NMB mayor Bobani's office slow to pay service providers

2018-12-15 06:48
Nelson Mandela Bay Mayor Mongameli Bobani. (Lulama Zenzile, Netwerk24)

Nelson Mandela Bay Mayor Mongameli Bobani. (Lulama Zenzile, Netwerk24)

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The office of Nelson Mandela Bay (NMB) mayor, Mongameli Bobani, failed to pay several service providers within the 30 days required by the Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA) in the months of September and October.

Acting chief financial officer of the NMB municipality Jackson Ngcelwane, wrote a letter to the director of the office of the mayor, dated December 4, stating that the municipality's target for processing payments was 19 days.

However, in September, it took 38 days from the date on which invoices were received until the directorate approved payment. This figure is 45 days for October.

The letter doesn't mention how much these payments were worth, what the services were for or who the service providers were.

The municipality also measures the efficiency of paying creditors through a Creditor's System Efficiency Ratio. The target set for this is 80%, but in September and October, the office of the mayor only achieved 64% and 55% respectively.

"Attention must also be given to the number of days between [the] invoice date and the invoice received date, which in the case of your directorate, the averages for September 2018 and October 2018 is 34 days and 43 days respectively. Please address this matter with the relevant service provider(s) as it [is] not acceptable that there is an average in excess of 6 weeks' delay between the date of invoice and the date of receipt of invoice by the NMB [municipality]," the letter reads.

The letter also reminds Bobani's office of a circular by National Treasury - MFMA Circular 49.

The circular states: "The MFMA requires accounting officers to ensure that all money owing by the municipality be paid within 30 days of receiving the relevant invoice or statement."

Ngcelwane also asked the director of the mayor's office to respond in writing with the detailed reasons for the late payment, what measures were in place to avoid recurrence and what measures would be taken against affected officials.  

The deadline for the response was Friday, December 14. It is unclear whether a response has been provided.

NMBM spokesperson Mthubanzi Mniki said there could be several reasons for slow payment, including incomplete invoices or further documents that were needed.

"Sometimes our systems are slow," he said.

He was, however, not aware of the letter, and said he would provide further information. News24 will report this, once received.

Bobani was elected mayor in a dramatic meeting in August when the DA's Athol Trollip was ousted after a motion of no confidence in him was passed by the council. The UDM, the EFF, and the ANC voted in favour of the motion.

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