Struggling Oudtshoorn owes R81m to creditors, legislature hears

2016-09-27 22:03

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - The struggling municipality of Oudtshoorn owes approximately R81m to creditors, and is owed R115m by its debtors, the Western Cape provincial legislature heard on Tuesday.

Provincial treasury MEC Ivan Meyer and acting chief director for local government Kosie Haarhoff presented a financial recovery plan for the municipality before the Standing Committee on Local Government.

Oudtshoorn was placed under administration in July 2015 and leadership of the municipality has since changed hands from the ANC to the DA following the 2016 local elections in August.

"If we want to turn things around in Oudtshoorn it's important that we must implement this plan and hold the leadership of the municipality to account," Haarhoff told the committee.

The recovery plan was adopted by its council in August, Haarhoff said. It stipulates ten steps to getting the municipality back on its feet financially, including managing its liabilities, job vacancies, service delivery and infrastructure better.

Around R54m of the R115m still owed to the municipality is from households, he said.

Meyer lamented the "dishonesty" of some of the municipal staff's financial declarations after the municipality was placed under administration.

"When you deal with people who are dishonest, you don't get the full truth," he told the committee.

"It was only when we went in there with the administrator and froze the bank accounts that things started coming out."

Meyer said he was able to see how municipal staff were spending money after they were forced to file invoices.

New DA Mayor Colan Sylvester said in August that the party was hoping to get the municipality back on track within three years.

Beaufort West, Kannaland

The standing committee also looked at the municipalities of Kannaland and Beaufort West on Tuesday, both of which are also struggling with financial mismanagement.

Kannaland currently owes creditors R37m while the figure for Beaufort West was still being investigated, the department said.

Provincial treasury and local government have also agreed to offer assistance to the two municipalities via a comprehensive support plan, Haarhoff said.

"We have identified the gaps where they need assistance, and we're going to deploy a team to assist with finance, legal, admin and service delivery matters.

"Many of these new counsellors don't have the expertise, the knowledge or the warm bodies to assist here," he said.

Meyer meanwhile said Kannaland's issues extended beyond mismanagement and that its infrastructure and other factors made it financially vulnerable.

He suggested that the Municipal Demarcation Board look at possibly incorporating it into another municipality to make it financially viable.

Beaufort West, like Oudtshoorn, switched hands from the ANC to the DA in the 2016 local elections following a troubled five years, with the ruling party losing a massive 15% of votes in the region.

Kannaland is currently the only municipality in the Western Cape not lead by the DA following the elections. The Independent Civic Organisation of South Africa (Icosa) retained Kannaland with a 48% minority.

Read more on:    cape town  |  politics  |  local government

Join the conversation! 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.


Men.24 Model of the Week: Wendy from Cape Town

Find out more about our featured model, Wendy from Cape Town


You won't want to miss...

Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
WATCH: Pornhub is giving users free access to premium content these holidays
5 top leg exercises for men
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 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.