2017-05-11 06:01

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Owing to the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, as was the case this time last year, not paying the SPCA Uitenhage for municipal pound services rendered, the local SPCA is in dire financial straits.

“The Metro is fully aware of the situation and for months has made nothing but empty promises to address the non payment issue,” said Deirdré Swift, SPCA Uitenhage chairperson of the management board.

“We have not been paid since November last year and are owed in excess of R364 000.”

“These non-payments have resulted in the SPCA not being able to purchase lucerne for animals entering the large livestock pound. We were forced to close the pound about 4 weeks ago and this resulted in stray animals not being brought in.

“It is an unacceptable situation that we as an animal anti-cruelty association currently face. Sadly, the only losers here are the animals that desperately need our help - some of which were possibly being targeted by angry land owners,” said Swift.

On Tuesday, a 37-year old man was arrested on charges of malicious injury to property, contravention of the Animal Protection Act and illegally discharging of a firearm, after stray cattle were shot on his land.

Swift received information from Kristoff Adelbert, the Mayor’s Chief Officer, that he was under the impression that a payment was made last week.

“I was told that payment was done late last Friday and that we can expect the money in our account on Monday or Tuesday. On Monday I was informed that an amount of R198 436.20 was in the process of being signed for release. Just after 16:00, I was advised that owing to a systems error payment could not be effected as promised.”

Swift then informed them that the amount indicated (R198 436.20, fell far short of the actual outstanding amount (R360 000) to the SPCA.

On Tuesday, Swift said she awaited confirmation from the Metro’s Finance Department of an amount of approximately R240 000 which has been released for payment.

“This time I have been advised that the money will probably only reflect in our account by Wednesday (yesterday). I am still waiting to hear why full payment hasn’t been made, but the payment we received is better than nothing,” said Swift.

“Fortunately the public have been very good to us and we are currently using donated food for the small pound (cats and dogs) as the municipality is not paying for that either.

“They are supposed to pay us for the feeding of stray animals. But we receive nothing and they have also done no maintenance to any of the three kennels that belong to them. We are paying, from funds raised, to maintain those kennels.”

Swift said it is a nightmare. They need to sit down and have the payment issues discussed with officials from the municipality, but it just does not happen.

“This is not a place to make money. Now we hear the municipality would like to put the premises out to tender. How can you put out something like this on tender? This means that the SPCA will cease to exist and that is scary. It will result in a serious animal welfare crisis and that there will be no outreach work done in the community. The SPCA Uitenhage has been in operation at this site for the past 100 years,” said Swift.

  • This was the latest payment information before the UD News went to print.

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