Msunduzi: Manager scolded for underspending

2008-11-06 00:00

The Msunduzi Municipality’s first quarterly review of the 2008/2009 financial year highlighted underspending of R1,1 million by the community services and social equity division, which is responsible for waste management and maintenance of the city.

Also featured in the report, submitted to the municipality’s finance committee, are overtime payments of more than R6 million by the process managers for community development and risk management.

Mayor Zanele Hlatshwayo and municipal manager Rob Haswell said they were disappointed at the lack of detail in the review.

Hlatshwayo instructed all business units to submit thorough capital and operational expenditure reports at next week’s meeting. The review was carried over for discussion.

Exco members scolded Zwe Hulane, deputy municipal manager for community services and social equity, over the underspent R1,1 million.

Chief financial officer Roy Bridgmohan proposed that the money be transferred to the savings pool vote.

The DA’s Bill Lambert said Hulane’s underspending is “gross inefficiency” that will set back the delivery of services.

Pops Chetty (ANC) said Hulane’s unit cannot afford to underspend, especially given overgrown grass and bushes around the city and the problematic cremator at the Mountain Rise cemetery.

Hulane said the grass-cutting season has not started and if the money is transferred it will affect this.

He acknowledged that the cremator, which was installed in 2006, does not properly cremate bodies.

“I will submit to the next meeting of the committee a report detailing what my unit has spent money on.

“If the money is taken, it will affect the public. Rather punish Hulane for the mishaps than make the public suffer,” said Hulane.

Haswell said he was disappointed to hear that the cremator is still a problem. He added that, based on the report for the first quarter, it is “extremely” unlikely for the council to achieve 100% spending on its budget. “We are behind on projects as it is. We need to find out why. This is a disappointing first quarterly report,” he said.

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