

Mari said the mayor still owes R214 500 rental on a R1 750 million house bought for him by the council, which he no longer occupies.

“The mayor lived in the house for a total period of 33 months, running up a rental account of R214 500.

“During this time he also failed to pay telephone and electricity bills, running up a further debt of R62 500.

“While the parliamentary reply from [Dube] confirms he signed an acknowledgement of debt, the DA is appalled by this runaway expenditure and the fact that plans to recover the money were not put in place sooner,” said Mari.

He said ordinary citizens have their services cut if they default on one payment; why should government officials be treated any differently?

Last year Dladla was instructed by the legislature to vacate the house bought for him by the council.

Mari said the house was to be sold following a decision taken by council. The selling price has not yet been determined.

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