North West 'crippled by fraud'

2009-09-01 09:11

Cape Town - North West province is crippled by fraud and corruption, which affects every municipality and holds back service delivery.

According to a confidential report which was presented by an ANC task team to the party's National Executive Committee (NEC), infighting has destroyed all ANC structures in the province, from the branch to provincial level.

This led to the deterioration of local governance "to such an extent that municipal functioning is currently in a state of crisis".

Nepotism, irregularities in appointing personnel and the acceptance of tenders, bribery, favouritism, abuse of credit cards and other state resources, and the selling of state land for personal gain are but some of the examples of fraud and corruption.

Money for soccer

The report pointed a finger at several ANC officials, including the mayor of the Ngaka Modiri Molema district municipality (which included Lichtenburg and Mafikeng) who appointed an official to advance economic development.

The official was appointed, in contradiction with policy and without the necessary qualifications, at R750 000 per year, and during his first month in this post, he was not once in his office.

The municipality was R1bn in arrears for its water and sanitation account but used money to send soccer teams to Brazil.

Other examples:
- The municipal manager of the Madibeng council (Brits) plotted and schemed with contractors, and accepted tenders of R8m for R20m;
- The mayor of the Mafikeng council exceeded the limit on his municipal credit card to pay for clothing and furniture; and
- A contract of R5m was awarded by the Greater Taung local council to a construction contractor for the repair of roads, but no work was done.

Brink of bankruptcy

"The financial situation of many councils is in such a condition that quite a number of them are on the brink of bankruptcy. This includes Ventersdorp, which, according to the auditor general, is no longer viable," stated the report.

"Service delivery is experiencing a crisis. There are places where sewage flows in the streets, where toilets overflow, where there's no electricity ... squatter camps are growing, but there is no budgeting for basic sewerage systems, water or maintenance."