New mayors only worry about cars, perks

2012-01-11 20:00

Johannesburg - New mayors who came in after the 2011 local government elections are more concerned about the “official vehicles” they drive and the perks that come with their job than serving communities, according to a stinging report by National Treasury on the state of municipal finances.

The report, which analysed the finances of all municipalities up to June 2011, also said mayors often interfered in the financial management procurement processes and this led to deteriorating municipal finances.

“While it was hoped that the local government elections will usher in some changes in this regard, the signs are not encouraging.

"It is apparent from newspaper reports that certain of the new mayors are more concerned about the official vehicle they drive, their accommodation and perks than serving their communities," said the report.

The study also blamed underspending by municipalities as one of the main reasons service delivery was deteriorating.

“Total under-spending of the 2010/11 capital budget was R12.4bn or 29.3%,” said the report released on Wednesday.

Financial distress

The report also found that 66 of the country’s 283 municipalities are in “financial distress”, while a further 37 “are on the borderline to being identified as being in financial distress”.

Metros Ekurhuleni and Mangaung were in “financial distress”, as were cities such as Mogale City, Msunduzi, Polokwane, eMalahleni and Madibeng.

These municipalities “persistently” did not have funds to pay for services, overspent on their “original” operating budgets, underspent on “capital budgets, have a growing list of debtors, and counted creditors as a percentage of their investments".

“The financial situation of many municipalities has deteriorated significantly over the last four years - and the failures are becoming increasingly visible - impacting directly on service delivery.

This was clearly demonstrated in the run-up to the local government elections,” said the report, which has been published since 2009.

According to Treasury, municipalities were asked to provide information on their financial records on a regular basis to conduct the study and make interventions where necessary but some municipalities were not co-operating.

The report also bemoaned the increase in the number of municipalities which had a “negative or unknown cash balances” for longer than five months from 24 councils in September 2010 to 47 in June 2011.


“This suggests deterioration in the cash position of a growing number of local municipalities, and growing challenges in municipal cash-flow management,” said the report.

Political interference in procurement processes, poor financial planning, the high number of vacancies and acting municipal and financial managers, and badly managed tender processes exposed most municipalities to corruption, said the report.

Treasury also identified that councillors and mayors were pushing incumbent managers out of their positions and this trend was prevalent soon after an election was held.

It said in some instances changes in management of senior officials were not a bad thing if the officials were “incompetent or corrupt”, but it was concerned that mayors and councillors were firing managers to “deploy candidates for patronage or political reasons”.

“This defeats the aims of the Municipal System Amendment Act to depoliticise, professionalise and stabilise the administrations of municipalities,” the Treasury report found.

This also led to the “substantial” financial cost of having to place officials on suspension, with pay, or pay them “golden handshakes”.

  • Ron - 2012-01-11 20:22

    Nothing new there then.

      Michael - 2012-01-11 20:59

      So what now, what are you going to do with this piece of evidence? Oh yeah, sweep it under a rug like the rest of dirt.

      Sean - 2012-01-11 21:28

      @Michael - I couldn't agree with you more! Although I don't think there is any more space under the carpet...hehehe!

      GWS - 2012-01-11 23:09

      Take an illiterate and put clothes on him and give him a luxury motor vehicle, and the moron is as happy as a hog in a trough.

      carpejugulim - 2012-01-12 09:58

      I'm not sure they make carpets that big ... Leading by example seems to be a thing of the past along with responsibility and accountability.

      JakesLR - 2012-01-12 10:05

      The sad reality is that SA is heading for a collapse, it is not too long.The signs are there. Prices increase drastically but still mayor municipalities headed for a collapse. The funds disappear into thin air together with corruption and not used to better facilities. What is even worse is that people think there is a bright future ahead for this country. Dream on!!

      procold2 - 2012-01-12 13:35

      no, them also

  • Gareth - 2012-01-11 20:22

    Tell us something we don't know. These figures should be shocking to any reader, but yet we have become so apathetic, we merely shake our heads and click on to another article. Time to vote for change.

      Dave - 2012-01-11 20:27

      So true and yet so sad for us all at the end of the day

      Isabel - 2012-01-11 20:46

      Gareth, I'm with you. Funny how all the best running municipalities are in the Western Cape!!! I wonder why? Could it because they actually have a COMPETENT party running the show there and NO cadre deployment? Viva DA!

      George - 2012-01-11 21:37

      And the worst part of this,the anc realy think they doing a better job than than any one else could do, and they actualy believe it. Dam it

      Spyker - 2012-01-11 21:53

      I do not agree Gareth. When you dare to articulate the full gravity, you are chastised, branded, discarded and disregarded as a peripheral stereotype. According to Csikszentmihalyi, "apathy" is the consequence of experiencing low levels of challenge and having low levels of skill. The "apathy", I would say, is on the side of the said honorary members of our municipalities (viz the 'new-money') and not the public at large. As far as the citizenry (at large), it is not perfunctoriness, as much as it is arrogant denial...

      Heinrich - 2012-01-11 22:37

      Say we, in the comfort of our homes. The impact of the injustice is more acutely felt by the poor,the voiceless, the manipulated,the betrayed. The ones who are still kept in check by false promises, threats, lies,stupid political games, racial hatred and propaganda. We should not forget about people like Andries Tatane, who tried to stand up against this nonsense.

  • Chris - 2012-01-11 20:23

    The gravy train continues. The ANC, like any other liberation party in Africa, is more interested in the spoils of power than actually doing their job of serving communities.

      Yar - 2012-01-11 20:32

      The gravy train is derailed.

  • Isabel - 2012-01-11 20:34

    All ANC astounding!

      Peace - 2012-01-11 22:06

      isabel,nowhere in the article does it say ANC municipalities.

      Ronald - 2012-01-11 23:26

      Peace, its easy. Google the report and then google the municipalities mentioned. Isabel 100% right. It is actually shocking that 36% of the SA municipalities are in financial dire straits, and this info is not from the elitist white press or political parties, but a study commissioned by the ANC led government through a government agency.

      darryl.maze1 - 2012-01-12 10:47

      @Peace: It doesnt need to mention ANC municipalities. We already know who would waste money on all those items, its no brain teaser.

  • KCorsar - 2012-01-11 20:34

    So what's new about this sudden revelation; the word PUBLIC SERVANT has lost its meaning! It now stands for a 'get rich quick career prospect, if not paid well, steal plenty and promise much, deliver nothing at other people's expense

  • Michelle - 2012-01-11 20:35

    What to pick? Merc vs Land Rover vs BMW X5... Sjoe, stressful decisions for our mayors. Spare me.

  • Mahomed Dawjee - 2012-01-11 20:35


  • Anthony - 2012-01-11 20:35

    I am not racist BUT I miss the good old days.

      Dave - 2012-01-11 20:49

      Remember the mayor's official vehicle, only to be used on official occasions, otherwise they had to use their own cars?

      Adam - 2012-01-11 21:04

      @ Dave: I remember those days. My folks were friendly with a few majors in my city and on occasion we would go to their homes. I was amazed for a major, it was quite bland. His personal car.....the works. Nothing inspired me to become a major except the odd mention in the paper or a cameo appearance at an event. Still, we respected the man.

      JoeLeboe - 2012-01-11 22:09

      I don't want to make my comment a political thing, but would like to mention our DA mayor here in Nokeng Tsa Tamaene. When elected, he declined a new car and used his 1990 Datsun 1400 bakkie to do all his work with. When the ANC won the last two elections, they bought a new car, as well two others for the speaker and munisipal manager. Who last mentioned, was later forced by the government to give his back hehehe

      mikenortje - 2012-01-12 05:28

      I remember as a kid the major in Port Elizabeth had a job, did not get a salary and used his own car to get to the city hall (no blue lights thats for sure). The mayors car (CB1) was only used for official functions. Now the mayor earns more than the president of the country. Something is really wrong in this country. Don't waste your vote come 2014.

      Fenderbender - 2012-01-12 08:49

      Lloyd stop feeling sorry for yourself, the article is not about you. Complaining little bitch

      rianadk - 2012-01-12 09:01

      Ag Lloyd...Cry me a river!

  • Enlightened - 2012-01-11 20:37

    I would simply like to know how many of these bufoons actually have a formal tertiary education that would in some way indicate that they have the intellectual tools to do the job? Or is that not required in this place?

  • Gregory Jurgens - 2012-01-11 20:39

    Don't forget your blue light on your range rover. Mr Mayor.We don't want u running late. Might delay the approval of your massive bonus.

  • ivan.coetzee2 - 2012-01-11 20:40

    Yep just goes to prove that the ANC is arguably the most incompetent and corrupt organisation to ever run a country.

      Heinrich - 2012-01-11 23:04

      ivan : Please justify the use of the word "arguably".

      Stephen - 2012-01-12 07:21

      What Ivan mean't was that the ANC may be the most corrupt political party ever, however Nazi Germany and Zanu PF are probally worst, but only just.

      Donovan - 2012-01-12 08:17

      ..and the word 'run'.

  • JudithNkwe - 2012-01-11 20:41

    So slam them and set maximum remuneration packages including small cars instead of the SUVs most of them can't drive safely anyway. Insist on the creation of a professional civil service which is independent of party political pressure and cannot just be removed unless wrong doing or incompetence can be shown. No suspension on full pay either!

      Gregory Jurgens - 2012-01-11 20:50

      That's really amusing. They should set a example and use public transport. I really wouldn't mine them using my tax Money to subsidize their train tickets.

      Adam - 2012-01-11 21:09

      Judith, thats in a real world country, you are not living in one. My girl friends father is a DR/Professor at a university and also serves as a Senator. He uses his bicycle every day and if it rains, public transport.

      duncan.cramer - 2012-01-12 06:59

      @Adam.....serves? that is not a word we are familiar with any more. Rules? yes. Dictates? yes. Calls in sick and still collects a paycheck. Definitely.

  • Mvikeli - 2012-01-11 20:43

    I find it ridiculous that you get underspending of R12.4bn, if you're going to steal money at least give something back ffs, it's just lying there waiting to pay for much needed services!!

  • Juan - 2012-01-11 20:49


  • Sinudeity - 2012-01-11 20:57

    Anyone surprised?

  • errol.wagner - 2012-01-11 21:00

    The time has come for the public to put a stop to this. Identify which municipalities are guilty and then the rate payers should band together and pay their rates into a special fund - and not release the funds until the municipal officials are held accountable. We should prescribe what they are paid and what perks they get - it is in our hands.

  • jacques.koorts - 2012-01-11 21:02

    Thanks for the report guys. Now whats the solution?

      Dave - 2012-01-11 21:10

      Lift Capet and sweep quickly

      Dave - 2012-01-11 21:10

      Sorry carpet

      Gregory Jurgens - 2012-01-11 21:20

      The solution is to replace the standard wheels with expensive mags and give all the municipal tenders to incompetent family members, then get suspended with full pay and a massive bonus.

  • Alva - 2012-01-11 21:09

    So? What is going to be done about this?

  • Had - 2012-01-11 21:11

    Geeeef mee a Range Rover Sports. So funny, when I stayed in Waterval Boven recently, in the two nights that I was there, I had no water for one night and no electricity for the second. I jokingly said to the hotel owner that I bet the Mayor drives a Range Rover Sports yet his municipality cannot deliver water and electricity. Well, guess what the viking does drive ?

  • Alva - 2012-01-11 21:12

    This is so disgusting! There should be no choice of vehicle. This is what you get with the position and that is it! The vehicle belongs to the state anyway so why the choice?

      JoeLeboe - 2012-01-11 22:12

      Don't be so harsh. There should be a choice - a bicycle or a wheel barrow, which by the way comes with it's own chauffeur.

  • jody.beggs - 2012-01-11 21:32

    This is just something the cANCer government doesn't care about.

  • braamc - 2012-01-11 21:35

    Oh the gravy the gravy the gravy, wonder where they got it from, non performing national ANC thieving government off course. With a total of almost 40% of all municipalities not performing? Get rid of the thieving, incompetent trash, like they will do in any other company/institution.

  • Irene - 2012-01-11 21:44

    Time we stop paying tax until we have a credible government.

  • Eduard - 2012-01-11 21:47

    where the hell is the money coming from?

  • miyo27 - 2012-01-11 22:00

    it's clear the ANC led governemtn cannot run this country. They've had nearly 18 years to get it right. within 18 years I was raised, finished pre school, completed grade 2 (unlike the president), completed high school and started working at the tender young age of 17years 10 months. get rid of them, they are useless

      George - 2012-01-11 22:08

      You say "to get it right" there was nothing wrong before, all the anc had to do was to carry on from where the others left off. But no the clever dicks have to change every thing to there way and go against proper acounting practice the is used world wide, But as usual the world is wrong and they are right, Smart ass idiots

  • Peace - 2012-01-11 22:03

    This report is biased against our cadres,right wing reporters at it again,trying to cast aspersions on our party.Counter revolutionaries will have a field day!

      Sinudeity - 2012-01-11 23:04

      You are not a revolutionary anymore. We are. And while you were busy getting drunk at the centeary, we were busy conspiring against your party. 2012 - The beginning of the end for the ANC.

      Lafras Moolman - 2012-01-11 23:12

      Come on you cant be serious, you takin a piss at us all. Nah no one can be so blind.

      Wim - 2012-01-11 23:31

      In the land of your ideological fathers, the now defunct USSR, the big peanut drove the Zil and the small peanut the Volga. Why don't your rotten peanuts follow that revolutionary example?

      Ronald - 2012-01-11 23:33

      Peace,I will say it again slooowwwwllllyyyyy.

      Fenderbender - 2012-01-12 09:17

      Ronald I am afraid that is still to fast for a ape like PEACE

      Peace - 2012-01-12 10:02

      fenderbender,go jump in the pool!

      darryl.maze1 - 2012-01-12 10:20

      Peace, just ur comment shows what an idiot you are. Seems these are all common words in the ANC dictionary- right wing, imperialists, apartheid,colonielists. U would rather let ur government waste money on big fancy cars and homes while u live in mud huts, get free tshirts, half a loaf of bread and a cup of soup. It's pathetic how you think.

      Fenderbender - 2012-01-12 11:34

      Peace - read what you write before you post your idiotic comments, you are only revealing your clever side. What pool ?

      Beetroot - 2012-01-12 11:41

      Pap and Gravy train please!

  • Charmaine Paterson - 2012-01-11 22:03

    Kimberley has had water problems for at least three years now. Four days without any water, at one stage. This week we have had an intermittent water supply and nothing but lies and excuses from the Sol Plaatje Municipality. We never see or hear from the mayor or the municipal manager. The water department simply do not answer their phones. Today a municipal employee said that there was no reason to complain, as this is happening all over the country. Mediocrity and greed rule.

  • Charmaine Paterson - 2012-01-11 22:04

    Kimberley has had water problems for at least three years now. Four days without any water, at one stage. This week we have had an intermittent water supply and nothing but lies and excuses from the Sol Plaatje Municipality. We never see or hear from the mayor or the municipal manager. The water department simply do not answer their phones. Today a municipal employee said that there was no reason to complain, as this is happening all over the country. Mediocrity and greed rule.

  • Rob - 2012-01-11 22:08

    Keep voting ANC you morons!

  • Heinrich - 2012-01-11 22:18

    Strange. Posted a comment 3 times. Deleted every time. Not even a naughty one. Think I will try once more.

      Heinrich - 2012-01-11 22:40

      Thar she blows again. So we will just put it back.

      Heinrich - 2012-01-11 22:53

      Five so far!

      Heinrich - 2012-01-11 23:08


  • cameronjohnprice - 2012-01-11 22:33

    yes - why is this news - we all new it (i hope). I reckon all mayors and government employees (only the ones that are supposed to have official vehicles) should be issued with a toyota yaris/ vw polo or something. Why should all this money go towards cars - its shocking!

  • Heinrich - 2012-01-11 23:15

    I have tried six times to say something. Each time deleted. I won't try again. But don't worry. Things WILL be changed and justice for the people WILL prevail.

  • TheWatcher - 2012-01-11 23:49

    There should be a short list of cars that you can apply for using govt money. Yaris (and similar basic cars), bantums and in cases where they need to go out into the rural areas larger bakkies. There's no reason to have anything more.

  • duncan.cramer - 2012-01-12 07:10

    "The study also blamed underspending by municipalities as one of the main reasons service delivery was deteriorating." Umm. No. It's not underspending that is causing service delivery issues. It's selfish, arrogant, incompetent morons that are the reason.

  • Vivian - 2012-01-12 07:30

    First it was "I want" and then "You owe me" and now this as they dont care about what their jobs are, they just want to steal and abuse, disgusting and I bet they wont even help out their own parents, typical savages

  • jwdupreez - 2012-01-12 07:33

    I think it is time for the Rate Payers to STOP BITCHING about the SYSTEM and GO OUT THERE and convince the ELECTORATE to vote for Councillors that will DELIVER on their promises - if they dont - NECKLESS them.

  • Dane - 2012-01-12 08:15

    So what happens now then? Does the report get given to Zuma at least? Does anyone taken responsibility for this? Such damning evidence of maladministration........But I can bet our president will be silent on this one.......AGAIN......As usual!

  • coert.welman - 2012-01-12 08:22

    Why else would an ANC cadre become a mayor?

  • mastermindpete - 2012-01-12 08:38

    ja ja ja keep voting for these useless ANC-pf knuckle draggers !!!! viva gravy train viva ...

  • zelda.potgieter - 2012-01-12 09:05

    Three words. Transparency. Accountability. Mobilitate.

  • Jason - 2012-01-12 09:10

    Been like this for years now, whats new guys, f%ck sakes cant we read about these corrupt money seeking bastards being caught and punished!!

  • tacod - 2012-01-12 10:10

    What happened to the previous mayors car that he/she traveled in, most probably sold for a dime so that the new mayor can get a new car. Don't these idiots know that money does not grow on trees to buy houses, cars, suits ect.

  • Odicito - 2012-01-12 10:48

    Oh, thats new!!! Thanks for letting us know...

  • ludlowdj - 2012-01-12 10:56

    ANC cadre doing what they do best as usual.

  • Gail - 2012-01-12 12:11

    So you see there is no need to nationalise mines and take land away from people who pay taxes to the ANC! The money is there but the people who have to approve its use haven't a clue what their voters need DESPITE having SUV's and expensive cars to go out and do a fact finding mission. They could start with schools and hospitals and police stations which don't have enough vehicles and even meds for the masses. Just a thought to any ANC supporters on here. If your kids are going to Uni. let them study things like Infrastructure and town planning and finance iso of B----- All degrees which they can't use or pay for if and when they complete them.

  • Michael - 2012-01-16 09:47

    Thanks News Captain Obvious 24

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