Ratepayers should be querying municipal finances

2016-11-02 06:02

ALTHOUGH Greytown ratepayers and residents do not take an active interest in the workings of the municipality, they are very quick to comment, so they might find the following features of last week's Exco and Statutory Council meetings interesting.

According to the Municipal Finance Management Act the accounting officer "must submit to the mayor, in a prescribed format, not later than 10 working days into the month, the state of their budget reflecting financial particulars for that month".

Since July this apparently has not been done.

Alderman Maharaj told the Greytown Gazette that after much pleading a quarterly statement to the end of September was presented to Exco on 25 October and council­ on 28 October.

The three-monthly report has, however, raised more queries than were circulating in the ratepayers' rumour mill.

The report did not conform to the prescribed format in terms of the Act.

To confuse councillors and others even more, especially those who had realised the non-compliance issues, an addendum was then published for the council meeting.

But this did not clarify things as the addendum does not state which item is being replaced.

Have a look at this - there is a difference of R2 343 557 for the investment amount shown in Annexure X to the one shown in the addendum.

Even more out of sync, a R3 000 000 difference in the statement of the financial position show investments at R45 857 464, yet the investment portfolio report shows this figure as R48 199 019.25.

Even more bewildering and alarming, the comparison of cash on hand and the bank balance shows that according to the statement­’s financial position the municipality has no cash, yet in terms of the closing balance for cash and cash equivalent to the addendum there is cash of R7 603 941.22

Ratepayers have probably noticed and commented adversely about the number of armed security guards who have now become a fixture of the Umvoti Municipal landscape.

When the mayor was appointed on 18 February, 2015 it was stated that "it is the responsibility of the municipality to provide protection services to the mayor and that due to the nature of services required, the Supply Chain Management process could not be followed and we there- fore deviated in terms of Section 36".

A company was appointed at a cost of R185 000, but it was not clarified whether this is the monthly or annual cost.

Another company was appointed on 28 August for a contract of R287 500, again this was not specified if it was a monthly or annual amount.

If this is per month - ratepayers are covering a cost of over R3 000 000.

What can ratepayers do - attend council meetings, form a ratepayers' association and ask your councillor to explain to you why he or she voted as they did.

Ward Committees are to be appointed by the end of this month - make your voice heard - remember it is your community.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.