Sheriff attaches Gariep cars, furniture

Johannesburg - The Gariep municipality (Burgersdorp, Steynsburg, Venterstad, Oviston) should be placed under provincial administration, the Democratic Alliance said on Sunday.

DA local government spokesperson Dacre Haddon said the local sheriff attached municipal vehicles and furniture on Friday after it failed to pay staff pensions over to the SA Municipal Workers' Union.

"With on-going weekly attachments of municipal assets, it is clear this municipality is in dire financial straits and needs urgent provincial intervention."

Haddon said he had written to Free State Local Government MEC Mlibo Qoboshiyane asking him to invoke Section 139 of the Constitution, which allows a province to take over a bankrupt municipality.

"Furthermore, I will be asking the MEC why he has been slow in implementing emergency measures to rectify this municipality and why an existing forensic report has not been made available to the provincial legislature."

DA MP Annette Steyn had written to the public protector to ask for an investigation into the state of the municipality.

Haddon said that Gariep was a poor area, but said mismanagement in the administration of the municipality had exacerbated the situation.

"... These vulnerable folk remain in the quagmire of poverty and squalor instead of being given opportunity to live dignified lives by the supply of efficient municipal services."

The Gariep municipality could not be reached for comment.

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